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Nubo Japanese Tapas. Victoria BC

 Chef D and I are believers in  the golden rule of food.

The locals know where to eat better than the internet does. In the case of NUBO, the locals and the internet agreed.

I was personally a little nervous about the idea of Japanese tapas, wondering about the description we had read which was vague. Japanese style tapas. That was really all we could find. There seemed to be a huge menu online to look at and most of it sounded excellent. So, we made a reservation for a late dinner and walked the 10 blocks or so from our hotel to try and find this place.

The neighbourhood looked very residential, there was construction and apartment buildings, and seemingly out of place there were two Japanese restaurants side by side. We will talk about the other one another day.

My first impression of NUBO was that it reminded me of MOMOFUKU noodle bar in New York. Very long skinny dining area and a seated bar surrounding the chefs who were working in the open. I liked the vibe but it did not marry up with what I had in my mind. I had heard words like “high end” and “fancy” so I was muddled walking in.

The hostess sat us at the bar and called something to the staff in Japanese, they all chorused  back with a response in Japanese. I was to learn that this was done every time a guest came in. Nice touch frankly.  I have scoured the internet to get the translation but I have not been able to find it, suffice to say it was an announcement that the guests had arrived. It was show time.

Chef D and I took full advantage of the huge menu, I began with Pickled Daikon , miso soup and edamame. Then took full advantage of the Valakas roll: imitation crab meat, bell pepper, spicy tuna, green onion, balsamic reduction, miso, aioli, deep fried.
It does not sound like a ton of food but after that and sampling some of Chef D’s Octopus and Roll, (we had been eating all day) I was very full.

My thoughts on NUBO are that I would like to go there more hungry than I was . There is a lot of menu that I would have liked to explore and didn't get there.

NUBO has got it right, they are the perfect blend of Japanese tradition, edgy takes on classic Japanese Cuisine, and an environment that makes you feel welcome no matter what walk of life you hail from.

 NUBO, I would like to return as quickly as I can , and I just may fast all day before I get there.

Cheers and Bon Appétit,
Whiskey G


10/10


  We were greeted by the entire staff upon entering NUBO,  and escorted to a couple seats near the end of the bar. I was thirsty, and immediately picked up the cocktail menu. Obviously this place pays attention to detail. The drink menu was large, filled with trendy drinks, most of which had a small Japanese twist to them to make them unique.  I’m a big fan of the flavour of Shiso leaves, so Whiskey and I ordered up “shiso mojitos”, and started to peruse the food menu while our drinks were made.

  The cuisine at NUBO is modern Japanese, with attention payed to the aesthetics of the plates, well conceived colour combinations and negative space are utilized in a thoughtful way. The noticeable restraint in many flourishes shows experience and respect for the cuisine.

  I ordered up a bowl of wasabi octopus for a starter as I sipped my refreshing drink. It was what you might expect from a bowl of lightly seasoned raw octopus: cold, slimy, a bit chewy. At first I really enjoyed it, the creeping heat from the wasabi played nicely with the cold, fresh seafood and the nori strips it was served with added that right amount of salt, but after a half bowl of it I was fatigued of the chewing and of the flavour.

 For the rest of my meal I kept to the sushi roll part of the menu.  It was definitely the prettiest sushi I have ever had, and easily some of the best tasting too. Ultra-fresh seafood with flawless rice. The highlight for me was the “mango tango” roll. Mango, salmon, cream cheese and avocado. After slowly munching on a couple rolls, I was full, but that wasn’t going to stop me from trying one last thing. I ordered a chef’s choice, which turned out to be a rainbow roll. It was beautiful. It was also big. I had a few pieces and then asked for the remainder to be packed up.

  Returning back to the hotel, (shout out to Paul’s Motor Inn) I bestowed my leftovers to the awesome and helpful desk attendant who was very enthusiastic about us visiting NUBO and our foodie weekend in general. I think he was genuinely appreciative, as I’m not sure he had left that desk in what very well could have been days.

In sum, I think NUBO strikes a great balance of modern and funky with traditional Japanese, it doesn’t seem forced or trendy fo the sake of trendy. It oozes high quality from every facet and the restraint shown in the food and menu shows a wealth of experience and smarts.

Cheers and bon appétit
D.

9/10








Nubo Japanese Tapas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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