It's no secret that a good breakfast ranks as one of my favorite things. Breakfast in bed? Even better. While my stay at NOBU Hotel is a story for another day I had to take a moment to reflect on what was one of the most amazing meals I've ever had. Available only through room service, the breakfast menu from NOBU boasts a varied array of familiar breakfast fare with an updated twist. Choosing was difficult, but in the end their Vanilla Scented Waffle, Pork Belly Bacon, and Black Sesame & Sakura Pastries won out.
Best. Waffle. Ever. Nice and crisp out the outside without losing any of the necessary fluffy interior. The vanilla was a lovely accent flavor, leaving room for the yuzu whipped cream and fresh fruit to shine. The stand out from this dish was absolutely the whipped cream. Denser than average, the cream played the role of both butter and sauce to perfection. Lightly sweet and perfectly tart it paired particularly well with the banana.
Try this at home by cutting back on the sweet. The surprising standout flavor of this waffle was the fact that it wasn't the typical dessert-like affair dripping with syrup and powdered sugar. The light sprinkle of sugar was just enough to pair with the whipped cream. For the cream itself, again lay low on the sugar, a light sprinkle will help you capture that flavor. Whip for a few minutes longer than you normally would and if you can't find yuzu try some grapefruit zest to capture that tart flavor.
Bacon is already pretty fantastic, but pork belly takes it over the top. The thick cut and crisp texture were a bacon lovers dream. I was also impressed with the generous portion.
Try this at home by roasting up some thick slices of bacon or pork belly in the oven. Set your oven to 400°F and cook for about 15-20 minutes on a sheet pan. Having trouble finding pork belly? Check out your local Korean market. The butcher section often offers several different varieties and cuts for less than the price of normal supermarket bacon.
Saving the best for last, these pastries were crazy delicious. Both had the flaky lightness of a typical danish or croissant, it was the filling that took the flavors over the top. The black sesame was filled with black sesame paste that was nutty, rich, and very nearly savory. The sakura danish was boasted a beautiful custard and soaked cherries with that lovely spiciness that is characteristic of the sakura flavor.
Unless you're feeling adventurous in the kitchen you can try this at home by exploring your local Japanese bakery. While you may not find these exact flavors, you're sure to find some yummy treats that capture that balance between sweet and savory.
Want to recreate a luxurious breakfast in bed experience at home? Open the blinds and let in the natural light if you can! Bring in a portable table (card table, folding table, even a tv tray) and cover with white linen. Even an inexpensive white cloth will dress up the occasion. Keep the table top simple. Clean, white dishes and a simple flower arrangement are all you need to let the food shine as the focal point.