I love Japanese food. Sashimi anything; wasabi everything. That’s basically the motto I live my life by. Combine that with my best friend Carly recently celebrating her birthday, it was enough reason for us to get dolled up and go for a delicious dinner at Crown Casino’s premiere Japanese restaurant, Nobu.
We arrived at 6.30 since we’d made a booking to watch Olympus Has Fallen at 9.30. Perfect amount of time to make our way through some great courses.
Though we’d both been to Nobu in the past, the menu still threw us for a six. There’s so many choices to muse over. Cold dishes, hot, grill, tempura, sushi and more. So we pick a couple dishes each and then ask our lovely waitress for her recommendation.
Before we order we each start off with a class of wine. Carly gets the cab merlot and I choose the Pierro semillion sauvignon blanc. We’re both extremely happy with our selection and dive into the food selection.
Things start off with a dish I’ve had before but was dying to have again. The Scallop Tiradito ($20). It’s the most delicious display of sliced scallops cured with yuzu citrus and topped with a dot of Portugese style chilli sauce and a coriander leaf. It tastes so vibrant and zingy – and the chilli is actually a little punchy. I get so carried away with eating it I forget to take a photo of the dish until it’s nearly finished.
Next up we get the Sashimi Salad with Matsuhisa Dressing ($28). It comes out as a mountainous variety of lettuce leaves, topped with lightly seared tuna slices. It’s coated in Nobu’s signature salad dressing which is this amazing concoction of onion and yuzu. It’s completely addictive and really refreshing. Carly names this as the best dish she’s ever had here and I have to admit, it’s definitely up there. Thank you to our waitress for the great recommendation!
We decide to each get a Nobu taco, which is a filling of your choice inside a fried wonton taco shell. Carly chooses the lobster ($10) which is the one I’ve had in the past, and I opt for the Wagyu ($10). It’s strips of tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef coated with a layer of punchy mustard. I love the fusion like flavours and can see why these are often talked about when speaking of Nobu.
Our next dish is the Prawn Tempura in the Creamy Spicy Sauce ($24). The prawn tempura is crunchy but light; the batter crisp and has a citrusy aftertaste. I love the sauce – though I don’t find it spicy at all (but Carly tells me it is). I know I shouldn’t admit this, but I am completely addicted to tempura. When it’s done right, it can just be so amazing.
The final savoury dish we order for the night is the Pork Belly with Miso Caramel ($27). It comes out beautifully presented as all other dishes here but it is on the smaller side. There’s four cubes of pork belly sitting atop the caramel sauce. They’re garnished with a little sprinkling of red onion and herbs. The pork itself is soft and tender; the fat rendered perfectly. I wish there was some crackling present but that’s the greedy pork fiend inside me wanting this.
We could probably order more but to be honest we’ve eaten just enough without pushing ourselves. So we decide to finish up our meal with a shared dessert. It’s Salted Caramel Parfait with Tonka Cream, Miso Caramel and Popcorn ($17). I’ve had this here before and it is just as delicious as I remember.
The parfait is creamy and yes salty, but also sweet. It teases my tastebuds with each bite and is complimented by the crunch of the sugar shards and popcorn. It’s quite a rich dessert, though I’m sure I could happily finish it on my own, so it’s a good thing on this occasion we decided to share. (Though the main reason we did is because we wanted a frozen coke at the movies.)
All up our meal at Nobu was lovely. I’ve heard from people that the Melbourne version is much nicer, but this one is good enough for me. The staff here are attentive and easy to talk to. They have a great knowledge of the menu which helps out diners who aren’t sure what to order. While the price tag can get high if you eat a lot, the fusion of Japanese and Portugese does make this stand out from the crowd.