learn more about each of our residences

Image 83e4215485a29224 lg
Image 5c7fbee187013cfc lg
Image 284d0be1962f8230 lg

Photo 1 of 3

Photo 2 of 3

Photo 3 of 3

Jan 24, 2017

A Seat at the Table

It's a brisk Honolulu evening when I walk in the front doors of Nobu at Ward Village.

The restaurant is abuzz with activity as a small army of servers, chefs, and hosts busily dart through the dining room. A savory mix of tantalizing aromas hang in the air. Although the restaurant opened their doors only a few short weeks back, they've seen a steady surge of guests—including President Obama and his entourage—sit down for dinner in their new Honolulu digs. And for good reason: The more than 30 Nobu restaurants are some of the most esteemed in the world and their latest Honolulu location is no exception. However, this Nobu in particular has something special: a six- to eight-person teppan table where diners are privy to an unforgettable experience. And that's what's brought me here tonight.

Teppan, or teppanyaki, refers to a Japanese type of cooking where a meal is created over a large iron plate, directly in front of the diners. While this approach typically sees teppan chefs perform an elaborate series of tricks and pageantry, you won't find any of that here. Under the tutelage of Chef Itoh, a teppan expert who's in town to train other chefs at Nobu on his technique, there is no pomp involved. There's only a focused, deliberate, and highly planned 18-plate meal, broken into vegetable, seafood, and meat courses. It's precise and creative; simple and elegant. And while it may seem like a daunting amount of food, the portions are small and spaced out enough to ensure that it's not overwhelming.

We like to think of this as an omakase-type of approach to teppanyaki. We really wanted to let the ingredients shine. For our vegetable course, we're preparing all of our dishes very simply; we want to let their natural flavors come through. In that sense, this approach is really similar to our approach to sushi. It's what helped inspire us to create this opportunity for our guests. Just like with sushi, we want our dishes to go straight from the chef to the guest and not lose anything in the transition. To be fresh, simple, and delicious.

Matt Raso, Nobu Honolulu Executive Chef

With that, the first vegetable course, composed of an expertly cooked and simply prepared slice of eggplant, arrives. Just as chef Raso told me, it's utterly perfect in its simplicity. Just a few bites in, and it's clear that the experience really does mirror an omakase-type of meal. Following the vegetable course, we're treated to the seafood tasting, which consists of one of the most delicious dishes I've ever tasted, Big Island abalone. "To me, our Big Island abalone is something we had to include. Again, it's a simple preparation, but you're able to fully taste the abalone for what it is."

Our final tasting, which is composed of a variety of meat, was truly something special. In addition to a few delectable slices of steak, we were treated to the hero of the evening: melt-in-your-mouth lamb chops, perfectly cooked and seasoned. The entire table agreed this dish was heavenly. Visions of the lamb, which was paired with a miso-rosemary sauce, will be floating through my head for some time. "Yes, the lamb is really delicious," adds chef Raso with a gentle smile. "We wanted to find the best quality ingredients and let their natural flavors shine, but there are certain dishes, like this lamb, where we can step in and enhance the flavors a bit like we've done with the rosemary-miso sauce."

Those lucky enough to get a seat at Nobu's teppan table are in for a culinary experience—which typically lasts about two hours—they'll be talking about for years to come. As one of only five Nobu locations to feature teppanyaki, it's clear that the team at Nobu has gone all-in to create something completely unique. The amount of planning and attention to detail needed to create a meal of this scale is nothing short of remarkable. For all the foodies out there searching for a unique dining experience, add this to your list. It'll change the way you look at what a meal can be. Trust me.

share this article

drop by for a visit

Nobu Honolulu

1118 Ala Moana Blvd.

tags you might be interested in

Receive the latest updates and let us help you find a new home at Ward Village

Schedule your private tour today
(808) 369-9600 or sales.info@wardvillage.com

*required fields

This is not intended to be an offer to sell in any jurisdiction where prohibited by law. Ward Village is a proposed master planned development in Honolulu, Hawaii that does not yet exist. Exclusive Project Broker Ward Village Properties, LLC. Copyright 2019. Equal Housing Opportunity. Exclusive Project Broker for Ke Kilohana - Locations LLC. Copyright 2019. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Notice to New York Residents - The developer of Ward Village and its principals are not incorporated in, located in, or resident in the state of New York. No offering is being made in or directed to any person or entity in the state of New York or to New York residents by or on behalf of the developer/offeror or anyone acting with the developer/offeror’s knowledge. No such offering, or purchase or sale of real estate by or to residents of the state of New York, shall take place until all registration and filing requirements under the Martin Act and the Attorney General’s regulations are complied with, a written exemption is obtained pursuant to an application is granted pursuant to and in accordance with Cooperative Policy Statements #1 or #7, or a “No-Action” request is granted.

Mahalo for registering your interest!

As a member of our interest list, we will send you the latest news and updates from Ward Village. We look forward to sharing more about our community with you.