Heavenly omurice21 February, 2012 by Chad
Steak House Nobu (ステーキハウス のぶ) in Asakusa, or Asakusa Nobu for short is a homely hole in the wall eatery that we raved about during last month’s trip to Tokyo. The small counterside shop sits only 11 people but don’t let the simple looks deceive you, Asakusa Nobu serves a mean plate of omurice.
We stumbled by chance into Asakusa Nobu along one of the side streets near the Sensoji Temple. Perhaps we were early, as there wasn’t a queue when we entered. But one soon formed outside. If the queue was any indication, it was going to be an enjoyable meal.
Much like hawkers in Singapore, Japanese eateries tend to keep their menus concise. But the reason here being to specialize a what they’re best at, rather than to avoid competition. Despite being called a steakhouse, the only namesake dish here is their Sirloin Steak, which costs 1890 yen. However, the first 20 customers each day can get it for only 1360 yen as “Service Steak”.
Looking around, we realized that everyone was here for either their Hamburg Steak or Omurice. These two staple meals cost 840 yen (SGD$13 or USD$10) each. The Omurice looked especially noteworthy, since it was emphasized on the menu that it had been featured in a number of media outlets before.
Judging from the newspaper clippings and certificates awarded to them from television programs pasted on the walls, this was something the owners were deservingly proud of.
We decided to go with the omurice. The man behind the counter whipped up our servings in no time. While he handled most of the cooking, he was existed by his wife and parents who helped prepare and pass him the ingredients. The four of them worked in unison behind the narrow counter.
The result was the lovely dish you see here. Beneath the tangy demi-glace and omelette was some of the most soft, plump tomato soaked rice. Hidden inside were also small chunks of their tender beef. We weren’t particularly hungry, but somehow managed to down the dish easily.
Looking through other reviews, pretty much everyone has walked away from Asakusa Nobu happily. A list of Tokyo’s best omurice restaurants gives it 3 out of 5 stars, with many praising it for its homely taste.
Personally, I’m no foodie nor can I ever understand the Singaporean affliction of putting a score to something as intangible as taste. Instead, I’m simply going to go with Asakusa Nobu being probably the best omurice I’ve had (from the few occasions where I actually had any). Definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys the dish. My only regret is not trying out the Nobu’s hamburg or steak. Something we’ll have to fix in a future visit.
Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2 and Sony RX100-2.