Have you ever been to a restaurant where you knew no matter what you order, your senses will be blown away? To us, Nobu is that place, and we are always keen on experimenting with the Japanese-Peruvian flavours whenever we get the chance to dine there.
Our thrilled team of two headed to the downtown restaurant in mid-November, psyched to try the novelties of Nobu’s menu that was renewed inside and out on 10 October. Ready to taste four cold starters, three mains and a dessert, we took a seat at one of the round tables not too far from the open kitchen abandoning ourselves to the ambience defined by the hall’s dominating colour, the earthy and comforting brown, and the greatest hits of the 80-90’s playing in the background. Soon our waiter brought us our first appetizer, seafood ceviche which is a popular Peruvian meal made of seafood marinated in lemon juice, thin cucumber slices, colourful tomato pieces and the core ingredient, red onion, characterized by citrusy flavours and mild pungency. It is simple but great, made freshly in just a few minutes.
The second item on our list was tuna tempura roll served in a rather sweet Japanese miso sauce (it contains mustard) and asparagus. Its soft texture and full flavours impressed us so much that we ate every bit of it. Now you can imagine how challenging it was to consume all the sauce with chopsticks, but believe us, when something is this good, such an obstacle can’t stand in our way. The next meal, salmon skin salad sprinkled with sesame seeds and masago caviar was likewise brilliant: the salmon pieces were crispy, the carrots were piquant and the salad, topped by tuna flakes, had a sweet and smoky dressing on it. Concluding the first section of our gastronomic experience we were surprised with a neatly organized plate of salmon slices arranged in a flower shape and grated daikon (looking like glass noodles) in the middle. Once again, the sauce was mind-blowingly good; we weren’t taken aback by hearing that these semi-liquid substances hold the essence of Nobu.
Next up my companion and I had a light main dish, king crab tempura with amazu ponzu. It was absolutely amazing, we both loved the combination of tender crab meat and the creamy, moderately hot, mayo-infused sauce. Our waiter recommended we try the umami Chilean seabass that we liked for two major reasons: on one hand, thanks to the not so distinct flavour of the fish, the mango salsa and sesame sauce spooned on both sides complemented the dish very nicely, and on the other hand, the crunchy shitake mushrooms looked and tasted very good. Since Nobu doesn’t solely serve meals made of seafood, we were curious to find out what beef dishes they have. We opted for an insanely crave-worthy food, the tasty and warm wagyu dumplings (well-seasoned minced beef folded into square shaped wrappers and then fried) that we soaked in sesame ponzu for a more enhanced flavour fusion. All you beef lovers out there, this one is definitely worth a try!
If you visit a restaurant that specializes in sushi, you wouldn’t leave without having at least a few bites of it, would you? In Nobu’s case, salmon and foie gras nigari is a must-try since it is among the not so many meals with a Hungarian touch on the menu. The spicy tuna roll and the shrimp tempura that we tasted were also too heavenly to miss out on: their soft texture and amazing flavours ticked all our boxes and we consumed them in silence with only the yummy moans of delight. Nobu wowed us with everything from starter to dessert, and speaking of the latter, the dark chocolate ball filled with passion fruit cream and forest fruits was out-of-this-world delicious.
Other than its ambrosial meals, Nobu’s thematic events (up next: Santa Claus Kid’s Corner on 8 December with festive arts and crafts activities and a New Year’s Eve Party) also welcome everyone with open arms. Please note: the restaurant’s additional lunch menu is available from noon to 3.30 PM every weekday.
Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest
1051 Budapest, Erzsébet tér 7-8.