The chefs at Nubo in downtown Victoria warmly yelled out this greeting for us, and for every customer who walks through the door. It means, “welcome, we are ready to serve you,” and is a common greeting in restaurants in Japan. It set the stage wonderfully for a fantastic lunch (and made us even more eager for our travels to Japan later this fall).
The space is small, but quite lovely and it’s all about the great service and watching the sushi chef (of course).
Nubo has an incredibly large menu, and you can choose from sushi, ramen, Japanese small plates and wildly unique and creative tapas with a Japanese twist. It was a hard decision, as everything we saw around us looked delicious. Including this flaming roll delivered to the table beside us. Lit on fire, for real.
We wanted to try some things that we wouldn’t find at home, and to get a sense of the tapas style here. We started with the Jumbo Ebi Mayo – large tiger prawns fried in a light and fluffy tempura, with a delicious spicy/sweet chili mayo. This was fantastic!
We were then served our sushi roll choice of the Unagimite roll. David has opened my eyes (and tastebuds) to the joy of eel (unagi), and this roll was delicious. It also featured prawn tempura, avocado and fish eggs. Really interesting flavours.
Our final dish was the Buta Bara – smoked pork belly with Japanese mustard and roast garlic. The smoke on the pork belly was delicate and the mustard had just the right kick. The pork belly was a bit too big to eat all at once, and it wasn’t as tender as I was expecting, which made it hard to eat. But, the great smoky flavour won us over.
If we lived in Victoria, David and I would be regulars at Nubo Japanese Tapas for sure.