Ground Floor, Crown Casino
8 Whiteman St, Southbank
Ph: 9696 6566
Dinner: Mon-Thurs 6-10.30pm, Fri-Sat 6-11pm, Sun 6pm-9.45pm
Lunch: noon -3pm
NOBU equals celebrity. Boris Becker's love child was conceived in the broom closet of the London Nobu. Robert De Niro is a part owner. Posh and Becks have donned matching outfits to dine there.
It's a favourite of Kate Moss, Madonna and Gwyneth. Bill and Hilary have held dinner parties in Nobu's private dining room. And so it goes.
Everyone knows Melbourne has its own Nobu. The 15th in the global empire of Nobu Matsuhisa.
Launched to fanfare with De Niro trekking 15,000kms from New York for the opening in July last year, Nobu has been a hot ticket.
The dust has settled and we easily got a mid-week lunch booking.
No celebrities in sight on this day. But there was that delicious sense of possibility that someone worth perving at might show up.
They don't. Instead we focus on designing a menu with the waitress. No attitude here. She's so relaxed and down to earth, she seems more suited to a cafe than the swanky Nobu.
Together we "create" a lunch featuring exquisitely described fusion dishes including: scallop new style sashimi ($17), whitefish new style sashimi ($14), wagyu rib eye new style sashimi ($26), spicy tuna salad ($28), black cod with miso ($42), beef tenderloin with wasabi salsa ($43) and a couple of other dishes we can't recall.
It all happened so fast and the menu was so overwhelming it was difficult to remember what we ordered and what we didn't. This was a bad sign.
Whitefish sashimi was sublime. As was Nobu's signature dish black cod with miso. The tuna spicy salad was crisp and good. The beef tenderloin was delicious.
Each dish was small and exquisite. We sipped Paretai sauvignon blanc from NZ and Blackwood Ridge Traminer Riesling from Central Vic.
All too soon it was over. We summoned our waitress. Where is the wagyu? oh haven't you had that? Perhaps we had. Had we mistaken the Wagyu for the tenderloin? And what else was missing?
The wagyu was delivered with apologies. Delicious and melt-in-your-mouth.
What about the scallops? and the other dishes we ordered?
Too late. The bill came and shock horror, the missing dishes appeared along with their expensive price tag. We were paying for food we didn't actually receive.
The oh so relaxed waitress explained there was a technical problem with the computer in the kitchen. It never received our orders.
We braved a weak smile and said not to worry. A new bill was issued. I profusely thanked my host who had forked out more than $250 for our lunch, seething inside at the missed opportunity to try more dishes.
What a disaster. A dash to the food court mid afternoon was needed to supplement lunch.
Perhaps it was just a horribly off day. whatever it was, it was a complete balls up.
The food we actually received was divine. But for a cock up that bad it's impossible for me to recommend it.