Warning: sushi comes with head-spinning wasabi. Nobu review

Finally! We were to dine at Nobu, something I have been looking forward to since it opened six months ago at The Crown in Perth, formerly known as Burswood.

Nobu Perth on Urbanspoon

It was a special date night with husband Zorba.  After having a pre dinner drink in the buzzing new casual dining pub, The Merrywell, we made our way to Nobu for our 8.30pm dinner reservation.   The whole Crown complex was busy with people everywhere and Nobu was no exception.

We were invited to sit at the bar while our table was being prepared.  Thirty-minutes later and one cocktail down, no news had arrived of our table’s readiness.  The cocktail was delicious by the way, an Emporio Martini made with sake, gin, lychee juice, lime and cranberry juice, $18.

Zorba enquired about our table and we were promptly ushered into the restaurant and given a table towards the entrance.  I was so looking forward to all the Japanese staff stopping and shouting at us, as per the traditional Nobu greeting for guests. But it didn’t happen. Oh well.

The menu good and choosing what to we should order was no easy task. As it was a special night, we decided to treat ourselves and go for the seven-course Omakase signature menu at $150 per person.  My taste buds were getting ready to party!  Our menu:

Toro Tartare

This is one of the few times where I have enjoyed every single element of every course during a degustation menu. Even the head-spinning ones.

Our first course, Toro Tartare was enough to get our taste buds tantalised. It was well balanced, fresh, and as you can see, beautifully presented.

The raw fish stack was topped with caviar and the miso-esque sauce was a fantastic accompaniment.

Yellowtail sashimi with jalepeño

The yellowtail sashimi was served with a citrus soy sauce which worked beautifully. I even ate the jalepeño which was warm but not hot – my tolerance for heat is really low, so for those that love hot curries, you probably wouldn’t notice any warmth from these gentle peppers.

It took two courses and almost a pouncing on a waitress to get the wine list brought to us.  The wine list is extensive and expensive. No doubt about it.  I was delighted to spot a gorgeous WA white from Margaret River, Pierro LTC priced more sensibly than some wines at $70.

Sashimi salad

The sashimi salad was a visual feast as well as a delicious one. The colours in the salad were wonderful and I loved the crunch of the yellow radish, creaminess of the avocado, and tenderness of the sashimi.  Yum!

Black cod miso

Black cod miso close up

This dish, the black cod miso, is the one that everyone raves about. Justifiably.  It deserves two photos in this post. It was like nothing I have ever tasted before. The miso sauce was delicate and delectable, the cod was flakey and melted on my tongue and the crispy lotus root added texture.

Seriously good. Next time I go back I’m just going to have three black cod miso dishes!

If you go to Nobu, don’t miss this popular dish.

Beef tobanyaki

The beef tobanyaki came out steaming hot. It too was nice, but it was hard act to follow given the black cod miso transported my taste buds directly to foodie heaven. Chewing on the beef felt like a bit of a chore after the cod which just melted on my tongue in the previous course.  It was tasty, absolutely, just not mind-blowingly good.

Assorted sushi

Don’t be fooled by the lovely sushi. This dish should come with a warning: Contains head-spinning wasabi.

It was like the rush I’d imagine you would get from a strong class-A illicit substance.  Zorba and I both felt as if our heads were spinning on our necks like a cartoon character for an intense 15 seconds.  I had a pea sized amount first time – and that was the last time I would have that much of the powerful pure un-cut wasabi in one go!  I did dabble and go back for more. And more. How could I resist?  It was a new sensation and I was still deciding if I liked it or not.

The wasabi could almost be classed as medicinal because it cleared our sinuses.  Zorba said that he thought he was going to die after putting a bit too much wasabi on his chop stick first time! Funny! You simply have to try it.  I’ve never had wasabi like that anywhere ever before. Come to think of it, I have never had a food that has given me an involuntary head-spinning intense rush, ever.  Maybe that’s why Robert De Niro’s Nobu restaurant is so popular with celebrities? Hmmm.

Agedashi soup

Breathing cleanly after the wasabi shock, this comforting Agedashi soup was delicious, moorish, and free from any involuntary side effects or convulsions.

A light final savoury dish before my favourite course [disclaimer: only if it contains chocolate], desert.

The chocolate fondant bento box was beautifully presented and the perfectly cooked fondant was rich with an oozy chocolate centre. Home made ice-cream on the side. A not-so-Japanese finale, but nonetheless, an impressive one.

Chocolate fondant bento box

Our bill came to $410 for two.  Thank you to a lovely food journo friend of mine who gave me a $200 Crown voucher as a thank you gift some time ago – we only had to fork out $210.

Speaking of forks, one of the best things about the dinner was that for once, Zorba kept pace with me in finishing each course. Normally he sits there eyeing off my plate whilst his is polished bare in a matter of minutes.  Chop sticks are not his utensil of choice for speed eating, and for that, I’m ever so grateful!

Taking a taxi to Burswood meant no one was acting as ‘Captain Responsible’ and it meant  we were free to enjoy our evening with a drink to two. It was a lovely night.

The staff was polite and courteous. They explained each dish with Asian accents which added to the ambience, although at times it was hard to hear exactly what was on the plate over the clatter and chatter of the restaurant acoustics.

The food was really first class.  A dining experience no foodie would want to miss.


Nobu Perth 
Crown Complex Great Eastern Hwy
Burswood, WA 6100
Tel: 08 9362 7551

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