Nobu Waikiki

Located in the Parc Hotel on 2233 Helumoa Road, Nobu Waikiki has had mixed but many rave reviews. I was hesitant to try it because I had heard that the cost of dining there can be very expensive. However, with the 3 course prix fixe special for $32 during Restaurant Week, I was given my opportunity.

Our party had reservations for 5:30 p.m. when the restaurant opens. Ron & I got there at 5:25 p.m. and the bar and restaurant were empty. We waited in the bar for the rest of our party. While we were in the bar, two waiters asked us if we wanted to see the wine list. We declined each time.

At 5:30 p.m. the other couple arrived and we were seated in the restaurant. We asked to sit in a booth. Wrong choice. The booth is in front of the sushi bar but the booth seats sink down. We then requested to sit on a round table with wooden chairs.  Again we were asked if we wanted to see the wine list. There was just another party in the restaurant at that time. When we left at 7:30 p.m., the restaurant was packed.

Nobu Waikiki describes its food as being neo Japanese cuisine with a subtle South American influence. Nobu’s eating concept is to serve foods family style and share. There are cold dishes ranging from Nobu Style sashimi tacos ($18) to Lobster Salad with Spicy Lemon Dressing ($46). Hot dishes include Black Cod Saikyo Miso ($23), Eggplant Miso ($12), Baby Abalone with Light Garlic Sauce ($40), and Ribeye ($48). Sushi range from $3 – $13/piece.  Tempura range from $3 – $14 for 2 pieces.

Nobu dinners which include entree, salad, miso soup, rice, and tsukemono range between $32 to $38. Entrees include organic chicken ($32), beef tenderloin ($40), ocean trout ($37), sashimi ($38), sushi ($38), or tempura ($34).

Although we perused the menu briefly, the main reason we went there was to try the prix fixe menu and support the Culinary Institute.  Ron and FS ordered the Black Cod Saikyo Miso. NS chose the sushi and I, being the carnivore that I am, ordered the beef tenderloin with wasabi pepper sauce. Our meal came with a choice of the three different salads, field green with Matsuhisa dressing, shiitake salad, or heart of palm salad.

Ron ordered the field green salad with dressing on the side, which was a good thing, as the dressing was spicy and would have been too flavorful for him. NS had the shiitake salad which was a mixture of green and shiitake mushrooms. It looked good. However, NS said that the sauce was too spicy and tart. FS and I had the hearts of palm salad which I really liked. It was a bit spicy but not overbearing.

Both Ron and FS enjoyed their Black Cod Saikyo Miso which was served with a bowl of white rice. This fish was tasty, flavorful, delicate and flaky. NS’s sushi dinner included tamago, hamachi, salmon, and ebi nigiri sushi and tekka maki. NS said the sushi was FRESH and that there was more sashimi than rice which she prefers.

My tenderloin was supposed to be medium but it came out more medium rare (red instead of pink). The server asked if my steak was to my liking and I said it was fine. I normally like my steak more well done but decided that it was okay especially if I took home any leftovers. The wasabi pepper sauce was a good choice since I did not want a sweet sauce. The tenderloin was very good and recommended. It came with a bowl of white rice and different types of mushrooms.

Our dessert was a fresh pineapple crisp with a scoop of yogurt which was quite different but good.

Dinner was a winner. Ron said it was a pit pricey for what we got. The service was professional and we didn’t spend very much to sample Nobu Waikiki. I recommend this restaurant for a treat and especially if money is not an object. Dinner for two was $64++ but that was without any drinks and on a prix fixe menu. Call 237-6999 for reservations.

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