Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Nobu, Southbank by Big Fil

March is one of my favourite times of the year.  Why you ask?  Other than being a Pisces, which means I receive my birthday loot then, it’s also that time of the year when you can get to sample some of the best restaurants in Melbourne without breaking the bank.  After a flutter of emails it was decided that this would be the year of Nobu, one of the Crown stable along the Southbank waterfront.

For those who don’t know, the $40 dollar express lunches currently on generally allow you to choose 2 of 3 courses (main plus entrĂ©e or dessert) with a complementary glass of wine and a coffee or tea to finish.  The ordering options are not necessarily from the more normal menu, but hopefully give you a taste (so to speak) of what the restaurant is like to entice you to return.  Nobu was slightly different, offering four set options, seafood, meat, poultry and sushi.  Given that there were three of us we followed our servers suggestion of sharing, with sushi missing out this time.

Our three first courses were the Yellow Tail sashimi jalapeno, the beef tataki onion ponzu and garlic chips, and the Crispy quail anti-cucho salt.  It would be hard to pick a favourite between the delegate sashimi with it’s delicious sauce and the moist, meaty quail.

The thin, almost translucent tuna wrapped around the slice of jalapeno and coriander leaves was melt in your mouth stuff.

The quail, a delicious meat if prepared right but so often overcooked and dry, was crispy skinned and juicy – if only quails were the size of turkeys so there was more to share!

The rare beef, while good enough to hold its own in most company, unfortunately struggled a bit to match the other entrees.

From the second courses, my personal favourite was the Saskia beer free range corn fed chicken in teriyaki sauce.  Yes, it’s roast chicken, but it is rare to get one as beautifully cooked, as plump and flavoursome.

The JBS Pinnacle Beef Tenderloin with Wasabi Pepper Sauce was much more delicately flavoured than the description would suggest, with the wasabi barely hinting through, but was again perfectly cooked.

The Atlantic salmon on parmesan rice felt like wonderful comfort food, the sort of thing you’d like to make yourself for that cold and windy day.

Verdict: we loved it.

Very good food, service that was there when wanted without being too pushy on upselling (an annoyance at some express lunches) and quiet calm surroundings met there was much to like about our visit.  Admittedly Nobu isn’t at the cheap eats end of the pricing spectrum, but I certainly enjoyed our visit enough to tempt me to come back to try the more normal menu.

Nobu on Urbanspoon

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