February 1, 2018
By EDKL Writer A.A.
Celebrate Chinese New Year with a playful Japanese-Peruvian twist: Nobu Kuala Lumpur beckons customers this festive season with its unique interpretation of yee sang, putting a special flourish on the symbolic prosperity toss.
Nobu is serving two beautifully crafted versions of the yee sang platter, each suitable for at least two persons.
The Nobu Signature Prosperity Platter (RM 188++) showcases a bounty of irreproachably fresh and fleshy seafood such as salmon and white fish sashimi along with jicama, carrots, beetroot and myoga ginger.
Meanwhile, the truffle-tinged Nobu Premium Prosperity Platter (RM 288++) features prime ingredients including a whole Renkon Dai (baby snapper) accompanied by executive chef Philip Leong's personal selection of mixed seafood, plus pomelo, jicama and gari young ginger.
For review purposes, our platter was a mix of both the Signature and Premium Prosperity Platters. Bite for bite, in terms of quality and execution, both stand out from the waves of yee sang that have flooded KL over the years - the sashimi is sumptuous and thickly sliced, harmoniously intertwined with the vegetables and kitchen-made sauces, yielding some of the city's most satisfying yee sang.
It's even worth sampling and savouring both platters - courtesy of its sauces, the Signature is perky and invigorating, while the Premium is earthy and aromatic. Visual feasts that will satisfy the palate.
The fish head and bones from the Premium Prosperity Platter shouldn't go to waste; you can even request for it to be deep-fried and returned to a table as a crunchy delicacy, served with ponzu sauce.
Nobu will also be serving an exclusive dessert for Chinese New Year - the Chocolate Mandarin (RM 50++), described as a light but creamy chocolate mousse filled with a fruity orange yuzu curd centre that flows out deliciously.
The Nobu Prosperity Platters and CNY dessert are available for a full month, from 2 February to 2 March.
The Prosperity Platter promises a hearty starter, but the rest of Nobu's menu merits exploration too. Start with light bites - the salted Edamame (RM 9) is a notch above regular beans in both taste and texture, while the Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna and miso sauce (RM 35) proves to be a fun snack that nicely combines with sticky crunch of the skewered rice with the lusciousness of the fish.
For customers seeking something a bit different from Nobu's best-known offerings, the restaurant now also offers an Osusume menu, an evolving list of secret specialities recommended for regulars.
We're fans of the flash-fried Sole Fish Kara-age with Grilled Watermelon Shiso Ponzu (RM 85), a successful marriage of tender fish and juicy fruit, served with jalapenos and radish to lend a sharpness to the lightly coated sole.
The Osusume menu also spotlights pleasures such as grilled lobster (or alternatively, freshwater prawn) with a lip-smacking Peruvian anticucho hazelnut sauce, and possibly Malaysia's most decadent chawanmushi, packed with a whole shrimp and scallops layered with soy foam and truffles. Twin temptations for those occasions when you crave a genuine indulgence.
The ultimate delight from the Osusume selection might be the Wagyu Hobayaki with Wasabi Salsa (RM 265), roasted on a large Japanese magnolia leaf, garnished with crispy leeks and Peruvian chilli threads that offer a subtle heat, expertly balanced with the tantalising salsa and a sugared cabbage and ponzu base. The beef is outstandingly executed, furnishing flavourful succulence in every mouthful.
Nobu's repertoire is extensive enough that many patrons might be stuffed before dessert. But it's worth preserving space for the Natsu No Fruits Pearl (RM 50), a soothing, mellow combination of mango shaved ice with diced pears and mangoes, jasmine jelly, yamamomo granita, and rice soup, mixed with lychee, guava and mandarin pearls for a convincingly nuanced conclusion to the meal.
For a richer sweet treat, try the Chocolate Sphere (RM 50), with a shell made of dark chocolate that looks as like a crown jewel before it's cracked open by a pouring of hot chocolate, revealing the pandan ice cream within for a Malaysian surprise, its hot-and-cold dynamics rounded out with caramelized pistachio crumbs and raspberry sauce.
Martinis and Margaritas: Nobu's bartenders can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers in KL, serving up potent potions with influences from across the globe. For Southeast Asian inflections, check out the Thai Mandarin Martini (RM 50; Absolut Vanilla, Absolut Mandarin, passion fruit puree, lychee juice, kaffir lime syrup) and the Mangosteen Calpico Martini (RM 44; Nobu Shochu, mangosteen and pomegranate juice, calpico, pandan syrup). It's not often we see a mangosteen-flavoured cocktail, even in this country, but Nobu's version makes us wish we could have it more often.
The Mia Margarita (RM 47) is an original creation of Nobu Miami, blending Don Julio AÃ±ejo Tequila with passion fruit puree, shichimi and fresh lime juice for some intriguing dimensions. To keep things constantly engaging, Nobu also offers Cocktails of the Month, most recently a Peruvian Margarita, a gin-based concoction that comprised elements of jalapeno and pineapple.
Many thanks to Nobu for one of our favourite lunches of 2018 so far.
Nobu Kuala Lumpur
Level 56, Menara 3 Petronas, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur.
Open Monday-Friday, 12pm-2pm, 6pm-10.30pm; Saturday-Sunday, 1pm-4pm, 6pm-10.30pm. Reservations: 03-2164-5084 or 019-389-5085 (Whatsapp)
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