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Dish it Up: A Nod to Nobu

A Nod to Nobu

Chef Nobu Matsuhisa dishes it up for Crystal Cruises.

By Janice Wald Henderson

Like Cher or Madonna, Nobu is one of those people who requires only a first name to be identified nearly everywhere in the world. Yes, Chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa is that famous.

At his eponymous restaurants worldwide — from Milan to Mykonos, Malibu to Melbourne — tables are jam-packed with a glam crowd. But aboard Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, cruisers can revel in Nobu’s cuisine at Silk Road and The Sushi Bar without the crowds or big bills. Here’s the scoop on how best to treasure this master chef’s cuisine at sea and at home.

Real Deal

After dining numerous times on Nobu’s dishes aboard Crystal Cruises as well as in countless Nobu restaurants — from Hawaii to London and even at the chef’s first restaurant, Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills, California — I know that his cuisine is as good on board as it is on shore. Here are three secrets to that success.

1. Onboard chefs are personally trained by Hiroshi Nakaguchi, Nobu’s corporate chef.
2. Crystal Cruises must meet Nobu’s exacting standards for exceptional seafood. Sushi chefs shop at fresh fish markets every day they’re in port.
3. The fish is then stored in special coolers according to Nobu’s strict policies. Only Silk Road and The Sushi Bar chefs have access to the primo stash.

5 Instagram-Worthy Nobu Dishes

Broiled Eggplant – Brushed with Nobu’s deceptively simple miso sauce, Japanese eggplant caramelizes into a custardy texture with a seductive hint of sweetness.
Spicy Creamy King Crab – King crab legs are treated to an Asian-accented mayonnaise-y sauce. Masago (smelt roe) and scallions add color and crunch.
Nobu-Style Black Cod with Miso – The iconic dish that skyrocketed Nobu to fame. Black cod is inherently moist and rich tasting, and Nobu’s special sauce (mostly mirin, sake, and miso) gorgeously accentuates, but never overwhelms, the cod’s natural flavor.
Nobu-Style Lobster with Truffle-Yuzu Sauce – A light, elegant lobster stir-fry starring veggies (think asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, and snap peas) splashed with a citrusy truffle-accented sauce.
Trio of Crème Brûlées – Silken custard in three exotic flavors (sweet ginger, pink guava, and passion fruit) is crowned with burnt sugar topping and cleverly presented in spoons.

Navigating the Silk Road

  • Crystal cruisers can make a reservation at Silk Road once per voyage. (Make a reservation online prior to sailing, as they go quickly.) Each additional booking is $30 per person — far less than the bill at Nobu ashore — and can be made once on board (based on availability).
  • If lacking reservations, show up when the restaurant opens at 6 p.m. Dining at The Sushi Bar is first-come, first-served.
  • If eating in Silk Road, ask for The Sushi Bar menu for standouts such as yellowtail with jalapeno and tuna or salmon tartare with caviar.
  • Booked in a penthouse or above? Order from Silk Road and The Sushi Bar through room service as often as you wish at no extra charge. (A reason alone to upgrade!)

Nobu-licious Recipe

Bring Nobu’s deliciousness into your home with this easy recipe….


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Photo: Crystal Cruises

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