It’s Thursday night and instead of changing into my PJ’s and having a lazy night in (yes I know super glamorous it’s not! but it usually heralds the end of a long week and by then is well deserved). Instead, I’m getting dressed up for dinner at Nobu. Actually, confession time, this is the first time I’ve dined at Nobu outside of a sushi cooking class which I did earlier in the year, and I’m excited. Time to throw on some high(ish) heels, a cute black dress, straighten my unruly mop of hair and to enjoy an uber special ‘four-hands’ evening.
The Four Hands dinner is being hosted Chefs Nobu Matsuhisa and Giorgio Locatelli and earlier in the week Ishita and I spent some time in the kitchens of Nobu and Ronda Locatelli at Atlantis The Palm chatting about the diner – you can read about that here.
Whilst it might seem an unusual combination of cuisines – Italian and Japanese don’t usually go together – both chefs had earlier talked about how the ‘Four-Hands’ dinner played to both of their strengths as both chefs focus on using fresh, seasonal ingredients at the core of their menus. Giorgio had joked about how Chef Nobu was clever as he managed to charge expensive prices without even having to cook for this guests! and both Chefs had joked about how ‘four-hands’ was probably in reality something like forty four hands with the teams from both kitchens coming together to work out of the Nobu kitchen to prepare the six course menu.
The menu was cleverly designed to work up to a crescendo of flavors, much like you do with a cheese tasting. Starting with a lighter flavor and working towards a higher intensity of flavor over time.
Beef Tartare with Quail’s Egg and White Truffle ~ Ronda Locatelli
Selection of Sushi and Cutrolls ~ Nobu
Egg Yolk and Potato Ravioli with White Truffle ~ Ronda Locatelli
Chilean Sea Bass Dashi Ponzu with Truffle ~ Nobu
Pan Fried Veal with Potato Cake. Wild Mushrooms and White Truffle ~ Ronda Locatelli
Tofu Tiramisu ~ Nobu
Four Hands, or should I say Forty Four …
In terms of an evening, it was superb and delivered everything and more than I was expecting. With the exception of a slightly long wait between the first and second courses, which was fine as I was busy people watching, the rest of the evening flowed well and you would not know that two different teams were busy working behind the scenes to deliver a ‘one night only’ dinner experience.
I had been slightly concerned that it would feel like we were dining from two different menus, but this was not the case. Each dish seemed to build on and complement the previous one and, as planned, there was a definite crescendo of flavors. We ended on a subliminal high for me with the pan fried veal from Ronda Locatelli, our final savory dish of the evening.
During dinner there were a few firsts for me. Eating Beef Tartar with a pair of chopsticks was novel and not as impossible as it first seemed! Likewise, Tofu Tiramisu was a big hit despite my slight trepidation about tofu having a different texture and mouthfeel than marscapone cheese.
Silky soft beef tartare that melted in the mouth with a delicious soft egg yolk, perfectly crafted sushi that was cleverly balanced with soy and wasabi but delicate enough to be savored with just a slither of white truffle on top. Rich and delightful runny egg yolk covered in parmesan, wafer thin pasta and generous slices of truffle. Buttery delicate seabass which melted in my mouth followed by rich hearty veal with wild mushrooms and aromatic white truffle in abundance. And finally, an Italian Tiramisu made with a very Japanese ingredient ~ Tofu! It worked! and it worked oh so well! And within every mouthful, save for the dessert, fragrant, funky yet delicate, sweet and deliciously decadent ~ truffle ~ simply sublime!
That’s a hard one – out of the six we tasted three really stood out, the Egg yolk Ravioli, Chilean Sea Bass and Pan fried veal were exceptionally good and left me wanting to return another time for more! To choose one from the three would be super hard, but at a push, and it’s extremely close, I would choose the sweet, buttery soft sea bass from Nobu.
Loved everything about the Four-hands menu and concept and do hope we see more of Chefs Nobu and Locatelli coming together again as I really do think the menu combined really well. Every dish was presented well, tantalized my taste buds and really did work together and come together as one carefully orchestrated tasting menu. The final course, the tofu tiramisu blended the menu together further with the fusion of a traditional Italian classic prepared with a classic Japanese staple.
Overall a clever concept which was brilliantly executed and not at all quirky or whimsical. The menu was a clever celebration of the star of the show ~ the gorgeous white truffle ~ and was packed full of flavour and left me wanting to return for more! Overall, a clever menu and fun evening that made me smile and left me wanting an Encore!
Bravo!, Bellissimo – Giorgio Locatelli and team
Subarashi! すばらしい ! (It’s amazing! Awesome!) – Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and team.
Do check out my photos of the dishes we were served which are below. Without using a flash or good lighting its difficult to catch just how beautiful the dishes were presented, but I hope I’ve captured the essence.
Ps the evening was fun in more ways than one! Both chefs worked the floor effortlessly and regularly. Meeting guests, signing books and chatting about the menu with ease. Chef Nobu was even seen with headphones on working at the DJ booth at one stage!
[Disclaimer : I attended as a media invite, all opinions are my own. Images are taken by me.]
Beef Tartare with Quail’s Egg and White Truffle – Ronda Locatelli
A selection of sushi and Cutrolls – Nobu
Egg Yolk and Potato Ravioli with White Truffle – Ronda Locatelli
Perfectly cooked egg yolk bathed in white truffle – divine
Chilean Sea Bass Dashi Ponzu with Truffle – Nobu
Pan Fried Veal with Potato Cake. Wild Mushrooms and White Truffle – Ronda Locatelli
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