Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Nobu Restaurant, KL, Malaysia

Level 56, Menara 3 Petronas, 
Persiaran KLCC, 
50088 Kuala Lumpur,

If you're a foodie, especially if you have a weakness for Japanese cuisine, you're likely to have heard of Nobu as it's a reasonably high profile restaurant franchise with worldwide exposure. If you're living in California, you don't need any introduction because Nobu Matsuhisa, a celebrity chef, started his now successful Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine restaurants in Hollywood.

For those who haven't heard about Nobu, here's a little background. Nobu opened his 1st restaurant "Matsuhisa" in Beverley Hills and shot to fame as it was frequented by many Hollywood personalities including Robert De Niro, who later became his business partner. 2 celebrities is better than 1 in business.

 The Place 
Celebrity alone is no guarantee for good taste, but I've heard good thing about their standard. So we decided to try them out while we visited KL. Their central and more importantly lofty location in KL gave us one more impetus for going there.

We have been dining in elevated restaurants in new cities we visited, at least once, so that we could feast our eyes of the panoramic cityscape while feasting on good grubs, killing 2 birds with 1 stone (or as the Chinese say, killing 2 condors with 1 arrow). We had yum-cha in the Michelin Tin Lung Heen at the Ritz-Carlton in HK, and dined in the Michelin French restaurant in Robuchon au Dôme in Grand Lisboa in Macau. These previous dining experiences had been nice (despite my vertigo), and so we'd like to continue this tradition.

Cityscape Panorama, as viewed from Nobu restaurant, KL, Malaysia
At least 120° panorama of the city below our table. One of Petronas Tower is one the right side of the photo
(Click to enlarge)

We were initially thinking of going up to the Observation Desk of the Petronas Twin Tower. Having learnt that its admission ticket is a steep price of RM85, we thought we might as well look at the view from Nobu while leisurely dine there (I may have already been to the Observation Desk some years ago from my increasingly unreliable memory).

Nobu restaurant situates on L56 of Tower 3 of Petronas. Yep, we only know of Petronas Twin Towers, but there's a Tower 3.

While Nobu isn't located as high as the Observation Desk (L86), but its considerable higher than the Skybridge (L41).

Petronas Twin Tower Skybridge, as viewed from Nobu restaurant, KL, Malaysia
The Skybridge as seen from where we sat

We came in 6:30pm, and was the 1st group of diners. We didn't really see majority of the diners come in until after 7:30pm. The sunsets in KL is around 7:10 to 7:20pm. Because we came in 6:30pm, we were treated with cityscape in the changing hues from late afternoon, dusk, to nighttime scenery. Why should only our palates get all the pleasure?

Cityscape Panorama, as viewed from Nobu restaurant, KL, Malaysia

Cityscape Panorama, as viewed from Nobu restaurant, KL, Malaysia

Cityscape Panorama, as viewed from Nobu restaurant, KL, Malaysia
In the foreground is Fraser Residence where we stayed for 2 nights, and the massive Wilayah Mosque with
its towering minarets could be seen in the middle of the background
(Click to enlarge)

We also visited the huge Wilayah Mosque a few days later. To read about more about it  

Iluminated Public Bank, Cityscape Panorama, as viewed from Nobu restaurant, KL, Malaysia
Illuminated Public Bank

Iluminated Public Bank, Cityscape Panorama, as viewed from Nobu restaurant, KL, Malaysia
The same Public Bank if you're wearing special filter goggle,
or just took some mind altering drug.

Fountain show, as viewed from Nobu restaurant, KL, Malaysia
Fountain show as viewed from Nobu restaurant

Nobu is far more familiar by Californian than Asian. So far only a number of Nobu restaurants had been opened in Asian capital cities. KL is the 1st Nobu opened in SE Asia, and there's no Nobu in Singapore. According to the staff, it's because the rents are too expensive in Singapore. For Singaporean foodie, this is the nearest Nobu opens near you.

 The Food 
I guess i should talk about the food. We didn't order the signature dish of Black Cod in Miso. According to Nobu, after he recommended this dish to Robert De Niro to try, and he liked it, and so as the words got out, the price of black cod went from 50 cents a pound to $12 a pound.

Receipt, Nobu restaurant, KL, Malaysia
The most expensive thing is, as usual, the sparkling water.
The approx exchange rate at the time of dining is 1 USD = 4 MYR (Malaysian Ringgit)

We didn't try the signature dish because our waiter recommended omakase. This is a 5 courses meal with 3 entrees, 1 main, and 1 dessert. The exact dishes would be decided by the chef on the day. Well, why not? Unlike Ada who would pore over a menu like some mothers pore over photos of their match-making websites in search of their prospective kids-in-laws . This would save her agony of decision (or indecision).

White fish with uni (sea urchin), Nobu restaurant, KL, Malaysia
White Fish with Uni (sea urchin)
Not at all fishy as one would expect from sea urchin.

yellowtail with Matsuhisa dressing, Nobu restaurant, KL, Malaysia
Yellowtail with Matsuhisa Dressing
Quite fresh and appetising

Squid pasta, Nobu restaurant, KL, Malaysia
Squid Pasta

rib eye with truffle rocoto miso
Rib Eye with Truffle Rocoto Miso
While it isn't as rare as i would like, it was still quite juicy and tender. Interesting sauce.

chocolate salan dagi, Nobu restaurant, KL, Malaysia
Chocolate Salan Dagi
Love the nuts.

Overall score: 8.5 /10. This is a testimony of their high standard as these were random choices, not our fave dishes.

Refreshingly original, and easy to go down as i would expect from Japanese cuisine. I managed to finish all 5 courses without feeling fed up because except for the filling main, the rest was seafood that were lightly cooked and easily to digest.

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