When Nobu said their brand is all about treating their guests like rock stars, I didn’t realize they took that adage to heart and shot it right off the roof! The food and the service our group received went way beyond my expectations, as the empty plates and bowls (and one cup) would attest to the superbness of their dishes.
Nobu’s Omakase set is a must for Japanese food lovers. The subtle flavors of sea are present in each dish – from the appetizers to the dessert. It is typically an 8-course meal but advanced requests can be accommodated for less or more courses.
For the first course, they served toro tartare (finely chopped raw tuna belly meat) with caviar. It looked small but it was so full of the flavors of the sea, with the salty-sweet flavor of the tartare topped with the salty caviar. This is worth savoring.
For the second course, it was a trio of Yellowtail Jalapeno, kumamoto Oyster New Style – Lapu-lapu tiradito. They were bite sized and gave more dimension to the subtle differences of sea flavors, from the rather tart and spicy yellowtail to the mildly sweet oysters then the mild lapu lapu.
The set’s third course was the Salmon sashimi salad with yuzu dressing. Salmon is a rather oily fish and the yuzu happily balances this out. You kind of want more food but the Japanese way of serving just enough for you to feel full is at play here. By the end of the meal, we eventually appreciated that philosophy.
For the fourth course, there was Chef Oi’s Sushi Selection. This has got to be the best sushi plate I ever ate. The various seafood toppings were either fresh or seared just right.
For a dish that you simply cannot get enough of, the fifth course was Rock shrimp tempura creamy spicy. The shrimp tempura retained its texture even after being doused with its sweet-spicy sauce. It’s one of those under-the-radar food that you just cannot stop putting one morsel after another.
For the main course, we had Black cod miso. The cod was cooked to perfection and basted with a salty-sweet sauce. Our host said it was was his favorite dish and digging into the flaky fish, it’s easy to see how. It was fresh, had contrasting flavors and filling.
For the soup course, the set had Akadashi Soup. This soup was like sipping the essence of the sea – sweet, salty, savory and that something elusive good seafood dishes give you.
Lastly, for dessert, we had Miso Cappuccino. This was one of the best desserts I have ever had. Miso is typically sour and pungent, but there was no hint of that in this dish, only a nice tartness in the custard at the bottom of the cup. With the vanilla ice cream, candied pecans and coffee-like foam, this was a masterpiece that deserved to be licked clean.
Overall, we loved how we were just satiated instead of bursting full at the end of the meal, because the chefs’ pacing allowed us to savor and appreciate each dish. Nobu should be on top of every foodie’s must-eat destination, though rockstar dining comes at rockstar prices.