Cover Rack of lamb whisky vanilla miso

The seven-course menu inspired by the Johnnie Walker Blue Label features new and signature dishes, and will be available for a limited period next month

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.

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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.

After the cod comes another crowd-pleasing creation—the rack of lamb which Maeda created just for this collaboration menu. The fork-tender lamb is served in a pool of Blue Label-infused vanilla miso sauce that tempers the meat's gaminess with its smooth and velvety flavours.

Before Maeda closes the meal with desserts, he offers diners another treat with a selection of classic sushi, one of which is topped with uni which, he shares, is “a good match with the whisky”.

Ending the delectable meal is the pastry team’s deconstructed banana and mango dessert, offering varying textures and flavours with its combination of vanilla crust, caramelised pecan nuts, vanilla-whisky cream and whisky ice cream.

The collaboration menu with Johnnie Walker is the first time Nobu Singapore is offering new dishes. As Maeda shares: “We want to offer diners something to look forward to.”

The Blue Vault dinner series at Nobu is available from July 4 to 13, and is limited to eight seats per day. Reservations must be made online or through 6831 7653  at least three days in advance. The restaurant will require a credit card authorisation to prevent cancellations. Cancellations within 48 hours will be charged the full payment.

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