Sunday, November 27, 2011

Nobu's Cooking: seriously beautiful food

I woke up dreaming of pâté de campagne. It was that good. Nobu's cooking is flavorful, hearty, and yet I felt like I was eating a cloud when I tasted the mousse de poivron rouge avec consommé en gelée (roasted red pepper mousse with jelly for my fellow Americans)- so soft, so delicate. 

A lot of time and preparation goes into this kind of food.  I know because I watched Nobu spend the day in my kitchen prepping for the evening's tasting event. BlackCat delivered  some things he had prepared in Tokyo as well as the seafood from his vendor at Tsukiji Fish Market. This is the kind of food that I like to eat when I go to a restaurant because I can't cook it- no time, no skill, and no patience.

We hosted a tasting party having no idea what Nobu planned for us. At first we stood about the table thinking we would nibble this and taste that, an hour later, I got the chairs. This was serious eating, and we were not fully prepared for it- the table was a hodge podge of plates and glasses with chopsticks and spoons every which way, cans and bottles littered the scene, candles were melting, and trays were in the way. We tried eleven dishes and five bottles of wine- too much for one night, but it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for tasting everyday food laboriously prepared and transformed into something wholly new.

My favorite dish was the homard en croûte (lobster wrapped in pastry), but then I love pastry and lobster so it doesn't get much better than that for me. The boeuf à la Bourguignonne melted in your mouth. His yuzukoshō saucisson, handmade chicken sausages with yuzu peel and spicy peppers singed my mouth in a pleasant way and made me think of beer. His etuvée de légumes aux demux coriandres was al dente and subtle. The slabs of pâté de campagne were so good that I think he should sell it for the holidays- a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, a jar of cornichons,  a few slices of pâté de campagne, and a tarte in a basket! That could keep him busy until the restaurant can open, and then the rest of us would have our tastebuds singing with joy, and I could get my basket delivered! 

This morning Fu and Nobu returned to Tokyo to focus on restaurant renovations. The pot of bouillabaisse was left behind. At lunch I marveled, again, at the depth of flavor and the heartiness of the soup with it's chunks of fish, shrimp, scallop, and mussels. It was so beautiful, the soup, that I thought of it like a great wonder as it slipped past my taste buds and soaked into the bread. This is food so beautiful, it could make you cry.

We will visit the restaurant which will open within a month's time in Hatagaya, two stations away from Shinjuku. I hope this post will inspire some of you to seek out Bistrot Nobu. Please enjoy the photos which do not do justice to the wondrous tastes of Nobu's cooking. The joy of food; the beauty of Nobu's cooking. I was really impressed. Bon appétit!

Bistrot Nobu: 105  2-9-12 Hatagaya Shibuya-ku, TokyoTel:  03 6300 9373 Homepage:

Mousse de Poivron Rouge avec Consommé en Gelée Bistrot Nobu Tasting
Bouillabaisse Bistrot Nobu Tasting 
Homard en croûte Bistrot Nobu Tasting 
Nobu cooking in our kitchen for the Bistrot Nobu Tasting party
Boeuf à la Bourguignonne Bistrot Nobu Tasting 
Pâté de Campagne Bistrot Nobu Tasting 
Rôti de Porc et épinards avec gnocchi Bistrot Nobu Tasting 
Yuzukoshō Saucisson Bistrot Nobu Tasting
Etuvée de légumes aux deux coriandres Bistrot Nobu Tasting
Choucroute Garnie Bistrot Nobu Tasting
Crème caramel Bistrot Nobu Tasting

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