"You can tell how much fun a city is going to be if Nobu has a restaurant in it.” -Madonna
8 Whiteman Street
Phone: 9292 7879
Madonna could not say it better. Melbourne being a food paradise and a fun cityis deserving of Nobu. One of the earlier arrival of Star Chefs' restaurant, it is a chain which can be also be found in other hip cities of the world as well. Nobu is the chef that started a restaurant of Japanese and Peruvian fusion in New York and strongly endorsed by non other than Mr R. De Niro himself. He loves the food so much he decided to take the brand everywhere. I remembered it was a big deal when it first open in Melbourne and people crowd around Crown to catch a glimpse of the Big Daddy himself.
Its exterior is simple, you cannot see much going on due to its exclusivity. Once inside, you will pass by a row of neon light sake and wine bottles on the eye level which then lead you to an openness of dining rooms of perfect Japanese and western balance of natural wood stylings, coupled by beautiful hanging abstract fishing basket chandeliers under special lighting, creating a textured and exquisite ambience. The use of slate and wooden flooring gives it a natural feel of a comfortable Japanese rural habitat as well. The bathroom is as dark too with beautiful origami flowers arrangement near the washing basin. Every detail is well thought of. In the daytime, lunchers will get to sit by the windows with natural light shining through its surround glass windows.
We had lunch over there a couple of times. Expensive but sure worth the experience and the taste. With a big group, we get to eat different type of food or one can order a set menu, starting at $45 for lunch. The menu changes but its signature dishes remains the same.
The signature dish includes Yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno,$19(now they only have it as starters), wagyu beef strips with bonito flakes(there's a different version now), Tempura baby tiger prawn with creamy ponzu,$17, Ochuco chicken- 2 pieces kebab style, $11, and Grilled Black Cod with miso, $43.50.
I have to say all the dishes listed above is beautifully cut and presented. The taste was fresh and very different. The mix of Peruvian twist in some of them really bring the food taste to a different level. The yellowtail sashimi taste sweet and with jalapenos on them which seem inconceivable made it was divine- who would have thought they are such good combination? The Ochuco chicken kebab is also relatively different from the other kebabs I've eaten, it is East Asian with the use of corriander, rather beautiful and spicy.
This is definitely one of the most exquisite tasteful Japanese I've ever had. Its hard to go to another Japanese and have the same expectations afterwards.
The desserts were all so exciting, we decided to order the tasting plate of 4 different desserts they had. The dessert menu changes a lot. My favourite is actually the Japanese trifle, raspberry and vanilla bean ice cream. They have a different trifle now on the menu at the moment which sounds beautiful too.
1) Clean and design orientated interior with a flash of Japanese decor
2) Beautiful presentation of food and good portions.
3) Very professional and knowledgeable waiting staffs to explain to you the exotic menu clearer.
1) Bookings in advance is essential to get a place
2) You cannot meet De Niro. He comes to check in only once a year.
Ambiance- Exclusive and Dressy
Accessibility- easy. Walking distance from Flinders Station.
*Suitable for small to big group