Since Nobu Singapore opened its doors at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore this month, executive chef Hideki Maeda and his culinary team have been serving up a tried-and-tested repertoire of signature Japanese-Peruvian dishes that are also available in other Nobu outlets across the globe.
Maeda tells us that with the opening menu, “about 70 per cent are classic dishes”, while the remaining 30 per cent can be used to flex their creative muscles. Having said that, Maeda would often stay back in the kitchen after dinner service to work on original creations that would surprise their new and loyal fans.
The opportunity to showcase a Singapore-exclusive menu came when Nobu collaborated with Johnnie Walker to create original dishes inspired by the Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Available from July 4 to 13, the menu will be served as part of Tatler’s Blue Vault dinner series, a curation of experiences launched to celebrate our 40th anniversary this October.
Japanese cuisine—which is known for its fresh and delicate flavours—is not commonly paired with blended Scotch whiskies because of their stronger taste profiles. However, Maeda found the perfect balance between the two, as showcased in his sharing-style seven-course menu consisting of classic and novel dishes that are paired or infused with the Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
Nobu’s cuisine is famed for presenting the season’s best harvest, and you’ll be able to taste it in his starter of French oysters prepared Nobu style. It was made to whet the appetite with the freshly shucked, briny oysters served two ways—the first is bathed in lemon juice and topped with uni and caviar for extra indulgence, and the second is crowned with a special Maui salsa made with tomatoes and orange juice. The add-ons amplify the oysters’ ocean-fresh flavours, ensuring they can hold their own when paired with the Blue Label. Furthermore, the whisky is served neat to accentuate its distinct notes of berry fruits, citrus and wisps of smoke.
The succeeding dishes are from the classic menu—yellowtail sashimi garnished with coriander, ginger and chives, then marinated in ponzu, soy sauce and sesame oil; and tuna sashimi salad doused in Matsuhisa’s umami-packed dressing, concocted with onions, soy sauce and vinegar. To give the palate a break, the salad is accompanied by the potent but well-balanced Kemuri, mixed with the Blue Label, of course. The cocktail also serves as the palate cleanser before the heavier mains, which fittingly begins with Nobu’s iconic grilled black cod coated in sweet miso sauce.