Saturday, September 11, 2004

Lucky to get in at Nobu!

Nobu dining room
Originally uploaded by lools.

My colleague, Carmen, returned to London after a 3 month stint in our New York office. She was dying to eat at a nice Japanese restaurant before she left. We had heard about Nobu as it is one of the top-rated restaurants in the city but also knew that it would be impossible to get reservations there. So we decided to pop in to Nobu Next Door where reservations are not needed. But it turned out that they were full and we got incredibly lucky in that Nobu had one table for a walk-in so we grabbed it before it would be gone!

Nobu is ajoint partnership between Robert DeNeiro, Nobu Matsuhisa (a celebrity chef) and Tribeca Grill restaurateur Drew Nieporent. The decor at the restaurant evokes the Japanese landscape with birch trees and wood floors. The light orange and peach colors work well with the subdued light. The place was packed with investment bankers, lawyers and other hotshots in Manhattan.

The food was superb. Being vegetarian, I never have trouble at Japanese restaurants but I was especially delighted with the food at Nobu. The waitress offered me several options not listed on the menu including a tofu sashimi which turned out to be the finest Japanese small plate I've had. The tofu was unbelievably tender and just melted in my mouth. The soy sauce had ginger and some citrus flavours with a hint of green chillies to add the extra oomph. The maki roll was excellent as well. We ordered a plate of zucchini tempura which was nice and crunchy.

Japanese is my new favourite cuisine these days. I find that vegetarians have quite a few healthy options to choose from including miso soup, seasweed salad, vegetable gyoza, tempuras and all sorts of sushi rolls. I read somewhere that there are more highly sought after Japanese restaurants in Manhattan than even Chinese. A sure sign of changing times!

105 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013


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