CUISINE / RESTAURANT REVIEWS Fusion Izakaya Japanese Richmond

Nobusan Japanese Tapas-Bar

Update Sep 21, 2009: This restaurant has since shut down.

Nobusan is a recently opened restaurant located on what Wendy and I call “Road of Hell”, aka. Richmond’s No.3 Rd.  The Canada Line construction has made driving almost intolerable.  If you are to get to this restaurant, you must be heading south to get into the parking lot.  There has been a number of change of hands at this location in the past year or so.  There were some Taiwanese-hopefuls restaurant that just failed to take off.  However, Nobusan is a Japanese “fusion” restaurant (opened by Chinese) that will hopeful break the curse of this location.

Nobusan Japanese Tapas-Bar

Nobusan Japanese Tapas-Bar

The place has a very comfortable setting.  I enjoyed the TV on the wall playing the Canucks game (albeit no sound).

On with the food!  The main menu was not that interesting/surprising.  It took us quite a while to decide what to order.  There were a lot of fancied names for special rolls/dishes (ex.  Exploding Fire Dragon Eats Shogun Roll, I kid).  The “Daily Specials” were on a paper tab inserted inside the front cover.  Three of our items were from there.

Nobusan Japanese Tapas-Bar

This was an appetizer on the house! No, really!!!  Wendy said “This BETTER be free…I’m not paying for this!”.

Nobusan Japanese Tapas-Bar: Miso Soup

I started off with a Miso Soup.  I wanted to see if there’s a difference in taste between AYCE and non-AYCE miso soup.  There isn’t.  It wasn’t anything special.  It was a buck fifty.  So why not.

Nobusan Japanese Tapas-Bar: Yaki Udon

This is the ‘main meal’ for us – Yaki Udon, but it showed up first.  I was really looking forward to this as I was famished.  Wendy and I both agreed that the Yaki Udon was quite bland.  It lacked any flavor – which is basically the running theme of our dinner.  The texture of the udon was good though – sufficiently chewy for Wendy.

Nobusan Japanese Tapas-Bar: Tuna Avocado Tower

The Tuna Avocado Tower was surely an unique sight.  There were 4 spoonfuls of this.  The presentation gets 10 points, but again, it tasted rather bland, but was one of the better tasting choices.

Basically it’s avocado topped with tuna sashimi, finished with a foamy wasabi sauce.

Nobusan Japanese Tapas-Bar: Ahi Tuna Sashi Tempura Roll

I thought that the Ahi Tuna Sashi Tempura Roll was gonna be my favorite.  It is because 1) I LOVE Ahi Tuna, 2) It’s Tempura, 3) I LOVE Ahi Tuna (yes, I know).  It was, however, disappointing.  It was…….rather bland….probably due to the amount of ahi tuna in the roll.  I really can’t find a better way to describe it.

Nobusan Japanese Tapas-Bar: Tobiko Cone

The Tobiko Cone was listed for $2.75 on the menu, but it showed up as $2.95 on the receipt.  I’ll talk about this discrepancy later.  The Cone was actually pretty good.  It had a decent amount of tobiko and the seaweed was crisp.  I stayed away from the wasabi today because I still have a bit of a sore throat.  Since Wendy is not a fan at all of the wasabi, it was left there to meet its end in the dark abyss of a garbage bag. =(

Nobusan Japanese Tapas-Bar: Prosciutto Roll

The Prosciutto Roll was the star tonight.  That’s why I left the ‘best for last”.  There were no “clash of the titans” tonight, this dish “kicked ass and took names afterward”.  OK, enough cliches for one night.  If you go to Nobusan, order this for sure.

Nobusan Japanese Tapas-Bar: bill

The final bill.   It is comparable to Guu and Toratsu’s pricing tier.  And of course, it has the quintessential of a Chinese-owned restaurant by having spelling mistakes on the receipt (can you find them?). The service at Nobusan was actually VERY good.  The waitresses were extremely polite and seemed to care.  The price discrepancy they had with the Tobiko Roll was dealt with utmost concern (I actually told them to forget about the 20 cents but it should fixed for the future).  So would we come back?  Wendy did not find the menu too intriguing from other places so she didn’t think so.  I would not mind bringing friends along to try other menu items as their service is great but just need to tweak out their food offerings.  Presentation, however, was wonderful.  It was a feast for the eyes if not for the stomach.

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Nobusan Japanese Fusion
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