October 2023 update: Dreamt of eating sushi at Nobu? You’re not alone. In choptastic news, the award-winning Japanese restaurant is now slinging all-you-can-eat sushi, available on Thursday and Friday lunch time. Our schedules are cleared.
Take a seat at Nobu’s coveted ten-metre long sushi counter and get stuck into a feast featuring perfectly made sushi, fresh sashimi and Japanese riffs on tacos.
The all you can eat offer will set you back $95 per person, and you can make a booking for it here. And yeah, we know it’s more exy than your usual grab-and-go lunch option, but this is Nobu we’re talking about. And it’s all-you-can-eat.
I don’t think we need to say it, but we will anyway: come hungry.
- Avril Treasure
Read on for our review of Nobu from October 2021
If we pocketed a dollar for every person who says Sydney is expensive, we’d be drinking on our very own, private, harbourfront deck. But you don’t need to be paying land tax to dress up and drink fancy by the water, you just need a booking at Nobu, the antipodean offshoot of the globally famous restaurant chain owned by chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert De Niro.
Nobu has become part of the zeitgeist. If you know, you know, that black cod miso is one of the restaurant’s most enduring and famous dishes, and happily for those who want the full New York experience without the jet lag, that punchy, earthy fillet of fish features on the Sydney menu too.
To ensure that there’s consistency across the venues they’ve installed chef Harold Hurtada at the helm of Nobu Sydney, who is a veteran of the restaurant group, serving at Nobu Cape Town and Dubai. But for local flavour, they’ve bolstered the team with local recruitment, snagging a sushi chef from Sokyo for the opening line-up. Hurtada is the man tasked with ensuring that the original blueprint of Nobu’s offering translates to its latest location, and he describes Australia’s produce offering as “heaven” with its abundant seafood and export quality meat. Turns out VIP access to a chef isn’t a corner booth and a red velvet rope, it’s full blood wagyu from NSW that is raised exclusively for your restaurant.
Now, before you start checking what a healthy left kidney fetches on the black market, let us tell you about the ultimate affordable hack for Nobu. The promise of the oft-replicated yellowtail sashimi in a light soy broth brightened with yuzu and a little fresh jalapeno kick might have you scanning the a la carte menu, but the real money shots here are the bento boxes. Are they Sydney’s fanciest snack boxes? Indubitably. Are they so generously proportioned that they could reasonably feed two? Absolutely. Should you maybe order the yellowfin on the side as well? You won’t regret that decision. And if you still had room, the famous crunchy golden cubes of deep-fried rice that you dip in buttery soy and top with tuna tartare is a very good shout.
But back to the double-decker bento that lunchtime dreams are made of - and not just because daytime dining is the best time to appreciate the majesty of those wrap-around harbour views. There are three iterations, and in a canny understanding of the Sydney dining populace, the ‘Sydney’ box includes a teriyaki salmon or chicken option. But if you want the full Nobu experience in one go, order the ‘classic’. It comes with the black cod miso and the seared tuna sashimi on salad leaves and shavings of radish and beetroot. The salad is dressed in the house Matsuhisa dressing, a ten-ingredient flavour fest based on onion, sesame, dry Japanese mustard powder, and mirin. There’re three little salmon avocado sushi pieces, three jewel-toned nigiri, and a vegetable stirfry on rice, but just in case it was all getting too serious, they add a tumble of baby tiger prawn tempura doused in a creamy spicy dressing that has all the fun and crunch of popcorn shrimp with spice from yellow and red jalapenos.
Dining at Nobu is a fun, glam time. It’s a big fancy restaurant for a big fancy hotel, right down to the in-house DJ booth by one of the central pillars. Sure, recent events might have seen you in a committed relationship with track pants and uggs, but when Sydney is back up and running and you want to dress sharp, sit by the water, and eat fancy, Nobu Sydney is a no-brainer.