So I’ve hit the big 3-0. You know what? It’s nowhere near as scary as everyone said it was going to be. I don’t know if it’s because I’m in a great place in life at the moment, but I’m happy to use the milestone as an excuse to celebrate and indulge 🙂 And indulge I did – we had 4 celebrations over 4 nights with various groups of friends and family!
My Birthday Extravaganza Weekend culminated with my actual birthday dinner on Monday night. DH had a surprise up his sleeve – I knew we were going out for dinner but I wasn’t told where, except that I had to dress nicely. I had an inkling that it may be NOBU as we dined there for our 1st wedding anniversary when it first opened two years ago, and I haven’t stopped going on about how good the food was and how much I wanted to go back.
WARNING: This is a pic-heavy post! Plus the danger of drool.. 🙂
I love everything about NOBU Perth – the décor and ambience, the pageantry of your entry as your hostess leads you through the bar area to your table and all the staff yell out “irasshaimase!“, a Japanese welcome greeting (quite funny watching the reaction of other unsuspecting guests as they enter the dining area); the service is attentive, nothing is too much trouble for the staff and above all, the food is incredible.
I started my evening with the obligatory cocktail – a Pina Martini with “mango infused vodka, peach liqueur and pineapple puree”. Yum!
For those who have not dined at NOBU before and are overwhelmed by the menu, the staff are more than happy to make suggestions. We dined tapas-style as per the recommendation from our previous visit; the menu is divided into Signature Cold Dishes, Signature Hot Dishes, Toban-yaki, Sushi, Sashimi, Tempura, etc. but there are also more ‘traditional’ mains like Rib Eye steak, chicken or lamb chops if a 3-course meal is preferred. It’s the attention to detail that makes NOBU a fine-dining experience – the staff thoroughly explain each dish as it is served, describing the ingredients and how best to eat it, and your side plates are replaced with every dish.
We began with the special of the day – an ocean trout sashimi dish with avocado, chilli gel and a citrus soy dressing which the waiter described as a Japanese-Peruvian fusion dish:
The citrus dressing was divine – tangy but well-balanced with the soy and each mouthful only had the most subtle hint of chilli (the gel were like thin sheets of jelly) and the ocean trout melted in your mouth.
We then had a salmon sashimi dressed with ginger shoots and sesame seeds and drizzled with olive and sesame oils and yuzu dressing:
I couldn’t find it on the menu but recalled the dish from our first visit and requested it. It wasn’t as good as I remembered it to be (is anything ever as good?) as from memory the olive oil was slighty hot when it was poured onto the fish, searing it in the process, but I could have been mistaken. It was still very tasty though and the sesame oil really complemented the fresh salmon.
Next up was DH’s request of Pork Belly Spicy Aka Miso Sauce (he loves pork belly and orders it every where we go):
Very high quality cuts of pork belly – the fat layer was not chewy. Each morsel was topped with a finely minced onion chilli mixture and sat on a smearing of NOBU’s famous sticky miso sauce which was very tasty and much more subtle than their signature ‘Black Cod Miso’ (which at the risk of being struck down by NOBU loyalists, I did not enjoy – I found the taste of the miso sauce overpowering).
Our next dish was the Waygu Gyoza:
I now believe that everything should be served with Butter Ponzu sauce which is literally a bowl a ponzu dressing topped with a layer of melted butter. The waiter suggested mixing the shredded spring onion and spicy grated daikon into the sauce before dipping the gyoza in the sauce and then into the beetroot puree – heavenly and oh-so-naughty. Wagyu balls in a perfect wrapper drizzled with sticky soy and dunked in a tangy butter sauce – what could be better?
Still eager for more deliciousness, we ordered Scallops with Spicy Garlic Sauce:
The scallops were served poached in the sauce with mushrooms, asparagus and capsicum strips. Doesn’t this look like the perfect winter dish to be ladled liberally over a large steaming bowl of rice whilst curled up on the couch? Whilst the scallops were fresh and full of texture, I couldn’t get enough of the mushrooms which were meaty and juicy having soaked up the sauce. Contrary to the picture, this dish wasn’t actually spicy at all although you can also order this dish with a Wasabi Pepper Sauce. Now that sounds spicy!
We finished off the meal with the Soft Shell Crab Sushi Roll:
One would normally think of sushi as an appetiser or entrée dish but I like NOBU’s approach of serving sushi last as it is a fresh way of finishing off a meal. The sushi rice was light and not at all gluggy, the soft shell crab was lightly battered and the orange fish roe was very fine unlike the cheaper bigger roe that you normally get. I reckon I could eat sushi every day.
I don’t normally order dessert, but it was my birthday after all.. DH ordered the Nobu Cheesecake (the cheesecake had a burnished top and was served with passionfruit sorbet and raspberry sauce) which he simply described as “sensational”.
I ordered the Bento Box (chocolate fondant and vanilla ice cream served on a thin praline wafter and topped with a NOBU chocolate disc) – this dish is usually served with green tea ice cream but I am not a fan. The fondant was fluffy and spongey on the outside but upon delving in with my spoon, I discovered a rich gooey-oozy chocolatey paradise. Definitely a dish for chocoholics.
NOBU isn’t the cheapest place to dine especially once drinks are included (Crown Perth boasts an extensive but expensive wine list, which is to be expected. NOBU also stocks a large variety of sake.) but it is absolutely worth it for special occasions. If you are dining as a couple, try and request a table by the floor-to-ceiling window which overlooks the award-winning pool area for the wow factor. The staff are always eager to help fulfil requests – there was a marriage proposal whilst we were there which the chefs had written out in chocolate on the dessert plate. When I booked a table for our first visit, I simply mentioned that it was our first wedding anniversary and after our meal the restaurant presented us with a complimentary dessert platter with ‘Happy Anniversary’ piped in chocolate.
Oh and to top off a spectacular weekend, DH bought us tickets to see Blue Man Group in October! I’ve always wanted to see them perform and apparently we have great seats. I am so spoilt!
Have you been to NOBU and what is your favourite dish? Or what are you simply dying to try?