Nobu Melbourne – casual sushi fusion
Nobu started in New York, Tribeca, as a business partnership in 1994 between chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa and his partners actor Robert De Niro, producer Meir Teper, Richie Notar, and Drew Nieporent. Today the Nobu brand is all over the globe with more than 20 restaurants serving well-known yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, lobster with wasabi and black cod with miso to mention a few of the classics.
Nobuyuki Matsuhisa is originally a trained sushi chef from Tokyo, but his life in countries such as Peru and Argentina has flavoured his cuisine. Do not expect to have Chef Nobu Matsuhisa as your talented sushi chef when you dine at the branch in Melbourne that opened in 2007 at the Crown Entertainment Complex. Nobu Melbourne’s Chef Scott Hallsworth, a West Australian with several years of Nobu experience under his chef's whites in London, is doing a very good job mimicing his master so no worries.
You can expect to experience the typical Nobu style with scorched ash, river stones, hand-woven fishing baskets and cherry blossoms, but nothing wrong with that even if it could have had a much more personal touch if you ask us because it might be difficult to shake off the McDonald’s feeling when all Nobu restaurants are so similar. But hey, why change something that works?
Well, more personalised and intimate style and menus would simply be better and especially if you already have dined at several Nobu restaurants around the world. All Nobu restaurants would have been better if they were classic chef-run restaurants, but that is probably impossible when the aim is the big bucks and strict control from the management in a true capitalised way.
Nobu Melbourne is on several floors and you have seating options such as the sushi bar or a table in the basement. The quality of the dishes and service can differ from time to time and it is important to order carefully to avoid disappointments such as the desserts. Order safebets like the wagu, the tempura and the black cod.
All the classical Nobu dishes will arrive almost exactly as they have been served in New York since the nineties so no surprises will occur. A restaurant concept such as Nobu with more than 20 venues all over the world is easy to consider as an overpriced capitalised sushi fusion, but even if it is noisy and far more casual than most fine diners ever will go through more than once the fact remains the same – the actual taste of most of the dishes is great. Especially the new style sashimi that is world class.
Nobu Melbourne scored 57 points of 100 points in our rating system. View our Top 60 of the world. Back to the reviews.
8 Whiteman Street