We were very excited to go to Nobu in Tribeca! We wanted to treat ourselves in the restaurant of Japanese Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, whose partners include Robert De Niro (yes, I am talking to you!). He created dishes inspired from his background but also from his experience in South America (Peru and Argentina).
Having a reservation was a bit of a challenge for the week end and we got one at 6:15pm on a Saturday. From outside, the restaurant was very discreet. Inside, it was very elegant with its earthy tones and Japanese aesthetics. The place started to get busy pretty quickly. We even saw Matt Dillon who was having dinner and were wondering if we would see other actors as we went there during the Tribeca Film Festival. No luck.
The menu was pretty extensive, showcasing traditional Japanese dishes like sushi and sashimi. For sure, having sushi and sashimi at Nobu might be good but we felt that we would miss the whole point of this culinary discovery.
We decided to try the following dishes:
For appetizer, we ordered the Spicy Miso Chips with Bigeye Tuna:
The scale on the photo is close to what we got! It was small and clearly more an Amuse Bouche rather than what I would call an appetizer. It would have been better with at least 4 pieces! It was good though, a little on the sweet side, it was not as spicy as it advertises.
Then we got the Kumamoto Oysters with Maui Onion Salsa:
The presentation was very nice with the oysters presented on crushed ice. The scale on the photo was again close to reality: small. The problem is that I could barely taste the oyster: the onion salsa was good but too overpowering for my taste.
And I ordered the black cod with Miso:
Clearly, between the two, the black cod with Miso hit the mark! The fish was perfectly cooked, moist and flaky. It had some sweetness to it that was enhanced by the miso. It is definitely a dish to try if you go to Nobu. The Fish and Chips Nobu-style was, however, disappointing. I think we were expecting something better than just fish tempura with soy sauce. They could have done so different, maybe with some sweet and sour sauce or wasabi. It was not even the best tempura we ever tried. I think the only thing I liked in that dish was the yuca fries...
I also ordered the Live Octopus Tiradito:
Contrary to what I thought, the octopus was not alive, just fresh... It was like a carpaccio with thin slices of octopus and lime, too much of it in fact! The octopus was tender and very good, but the lime overpowered the entire dish.
As we were still hungry (crazy, no?), we ordered two additional dishes:
Jodi went for the avocado tempura:
The avocado was too ripe and had barely no taste to it.
I ordered the creamy spicy crab:
This was the biggest disappointment of the dinner: I love crab and, although this dish has a lot of it, it was smothered in fish eggs and green onions, so I could not taste any of the crab meat!
Not discouraged by the previous dishes, we decided to try dessert. Jodi ordered the Milk Chocolate Coconut Cake:
I liked it: light and tasty, it had a nice coconut-y taste that paired perfectly with the chocolate.
On my side, I ordered the Banana Soy Toban:
it was composed of caramelized bananas, roasted pecans and malaga ice cream, that tasted like rum/raisin ice cream. I enjoyed it: not too sweet, it was very comforting.
I was so disappointed by our experience at Nobu! For most of the dishes, it missed the mark in term of taste, although I recognize that the presentation was fantastic and they showed some creativity. I definitely prefer Morimoto that offers a far better experience to its diners, at a better price (oh yeah: Nobu is definitely pricey)!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!