Noted Chef Nobu Matsuhisa recently opened his 15th restaurant at the Waikiki Parc Hotel this past year in Hawaii. Iâ€™ve been wanting to visit a Nobuâ€™s for over a year now, ever since I researched eateries for the east coast trip that I took last year.
Having wrapped up teaching my first course at UH, Michelle thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the milestone with dinner at Nobuâ€™s. Never one to turn down fine dining and fine company, I said yes.
After a little trouble locating the Waikiki Parc Hotel (Itâ€™s across the street of the Halekulani Resort) we finally found our way through the doors of this trendy new fine dining eatery. We had a 7:45 reservation and made it just in time. The restaurant was filled with a mixture of tourists and locals (okay, maybe more tourists than locals). The ambience was nice and the restaurant had a contemporary Japanese feel to it which is fitting since they do serve â€œnew style Japanese.â€ Once we checked in with the concierge, we were immediately seated. We sat in the couples section, meaning, all tables within our proximity were for seating for 2. The tables were parked closely to each other, especially the tables for 2, but I guess this goes with the Japanese experience. In Japan, everyone and everything is shoulder to shoulder! We could clearly hear the conversations of the couple seated to the right and left of us. The food more than made up for this slight annoyance.
Less than 5 minutes after being seated we were greeted by our very friendly and knowledgeable waiter. We decided on some edamame as a starter along with some spicy tuna, California rolls and a platter of oysters. For my entrÃ©e, I had the organic chicken with anticucho and teriyaki sauce (I couldnâ€™t decide on the anticucho or teriyaki so my waiter gave me both, score!). Michelle chose the tempura plate for her main entrÃ©e. Both of our entrÃ©es came with a hearty serving of miso soup, a bowl of rice (nice serving of rice but might not suffice those who are used to plate lunch portions) and tsukemono (vegetables such as daikon pickled Japanese style). Other vegetables that are traditionally pickled in the tsukemono style include umeboshi (ume plum), turnip, cucumber and cabbage. To supplement these wonderful delights, I ordered some Kirin Ichiban. I love Japanese beer!
Service was quick, our edamame arrived a few minutes after placing our order as did a surprise serving of greens with Matsuhisa dressing. Kitchen staff (and not our waiter) deliver the food, so you know that your food is served as soon as it is prepared. The edamame was served just the way I like it, slighted heated and with a dash of salt. Next came the miso soup and tsukemono. The miso soup was indeed tasty, and to my surprise was not flooded with green onions! Iâ€™m not the biggest pickled vegetable fan, but I did have a taste of the daikon, again, not the biggest fan. The oysters, oh the oysters. I love raw oysters, and these oysters were splendid.
Our appetizers shortly followed the miso soup and tsukemono. The California rolls were as good as any that I have tasted. Of course, it was far superior to Cal rolls served at Genki Sushi but on par with the cheaper Sushi Man (located on King Street). I didnâ€™t get a chance to taste the spicy tuna (raw fish is not a favorite of mines) but Michelle did say that it was tasty.
We were both stuffed by the time our entrÃ©es came out, but like the good eaters that we both are, we trucked on! The tempura plate was quite a large portion. It was filled with a variety of tempura items, from the large pieces of shrimp tempura to the crunchy asparagus and the always interesting lotus root. Finishing off the tempura plate was a challenge, albeit a tasty one! The organic chicken with anticucho sauce was such a delight! I love my chicken and the chicken at Nobuâ€™s did not disappoint. Again, the serving was plentiful. It was grilled to perfection. The jalapeno on the side was unnecessary for me.
No fine dining experience is complete without dessert. We sure did dessert! Rather than settling on one desert we haphazardly splurged on two delights, the milk chocolate â€œcremosoâ€ (based on the waiters recommendation) and a pistachio desert whose name evades me at the moment. The milk chocolate cremoso came with a lilikoi curd and gelee, Nobu cabernet caviar and peanut butter powder. The cremoso did not disappoint. The finely grated peanut butter powder was amazing when combined with the cremoso. If heaven exists, then they must serve Nobuâ€™s cremoso.
We left Nobuâ€™s both satisfied with the service and stuffed with the food. The restaurant validates so parking is free if you park in the hotel lot. No valet service at the Waikiki Parc, but thatâ€™s no biggie.
If youâ€™re interested in tasting great food in a nice ambience with good and fast service then definitely give Nobuâ€™s a try. And donâ€™t forget to ask for the cremoso when its time for desert.
2233 Helumoa Road
Honolulu, HI 96815