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Saturday, May 3, 2008

NOBU, Waikiki

My brother and his wife have a special restaurant that they love to go to for birthday or anniversary celebrations: NOBU. They first went to the one in Malibu, and my brother has since been to the New York, Chicago, Malibu, Las Vegas, London, and Bahamas location...It really is their favorite place to celebrate! This year, our family reunion coincided with his birthday and he had gone on a walk around Waikiki and stumbled upon the newly opened NOBU Waikiki. It was meant to be.

There were so many items on the menu that were totally unfamiliar to me (i wanted to order "Shiromi Usuzukuri" and "Oshitashi" just to say the name outloud...Since it was my first time at NOBU, I went with the familiar and beloved and saved the adventurous items for another time...

We ordered:

Seared Ahi Sashimi Salad with Matsuhisa Dressing:
This salad was amaaaaaazing (and I can't get enough of good quality sashimi), mostly because everything was accented by the most gorgeous dressing that had hints of onion, japanese mustard and mirin...I wish I had the recipe, but it is the masterpiece creation of Executive Chef and Owner, Nobu Matsuhisa and something tells me (as he rolls in the success of his 16 or so restaurants) that he isn't going to give up the recipe anytime soon....Note: the photo is actually 2 orders that the kitchen went ahead and decided to serve together (don't you find that a bit odd?? What if I didn't know my dinner company that well...oh boy, that could get awkward getting into a chopstick battle over a piece of lettuce, or imagine your boss or business partner catching you in an attempt to covertly hide the coveted pieces of sashimi in a pile of lettuce...errrr...).

Rock Shrimp Tempura with a Creamy Spicy Sauce:
I adored this dish (and it isn't a stretch to say I almost always order shrimp tempura when I can because it's generally a good bet for something delicious, and a great chef has the opportunity to get really creative with the tempura batter, shrimp quality, sauce and presentation). The shrimp were large and tender and perfectly matched with a light, crisp batter and then covered in a thick creamy sauce that had a bit of a kick towards the end...Normally, I do not like spicy food, but the flavor of this sauce was just perfect. I also liked that it was a served over a bed of mixed greens to add a little bit of leafy goodness.

Black Cod Saikyo Miso (Nobu's version of the classic miso butterfish):
I usually like my miso butterfish drenched in that distinctive sweet miso sauce, but Nobu's preparation was a delightful change...Here, the fish is pan-fried to absolute perfection (crisp layer on the outside but soft, moist and tender inside) and then served with little dots of concentrated miso. It was absolutely delicious and I wanted about 3 more orders.

Dessert: Thai Coffee
Espresso "snow", sweetened condensed milk and milk ice cream:
Let's not kid ourselves, anything with sweetened condensed milk is going to be mind blowing. I never realized how under utilized sweetened condensed milk is until I went to Thailand...This dessert was a perfect way to end our delicious meal--cold, clean, sweet and smooth. It was like espresso flavored shaved ice drizzled with the condensed milk and served with a really creamy sweet milk ice cream...

It was the kind of meal where you carefully savored every bite, but didn't feel overwhelmingly stuffed at the end--just magically satisfied and happy...Now, I'm not going to tell you that this restaurant was cheap--because it absolutely wasn't. But it was worth every penny, nickel, dime, quarter and dollar. And I hope Nobu opens up a location in San Francisco...

Happy Birthday, Mark! :)


Anonymous said...

Stumbling upon Nobu was a very happy accident! They have fish behind that sushi bar that I've never even heard of....

Jason said...

They need to open one in SF!

Happy Herbivore! said...

i really need to start eating more beets. you make them look edible and less scary.