By now, after a number of visits to Nobu (each one more enchanting than the last), we have learned that to set foot inside downtown sushi restaurants means to instantly leave behind all the noise and worry of the outside world. Unique flavours, first-rate dishes, and a world-class service combine here to present guests with a remarkably pampering experience that exceeds all culinary boundaries.
The last time we had the good fortune to eat at Nobu, we tried their eight-course lunch special, the Nobu Bento Box. Although the taste of their heavenly Alaskan black cod still pops up in our dreams every now and then, this time around we wanted to bite into something else – and we let our waiter choose our dishes for us.
While waiting for our order, we set our eyes upon the sushi chefs working tirelessly and with a masterful ease behind the counter of the open kitchen: their experienced and rapid movements evoked silent admiration from us. It is hard to believe that these exquisite dishes, presented with so much care, can be prepared so effortlessly. Finally, our waiter appeared with our surprise order: a rich selection of dishes composed mainly of Nobu’s winter specialties.
The first item on our list was the Yellowtail Sashimi, a cold delicacy with a hot aftertaste, courtesy of the accompanying jalapeno slices. It was followed up by one of the highlights of our lunch: Seabass Sashimi with dried red miso and yuzu-flavoured olive oil. The discreet taste of seabass was amazingly complemented by the miso’s crunchiness and the pleasant citrusy taste of the olive oil.
Besides comprising of three completely different flavours, the platter also gave place to three different colours: The neatly ordered white fish, the red miso, and the yellow olive oil resulted in a composition almost too beautiful to destroy by our hunger. However, once we mustered up the courage to dig into the phenomenally delicious dish, it was impossible for us to stop – it’s not like we wanted to.
We mustn’t forget about Nobu’s Hungarian specialty, the foie gras salmon nigiri which is a great example of how well national cuisines as distant from each other as Hungarian and Japanese can work together to create something truly sublime.
While Nobu Budapest has the foie gras delicacy to its name, the Las Vegas venue’s staple (also available here) is shrimp tempura with asparagus. The sushi is coated in spicy tuna cream, which gives the tiny finger food a vivid reddish colour. The asparagus, ensconced inside the sushi, lends the meal a nice crispness, which makes it a light and playful hunger buster. Next off, we had seared scallop with jalapeno dressing and crispy Brussels sprouts, whose taste was as mesmerizing as its texture. The scallop’s characteristic flavour was even further accentuated by the hot jalapeno dressing, but the dish wouldn’t have been nearly as exciting without the potato chips-like freshness of the leafy green vegetable.
Hamburgers are probably not the first thing that come to your mind when thinking about staple Nobu dishes, but since the restaurant chain is known for its inventiveness, we should not be surprised by the fact that they do in fact prepare one of the city’s best burgers. What Nobu’s wagyu burgers lack in size, they more than make up for in flavours: in addition to the luscious beef patty, there’s a layer of truffle and a sauce seasoned with a number of spices, ready to amaze your taste buds.
To end our lavish lunch on a sweet note, we called on the winter dessert menu of Nobu for help. Out of the long list of saccharine treats, we picked the hedonisticsounding apple crumble served with cinnamon ice cream. The combination of the warm apple and the freezing ice cream proved to be a perfect closure to our daytime culinary outing. And although our holiday cheer will come to pass like most other things in life, it’s highly unlikely that our enthusiasm for Nobu’s dishes will ever diminish; a meal here is worth a hundred holiday feasts.