8 Whiteman St
Southbank, Melbourne Australia
03 9292 7879
I took hubby and P-Diddy (Piggy’s daddy, aka my dad) to Nobu as P-Diddy is visiting from Brisbane and wanted some Japanese. I thought I’d bring him somewhere nice and modern with a twist and Nobu seemed like a perfect choice.
Dining out in these places like Nobu, it’s not just about the food. When you pay that much money for a meal, you expect the food, as well as the service, to be of very high standard. Each interaction with the customer forms a crucial touchpoint where customer will form an opinion of the restaurant and these moment of truths is what they will tell their friends and family about afterwards.
When we arrived I instantly felt that there’s something about the service which is just a little bit off. First they didn’t take our jacket, we had to ask for that to happen; secondly they seemed to be more focused on upselling “still or sparkling water? Maybe some edamame beans (which is $7.5) to munch on first?”- that just seemed a bit too orchestrated which annoyed me.
Then when we tried to order, we couldn’t get anyone’s attention. When we finally flagged someone down, he hesistated and then went “OK, I will take your order.” Then he leaned towards my husband and said “Let me teach you how to order next time, you should find your waiter…” WOW. Thank you for the lesson. I think at that point in time my husband and I wanted to simultaneously go apeshit at that guy or walk out of the restaurant. Perhaps “sure, let me get your waiter for you” might just be a TAD bit more appropriate? Just saying. Oh and if there is a dedicated waiter, please, ask him/her to introduce themselves and so we will know and can follow your rigorous protocol.
Anyhoo our first dish was Sea Urchin $10 each and Scallop and Smelt Egg ($13). The sea urchin sushi is fresh enough but it lacks the subtle sweetness. The Scallop and smelt egg had a weird slight chilli flavour to it that overpowers the taste of delicate scallop so it was so-so.
Next we had the Scallop Sashimi with Dried Miso $25. Not 100% sure whether there were dried miso as there was an overpowering sourness and acidity of lime juice (it might be yuzu but it’s just too acidic).
Spanner Crab Inaniwa Salad with Yuzu Dressing $39 P-Diddy and I really liked. The yuzu did not overpower the dish but subtly enhance the flavours of the spanner crab. The noodles that accompanied it was fantastic.
Miso cod is probably a must have at Nobu $47.5. Everyone would probably know by now that this black cod was marinated in miso for 3 days before cooking, so the miso flavour was truly infused into the cod. It was good, but to be honest I thought the black cod was more tender last time I had it and perhaps because I have made it on several occasion myself now the wow factor of this dish was gone.
Wagyu, for the rib eye version is $40 per 50g and for the David Blackmore version is $52. We ordered 100g of the rib eye version, grilled and sliced so we could share. It came out with some sautéed mushroom and 3 dips- one was Japanese yuzu mustard, the middle was a South American styled dipping sauce and the third one was a sesame based sauce. I always thought wagyu is now overrated and there are a lot of places who served beef that has the wagyu tag on it but really doesn’t taste like the wagyu beef I had known and loved. I thought with Nobu, surely it won’t be like that! But sadly, I’ve had better. WAYYYY better. Steer, for one would definitely give you better meat for better price; one time at Huxtable where they had this wagyu beef special, that was awesome; The Vine Hotel, scary decor, but had friggin fantastic steaks cooked to perfection at the Fringe Food Festival. Sorry Nobu, but really, step up your game FFS.
Dessert time and I have my usual favourite which is Nobu’s signature Bento Box including hot chocolate fondant, matcha ice cream and a goma tuile 19.00. The chocolate fondant was rich but not overly sweet, and oozes with molted chocolate in the middle. The gold leaf adds a bit of decadence to the dessert but the matcha icecream is a bit too icy and the goma tuile was nothing to rave home about.
P-Diddy had the icecream and sorbet $16- I had a taste of the sherry (white) and the mixed berry (red) and thought they were both good. Matcha and chocolate icecream were also featured in this dessert.
Overall, needless to say the service was appalling to begin with but once we were “taught” who our waiter was he was fine. Food-wise,over $300 worth of food later for 3 people we all felt we’ve been ripped off. Mmm probably should have walked out when that waiter was rude to us. 4/10