New Style

July 5, 2013 | By Yu Shing Ting

Discover new dishes on the menu at Nobu.

Discovering there’s a Nobu in the city you’re in is like finding another must-see attraction you just have to squeeze into the itinerary.

Located in the lobby of the chic Waikiki Parc Hotel, Nobu Waikiki offers the same award-winning “New Style” Japanese cuisine found at Nobu restaurants across the globe, including Nobu’s legendary Black Cod with Miso and Yellowtail Jalapeno.

Depending on the time of year, you might even see chef Nobu Matsuhisa himself concocting a new culinary masterpiece in the kitchen or chatting with guests in the dining room.

“Nobu usually comes twice, sometimes three times a year,” says Casper Khamphouy, general manager. “He does like Hawai’i a lot and he has a lot of friends here.”

During Nobu’s visit to Hawai’i last fall, he introduced the Hearts of Palm Pepperoncini ($20), a tasty vegan dish featuring hearts of palm from the Big Island that are cut like shoestring pasta and sauteed with olive oil and garlic.

Also relatively new to the menu is the Tasmanian Ocean Trout Jalapeno Ponzu ($34) which is pan-seared to a medium rare, and served with tomato, onion, ikura and Jalapeno ponzu.

There’s also the Scallop & Uni New Style ($39), which is a perfect example of the type of dish one can expect at Nobu. Layered with julienned ginger and chives, and seared with a mix of hot sesame and olive oil, then sprinkled with sesame seeds and finished with yuzu soy sauce; this exquisite dish offers a nice combination of creamy uni on top of softly textured scallops that just comes together in perfect harmony.

Of course, the signature Black Cod with Miso is a must at any Nobu. Marinated in a sweetened miso sauce, broiled to a caramelized top, and reglazed for a perfect finish; the flaky, buttery fish will just melt in your mouth.

As for dessert, Nobu Waikiki welcomed pastry chef Jenny Sumpter last August and recently introduced a new dessert menu. Among the favorites is the Banana Cheesecake ($13), which is gluten-free and features a soft, fluffy Japanese-style cheesecake with a cashew crust, a scoop of a refreshing pineapple sorbet, and served with milk chocolate pearls on top and strawberry preserves on the side.

Earlier this year, Nobu Waikiki also started offering a gluten-free menu by customer request.

There are 27 Nobu restaurants around the world, including one on Lana’i, which opened last December, and the most recent addition in the Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace in Las Vegas that opened in April. The next Nobu is scheduled to open in Monte Carlo this September.

“Each restaurant has its own personality, and it’s kind of reflective of the city that they are in,” says Khamphouy. “[As for the food] many of the dishes are the same, but each chef kind of has the ability to create their own dishes and make their own impression on guests.

“In Hawai’i, we try to focus on using more local ingredients, such as vegetables from Nalo Farms, kurobuta pork belly, and local fish like opakapaka.”

Nobu Waikiki is open for dinner daily with happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and late night happy hour from 10 p.m. on Sundays.

Reservations are recommended, except for the sushi bar and bar/ lounge which is open on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers in the sushi bar and bar/lounge also can order from the dining room menu.

World-renowned, award-winning, classy and hip, Nobu has become the place to see and be seen, but it’s also the place to go for an overall nice dining experience.

Waikiki Parc Hotel
2233 Helumoa Road [D:7 Waikiki Map]
(808) 237-6999
Sunday through Thursday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. To 10:30 p.m.
*Bar opens at 5 p.m., dining room opens at 5:30 p.m.
**On Sundays, the bar and lounge stays open to 2 a.m. with a limited sushi menu available til midnight

Photos: Leah Friel