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Nabe at nobu

By Fan Zhen | China Daily | Updated: 2012-11-25 17:18

Next on stage is a washi paper hotpot that comes with a sweet-and-sour broth that brings out the seafood flavors of shrimps, scallops, salmon and seared cod - the main characters. The supporting cast is a bouquet of broccoli, bokchoy and more sugar snaps. This pot is for the seafood lover who enjoys the sharper tang on the taste buds.

The star of the show, however, is the kiritanpo nabe with chicken. It comes steaming to the table with its base of dashi stock supporting a perfect cornucopia of lightly grilled chicken fillets, Japanese rice rolls - the kiritanpo - grilled and cut diagonally to sit beside the chicken.

Nabe at nobu

The rice roll and chicken stay miraculously crisp while their bases simmer in the broth, full of the sweetness of bonito and konbu, the Japanese kelp used to introduce umami.

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The first hint that everything is not what it seems is a tiny floret of coriander in the hotpot. In traditional Japanese cooking, hardly any coriander is used, but this is Nobu, following a tradition where Peruvian flavors had fused into traditional Japanese.

The fusion adventure expands in the meat dish that follows - a spicy beef toban anticucho cooked with a South American chili pepper. Its hot and sour accents wake up a palate lulled by the hotpots, and prepares us for another surprise that comes to table to end the meal - the Nobu Flower Pot.

With passion fruit and mint blooming in our mouths, we reluctantly leave the table, happy to have experienced a really good production of flavors and textures, and an introduction to yet another hotpot option to warm hungry tummies throughout winter.

Nabe at nobu

Chicken Kiritanpo Nabe is the signature nabe at Nobu Beijing. Fan Zhen / For China Daily

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