When I heard that popular Japanese restaurant Nobu was opening in Kuala Lumpur, I got a little excited. I’d heard a lot about it and I had also heard that it was a very expensive dining experience. But, a special occasion came up and off I went to Nobu Kuala Lumpur to experience what it was all about.
Nobu Kuala Lumpur is located at Tower 3 or Menara 3 of the Petronas towers at KLCC. Getting there is quite a maze. Park at the Ramlee Mall side. The entrance to Tower 3 is on the side, opposite Cartier in the new annexe building. Suffice to say that getting there was an adventure in itself.
Nobu is on the 56th Floor of Tower 3 so when you get to the elevators, there will be a herd of personnel guiding you to the right elevators to take. It’s a floor lower than Marini’s on 57th and all the signs I saw pointed to Marini’s. Might be smart to put up some for Nobu too eh?
Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno RM50
I had been told by a friend to try their Omakase Chef’s menu (RM380++ per person) but our server advised us to try some signature dishes instead. It worked out cheaper than taking the menu so we decided to have a try. After all, it was our first time. We were told that the food was a little bit of fusion instead of straight Japanese fare, which might have served to warn me. The food are also served for sharing and not in individual portions. Here are some of the food we had and my thoughts on them.
I enjoyed the Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno as shown above. The sweet taste of fresh raw yellowtail was off set by the tangy yuzu dressing and the moderately spicy japaleno slices on each piece of fish. There were about 6 slices of fish and every bite was enjoyable.
Next was White Fish Sashimi New Style RM65 which thin slices of white fish sashimi in Nobu’s signature new style, which had a yuzu dressing, and then hot sesame oil was poured over and the fish was sprinkled with sesame seed and decorated and served with chives. This was also a tasty dish although I admit I was surprised at how thin the slices of fish were. The hot sesame oil semi-cooks the fish and the taste of sesame oil is quite strong so I think this one’s an acquired taste. It was ok.
We moved on to the hot food and were recommended Tiger Shrimp Tempura with Butter Ponzu, Creamy Spicy or Jalapeno Dressing RM78. The tempura was light and crispy and the prawns came served on a bed of green salad leaves with yuzu dressing. The dipping sauces served on the side were a very tasty accompaniment to the tempura. However, I was disappointed to find that the prawns were not served whole but cut into 2 so you only get half a prawn in each niblet, which means you don’t get many prawns at all! It was tasty, but because they don’t serve whole prawns, I won’t recommend this one.
The final dish recommended by our server was the Black Cod Miso RM160. A thick piece of cod is marinated in miso sauce and then grilled. It was well done and the fish was fresh and firm. However, I found it to be too sweet for my tastes due to the miso and the dressing. Not one to eat on your own because it does get cloying.
After having all that our server recommended, we still felt like having just a little more so since we love sushi and sashimi, we ordered the Chef Selection of Sushi RM180. For me, a sushi platter always tells me a lot about a Japanese restaurant and sadly this was the dish that had Nobu falling flat for me.
The selection of sushi looked like something I could have at any regular Japanese restaurant. There was nothing spectacular at all and it tasted pretty normal. For the price, I’d skip this and take my money to Sushi Hinata where I get delicious morsels of interesting sushi and sashimi every time.
That was all we had, and I have to say that Nobu Kuala Lumpur was a let down for me. The ambiance was nice, the servers very attentive, and it had a hip and happening vibe to it. Oh and you also get this amazing view if you get a window seat.
But for the price we paid for the food, I’d skip it. There’s better Japanese food to be had at better prices, in my view. It was an experience, I’d agree so go for that and leave your food expectations at the door. Oh and bring lots of money too.
TRY THESE: Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno, New Style Sashimi
Nobu Kuala Lumpur
Menara 3 Petronas
Level 56 KLCC
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +60 3 2164 5084 (Reservations are advisable)
Nobu Kuala Lumpur
The view is spectacular and the ambiance is bustling and alive. The fusion Japanese dishes were the highlight and tasty. Traditional Japanese dishes were less impressive and I’ve eaten better elsewhere. The prices are, as can be expected, stratospheric. Go for the ambiance and the fusion Japanese food but avoid the traditional sushi.