Kobo Nobu (Broadview / Danforth) - who's been?
Thinking about trying Kobo Nobu this weekend, but haven't found much online in the way of reviews (despite the chef's pedigree). Any info about this place would be appreciated.
I have been a fan of Tamaru san's cooking for a long long time. Having followed him from kitchen to kitchen, which included The Fifth, JOV Bistro, Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, Simple Bistro and Left Bank to name a few. At top of his game, he was regularly regarded as one of Toronto's best French Cuisine chef, easily rivaling iconic chefs the likes of Didier or Marc Thuet!
I was super excited to hear that Chef Tamaru has recently opened up a small cozy place mid town which offers a French/Japanese fusion Omakase menu. Tonight, braving the cold! Ha! I made a special trip from way up north to visit this favorite chef of mine.
The place was small with confusing 'weird' rustic decor that included wooden I-Beams traversing the ceiling, Bamboo plants placed next to hanging art-deco lamps.... and Oh! a couple of house cured whole leg of Prosciutto hanging on the wall. Weird indeed for a Japanese eatery!
We had the $45 Chef's Omakase menu which was requested a couple of days in advance. Our 4 course meal included the following:
- Braised Mennonite Pork Belly in Dashi broth.
- Grilled crispy Sardines salad
- Medley of seafood and grilled vegetables that included Miso Black Cod, Crispy Skin Red Snapper and butter grilled giant BC prawns.
- Home made Apple and Japanese Yam pie with Chocolate/Black Sesame ice cream.
First off, I have to give a thousand 'wows' to that piece of amazingly delicious broiled Miso Black Cod. Perfectly marinated and cooked, it was, IMHO, even better than Nobu Matsuhisa's famous version!! The dollops of miso paste on top was mind blogging good!
The smoky aroma and taste of the butter grilled prawns was also mesmerizingly inviting, especially the crunchy head!. Pity they only offer us a single one, because I could easily eat a handful!
The Sardine that goes with the salad was almost as enjoyable. Crispy outside and moist inside it was kicked up a few notches with an incredibly tasty honey mustard miso paste topping. They should bottle and sell this product and make a fortune!
Those two pieces of Mennonite pork belly easily bested Momofuku's version! Melt in the mouth tender with foie gras like textured fatty part, the tasty dashi broth was a brilliant 'grease-cutting' component.
The apple pie was good but nothing overly special. However, the same cannot be said about that great tasting ice-cream. The combination of dark chocolate with black sesame was a mastery touch! So good!
Overall, the meal was most enjoyable. My only criticism was an in-balance feeling caused by the lacking of any carbohydrates in all the savory dishes. A small bowl of Soba noodles to finish off the meal would be most ideal!
Service was friendly but extremely slow. At times one of the chef/owner has to come out of the kitchen to lend a helping hand. I hate to imagine what a busy Saturday night will be like?!