Thursday, May 02, 2013


Robert De Niro and Nobu Matsuhisa have one of their restaurants in Perth's Crown Casino, Nobu. (Not "De Niro", note.)

No booking, you turn up, no problem - you sit at the sushi bar! Irrashaimase!


There is a thin slice of beetroot amongst the sashimi! WTF, beetroot is everywhere. It's like wasabi and arugola and thick balsamic. Later, you see two chefs working, one reaches across to the other one's plate-in-progress and places a thin slice of beetrot on the pile of grated/julienned white radish. Next to the wasabi and the arugola.

You eat a sashimi tuna taco and a sashimi lobster taco. Of course you do, it's a fusion restaurant, you're paying enormously for this level of weird.

Beer (nice, never heard of it, some white ale), that sweet whiskey cocktail (12yo Yamizaki, green ginger wine, maple syrup), chilled sake: there was now a diffuse glow, an aura of saturated radiance, about anyone who is standing under bright lights. The four sushi chefs, in their white netted caps, glowing like aliens as they peeled leaf after leaf from the coriander stems for the salad, or stacked the maki rolls just so...

Is the waitress Filipina? Or Malaysian? Or Australian? Certainly a beginner - she was being told off trained about the way she described the menu to you. Hamachi with jalapeños? Mm-mm, sounded good to you.

Chef's choice of sashimi. Chef is a boring fuck. Some tuna with ginger and chives is as outrageously adventurous/expensive as you get. And beetroot.

Next. Sliced octopus and mushrooms in a citrus sauce baked in a small paella pan. Too citrusy for you. Nice tentacles though, shame about the face.

You have to go to the toilet and find it around two corners, a large open room, built for one, tough lock, but you get it eventually. The wall behind the cistern is made up of lots of small (max is maybe 4cm across), clear perspex circles, what would you call them, tablets (as in pills), various sizes, set into the gray plaster-like support material. Three ceiling spots shine down. It looks like there are disks of gray material behind, or is it IN, each of the perspex disks at the back, slightly overlapping each other, but no: it was an optical illusion; these shapes were merely the genuine colour of the solid wall behind the disk, while the shadow from the lights has managed to keep clear an arc across the top part of the rear of the disk, one for each of the down-lights. You take one hand from your cock and use it (your hand) to block the light from one of the down-lights and one of layers of posterior/interior disks has gone, this confirms your brilliant insight. It was very cool, very weird and very hard to describe, obviously. You wish you had taken a picture, but you are reluctant to take your phone/camera out in a toilet again, not after that last incident with the Masonic guy and his young piglet...

Pork belly, cubed to chopstick-able proportions with, what is that?, chopped jalapeños again? Still a little bit left on the plate, plus at most a smear of the delicious sauce, just one cube of the pork belly, but the sake mug was empty. Do you order another small carafe and look like a drunk or finish the rather dry pork with a dry mouth? Ah, mineral water. OK, you'll just look at the sake menu again. Hey, why not another whiskey cocktail? Because, is why.

And so you do look at the sake menu again and suddenly everything you've ever known about sake goes flying and you admit to yourself that, while it wasn't all that much, at least it was something, but now you may as well know nothing as what you are looking at makes no sense: ginjo, daiginjo, junmai? they don't help. It's only the regions that they show and you know nothing about that. Nothing.

The small things are in your mind:

- The Ethiopian taxi driver's story of oppression.

- The security guard who walked you all the way over from the casino to the restaurant, was he trying to pick you up?

- The chef placing a dab of (miso?) sauce on a tiny square of coriander leaf on a sliver of jalapeño on a thin slice of hamachi and it caught, and the coriander fell off and the slice of yellowtail was stained with the dripping sauce, and fuck it, that's what happens and he puts it all back together again. And then the pepper shaker is blocked and nothing comes out and he can't decorate the plate, so he goes looking for a toothpick; seriously, this happens.

- The fact you awkwardly pulled out two $5 notes from your wallet as you went to tip the waitress, but she saw you as you pushed one back in.

- The bill, no, that wasn't such a small thing.

OK, just one more whiskey syrup cocktail for the road... Oishi! Campai! Whatever!



savannah said...

you're paying enormously for this level of weird.

i HAVE to find a way to work this into every conversation i have this weekend, sugarpie! xoxoxoxo

Skippy-san said...

Totemo Bakka deshou? Nobu-san no ryori wa oshii desu keredo takii! Taihen ne?

expat@large said...

Sav: me too!

Skippy: I have some opinions about this but perhaps we should take further discussion offline...

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