Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nobu's sepctacular new bento boxes

I had the privilege of dining at the renowned NOBU restaurant – the only one in Africa – at the One & Only Cape Town last night.

It definitely makes for a special occasion. As you arrive, a valet service is on offer, so there's no worry about parking and so on. When you walk into the grand hotel, there is a warm greeting and of course, once at Nobu the service is of the utmost best.

The sommelier guided us through the wine selection, and as we were both trying the new Bento Box options, we needed a wine that could hold it's own against varied flavours, but not outshine the food. And we felt like a red, which is not always the easiest to pair with sea food. But the sommeliers recommendation of Muratie's pinot noir went down extremely well. As we are already fans of that particular wine, it wasn't hard to convince us.

The wine list also contains a variety of sake, wines and bubbly by the glass (including French Champagne) starting at Graham Beck Brut NV (R55) for the bubbles, Ken Forrester Sauv Blanc (R42) for the whites, Springfield Whole Berry Cab Sauv (R65) for the red and a one rosé option, a Mulderbosch Rosé (R35).

If you're in the mood for a cocktail, there are some interesting martinis, sake combinations and classics available, starting at R55. Plus there are some virgin cocktails (R35). There is also an interesting selection of beers and if you're feeling extra flush, some top international wine labels.

We were brought a bowl of warm soya beans while we waited for our boxes to arrive. It wasn't long before the first one did – and we were taken a back by how much food was on offer. We managed to consume everything from both the boxes... but three people could have easily shared two if you know what I mean.

The first bento box (R275) consists of a tuna sashimi salad, assorted sushi rolls, sashimi in the famed jalapeno sauce, white fish tempura, nasu miso (eggplant in miso sauce) and chicken teriyaki. It is then followed by a 'Suntory whisky cappuccino' dessert, which is actually a layered dessert in a cappuccino cup, consisting of coffee-flavoured Crème brûlée and other crunchy and creamy bits that I couldn't quite identify, but it was amazing!
The second bento box (Deluxe at R375) includes salmon sashimi salad, assorted sushi pieces and sushi rolls, white fish new style sashimi, beef wing rib anticucho miso, sauteed spicy vegetables, and tiger shrimp tempura. A smaller bento box dessert followed, containing a decadent chocolate fondant and a gorgeous ball of 'green tea' ice-cream – which, even though it sounds odd, was delicately balanced as the ice-cream wasn't particularly sweet, making a perfect partner for the rich fondant.

Our bests of all the little dishes were the beef ribs, the eggplant in miso sauce, the salmon sashimi with jalepeno sauce and the green-tea ice-cream. We had an interested selection of unusual fish such as yellow tail and marlin sashimi, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

The Bento Boxes will be available until the end of September.

Dinner is served from 6pm – 11pm (Closed Mondays). To book, call 021 431 4511

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