Together in Manila. First time this year (see most recently 6.361 Corn Butter Itame). Taking advantage of Children’s Day, which was a Korean national holiday Thursday. They flew in Wednesday night. We’ll be flying back to Seoul tomorrow.
Been looking forward to trying Nobu. Though I’m generally skeptical of hyped restaurants by celebrity chefs (see for example 7.035 WT Fuku?), the Nobu brand has sustained success for so long, arguably the most internationally successful of all time, that I had high hopes. Looking at the menu, I got so excited that “TEIN (Try Every Item at Nobu)” flashed thru my mind. The wife, who’d watched The Big Short on the plane coming here — the characters eat at Nobu to celebrate — and D, whose favorite food is sushi, were also both quite eager. Coulda been the perfect end to a perfect day, perfect weekend.
Alas, the food was very disappointing. From beginning to end, every dish was merely competent, or outright meh. Like the Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño, it tasted like yellowtail sashimi … in ponzu sauce … with a piece of jalapeño. And totally overpriced — the most expensive meal that we may have eaten as a family, and therefore the worst value.
THEORY : Nobu made his name with his first Matushisa restaurant at a time and a place and among a customer base — 1987, Beverly Hills, American movie stars — when and where and for whom Japanese food was a new thing, so the standards would’ve been quite low. That would seem to be his continuing business expansion strategy, as new restaurants pop up in places like Riyadh, Budapest, Cape Town, cities in which Japanese cuisine may still be a novelty.