Surprising burger boy with a birthday dinner at Nobu


burger boy & I have had some amazing Japanese both here in Perth, over east and in Japan so when we heard Nobu was coming to Perth we were pretty excited.

So I thought what better birthday surprise than a dinner at Nobu 🙂 I tried a bit of a decoy by driving the long way to Burswood…for a split second I did throw him a bit and make him think we were going to the city but that didn’t last long. When we got to Burswood, he knew we were either going to Nobu or Rockpool 🙂

Burswood looked amazing! The little water fountain we used to throw our coins into as kids for good luck has been replaced with this gorgeous silver feature wall and new restaurants everywhere…we walked past Modo Mia, Rockpool, the renovated Atrium and cocktail lounge on the way to Nobu.

Nobu was beautifully decked out with a wooden brown theme, with chandeliers on entry and in the restaurant area. There was a bar and lounge area as well as stools by the kitchen for diners wanting something a bit more casual.

We were taken to our seats as soon as we arrived, offered water and asked by our waitress if we had been to Nobu before. When we said it was our first time, she explained to us that Nobu is a family restaurant where meals are shared and their style of Japanese has a South American influence.

There was a good selection of wines, spirits, beers and cocktails to choose from. burger boy chose a Japanese beer, Sapporo…

Sapporo Japanese Beer, Nobu

We had visited the Sapporo brewery in Japan a couple of years ago 🙂 so it brought back memories!

I had a couple of glasses of the 2010 Cape Schanck Pinot Grigio which was light and refreshing.

Like all Japanese tapas restaurants, Nobu has cold and hot dishes on offer as well as the option to order the Omakase Set Menu for $150 per person.

We love our hot dishes so everything besides the wagyu taco ($10 each) was from the ‘hot’ menu…

Wagyu Taco, Nobu

The wagyu tacos were nice and left us wanting more but perhaps a tad too small for our liking.

The waitress who served us our tacos was astonished by how quick we ate it, we saw and heard her say “what, already?” when another waitress took our empty plates away 30 seconds later. burger boy and I don’t mess around 😉

Next to arrive were our oyster filos ($15 each)…

Oyster Filo, Nobu

In hindsight, we should have ordered the tempura scallops as the filo wasn’t as we had expected and you couldn’t really taste the oyster hidden underneath all the filo.

Then came our kushiyaki & anticucho prawn skewers ($19)…

Prawns Skewers, Nobu

We loved the size of the prawns – this dish was value for money! It was a smokey BBQ flavour which burger boy loved.

The tabon-yaki tenderloin beef ($32) was served on a sizzling plate…

Sizzling Beef, Nobu

This was nice but I do like my beef cooked quite well done, I tried cooking it in the sauce but burger boy reckons I just coated it with the sauce and hadn’t cooked at all 😉

We of course had the pork belly miso caramel ($27)…

Pork Belly, Nobu

This was delicious, the pork just melted and the flavours were yum. Again just wished there was more of it!

There was a 20 minute wait between our Pork Belly and our last dish, the teriyaki chicken $32…

Chicken Teriyaki, Nobu

Teriyaki chicken is my all time favourite Japanese dish so I’ve got high expectations and am very specific in the way I like this cooked and how Nobu did it and for $32 wasn’t as I liked.

Firstly there was more chicken breast than thigh in the dish…the breast was tender but it just doesn’t soak up the teriyaki flavours as well as the chicken thigh. Secondly, some of the chicken was missing the crispy skin I love.

My fav Japanese restaurant for teriyaki chicken is Jun in the city. The sauce is amazing, skin crispy, the chicken thigh is super tender and you can get a whole set for under $12 – see below:

The way I like my teriyaki chicken…

I still had heaps of room for dessert…I had the ichigo (strawberry) pannacotta with yuzu granita and lychee $15…

Ichigo (strawberry) Pannacotta with Yuzu Granita and Lych, Nobu

The lychee (bottom layer) was nice with the pannacotta but the granita was very sour and the pannacotta was just a tiny bit too thick for my liking.

burger boy had the satandagi (donuts) filled with white chocolate and ginger, coffee ice-cream and raspberry coulis $15…

Satandagi (donuts) filled with White Chocolate and Ginger, Coffee Ice Cream and Raspberry Coulis, Nobu

We should have really asked how strong the ginger flavour was as the one bite I had of the donut wasn’t great. I was pretty quick to get back into my pannacotta 😉 The ice-cream was nice though.

I can’t say I fell in love with the tapas at Nobu but the service was fantastic and the setting was beautiful. It’s great for a special occasion and worth the try but in terms of going back, if I was to spend the same amount of money ($250 for the two of us with a couple of drinks each) I’d try Rockpool next. If you’ve been following my food blog, you’ll know I can’t stand being hungry after a meal and after our last dish I was still a bit hungry…lucky the pannacotta filled me up.

And for those of you who are trying to work out what to wear to Nobu. I wore a strapless dress and burger boy wore a shirt & trousers. There were also lots of guys in jeans and a shirt there too so it’s not completely formal. Thought this might be handy as I couldn’t find the answer via Google when trying to work out what was appropriate attire for Nobu.

All in all, we had a lovely evening at Nobu but the hot dishes didn’t meet our high expectations, it was nice but not amazing. I have heard from other Perth foodies that the cold dishes are amazing though – the raw fish salad is apparently a standout.

Let me know if you’ve been to Nobu and your experience – I’m keen to know if we’re just fussy, it was just their hot dishes that weren’t stand outs or if you’ve thought the same as us.

Nobu Perth on Urbanspoon



About Author

I have foodie cravings all the time and sometimes at very odd hours, hence the name of this food blog, where I share my love for Perth food, writing and interviews with inspirational foodies who have made their mark in the food scene. I also own Crust Mount Lawley with my burger eating half burger boy and have a mini me who eats all my food, she goes by the name junior burger on the blog :)


  1. Great Review! You will love Rockpool I had mains and shared an entrée and dessert with my mum and was sooooo full I couldn't eat all the dessert! The side dishes are very generous!
    • Thanks Denise. Rockpool looked very intriguing with the door and passage way as we walked past...and the menu looked great :) Love a good portion so looking forward to it! Might be for burger boy & I's two year wedding anni ;)
  2. Thanks for a great review of Nobu! I've been wanting to visit but I'm worried about the prices and portion sizes!! With regards to rockpool - give them a go, the experience is fun and romantic. And the portion sizes aren't bad considering the prices... BUT the meat dishes are just meat on a plate. Sound bizarre? yes, and the sides are way too big for just 1 person so you all have to get meat and sides or you're better off getting a pasta or chicken dish. The partridge was beautiful. The first time we went it was fantastic - the service was great, food delicious and the experience worthwhile. But we've been back twice since and have been really disappointed. Probably won't go back again, purely because there are so many other restaurants popping up around Perth that need taste-testing! Happy Hunting.
    • Sweet thanks! We love our meat and know exactly what you mean. Without looking at the Rockpool menu in detail I think we'd be having a steak with a side of beans ;) Ah that's so annoying re your experiences - I reckon the best restaurants always deliver the same quality of food & service! Yep, us too re Nobu - we probably won't go back in a hurry unless someone has a birthday/special occasion there.
  3. I really want to try Nobu but I have heard mixed reviews about it! They offer a $45 lunch bento box with a bit of everything and a choice of a hot dish, do you think that would be a good way to test the waters? As for Rockpool I highly recommend it, we've been twice (once for our anni too!) - the food was amazing and the service was perfect every time. From experience if you decide on a deep fried or heavy side with your steak, I would suggest ordering a side salad to cut through the richness of it all!
    • I think regardless of the mixed Nobu reviews it's worth a try, I really think it's what you order and your personal tastes. Yep I reckon go for the lunch bento box or the Tepankyaki set menus $120 pp (see Perth Munchkin's raving Nobu review). Awesome! I've heard mixed reviews on Rockpool as well so glad to hear you've had awesome experiences every time Tiff. It's def on our list to try :) and yep we will try to be good and order a salad/veggies of some sort to balance the meatiness.
  4. How funny I just surprised my partner with a birthday dinner to Nobu on Saturday night for the big 3-0! I booked it weeks ago but ended up spilling the beans earlier in the day as I couldn't hold it in anymore! We had a mix of cold and hot dishes starting with the cold then going to hot and finishing with sushi and soup as was recommended by our wonderful friendly and helpful waitress! We started with a special of oysters 3 ways. Not too sure what they were called but the 3rd one with a special 'Nobu' sauce which tasted very much of soy and lemon was wonderful! Ordered some good old edamame to munch on during our wait between dishes then had the wagyu and lobster tacos which were lovely but I agree where a little too small especially at $10 each! Next we had the spicy creamy crab ($19) which was AMAZING and my highlight! It was crab meat topped with a spicy creamy sauce and I could have eaten two! There was a decent amount of crab which just melted in your mouth! Then we had the pork belly which was also a stand out with that wonderful sauce! We then enjoyed some miso which was nice although there were a little too many spring onions floating on top and no nice big bits of seaweed which a enjoy so much! Our miso was accompanied by some salmon and spicy scallop sushi rolls with 6 pieces of each. Both were lovely and fresh as you would expect but the spicy scallop were a stand out I guess as they were something we hadn't had before. It seemed like we got through the lot at top speed so I checked with birthday boy whether he wanted anything else before mentioning there was still a desert menu to conquer and I had my eye on the banana spring rolls! Luckily we didnt get anything else because my desert was huge with 2 banana spring rolls and a caramel type sauce in them as well as passionfruit puree and a scoop of sesame icecream on the side! Since we were celebrating we also got the bento box desert which included a choc lava style cake and green tea ice cream which was so delicious! All that topped off with a bottle of the daredevil sake and we were both stuffed and I was actually amazed when the bill only came to $225! (I had budgeted for at least $300!) Overall I was very impressed with the service, food and atmosphere - we had a beautiful table by the window overlooking the pool below. Only downside for me was leather seats! I was wearing a dress and 2 hours sat on them bare legged wasnt very nice at all! haha Also the table behind me for the first half of the meal had a horribly rude man who spoke to his partner in such a horrid way i was very happy when they left and then the table opposite us sat a very solemn family of four that didnt look like any of them wanted to even be there let alone together!
    • Nobu must be the place to go for surprise birthdays/occasions! In hindsight, I wish we had asked our waitress for recommendations on what to eat rather than picking ourselves. I got the chair more so because I like sitting upright / close to the table when I eat but I'm even more glad burger boy sat in the leather seat now! Thanks for sharing your Nobu experience :)
  5. I have not been to Nobu but I am really interested in having a good dinner there. You also said service was fantastic and that really attracts me as I really want to have a good night which is kind of rare these days. Based on the photos, they really know their stuff about Japanese cuisine, also they all look delicious. George recently to get a girlfriend
    • The service is def great and we had a lovely evening. We've just become a bit fussy with our Japanese tapas especially after our trip to Japan. Hope you enjoy your Nobu experience - look forward to hearing all about it George!

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