First Dinner at Noa Sushi and Robata
I was running late when I arrived on a Tuesday night to Noa Sushi for a graduation dinner. The tall well-dressed hostess greeted me while I was worrying that I would be the “late gringo” to the group. I gave the name of the party in my heavily-accented Spanish and the hostess slowly escorted me to the table. Immediately I felt relief upon seeing the empty table and realizing that I was the first to arrive. Reality reminded me once again that I needn’t worry, I was on Colombian time. Being “early” has its advantages though and I was able to go over the menu and take in the feel of the environment.
Beautifully Designed Restaurant and Bar
Located in the gourmet restaurant corredor of Barranquilla, Noa Sushi and Robata has to stand out among the rest and with it’s interior design it indeed meets that goal. The first thing that you notice as you walk in is the polished wood and stone bar to the right. Behind the bar sits a stack of well-stocked shelves, including bottles not usually found in Barranquilla restaurants. Entering the main seating area you see more wood crafted tables, a ceiling covered with compacted hanging ropes, and natural trees. Wooden chandeliers emit a soft golden light which gives the restaurant a pleasing amber glow.
Both the food and drink menus here are quite extensive with varying prices. Nigiri (raw fish over vinegar rice) and sashmi (raw fish, no rice) sushi combination plates range mainly from 13 to 19 thousand pesos. The maki sushi (rolls) on the other hand range from 29 to 45 thousand pesos. The maki rolls come in commonly known forms such as the Philadelphia and Dragon Rolls and branch out into more extravagant creations from the chef, Javier García.
Noa also has a nice selection of robata (Japanese style charcoal grilled) dishes. The meat robata dishes are priced in the 30 to 35 thousand peso range where the vegetable dishes are in the 13 to 17 thousand range. If sushi or robata doesn’t do it for you Noa has a variety of Angus steak, pork, fish, and rice dishes to try. The most expensive dish on the menu is the Angus Porterhouse steak with truffle butter, which costs a hefty 120 thousand pesos. Pricey for Colombian standards!
The group arrived after a 15 minute wait and we ordered drinks to celebrate the new graduate. I chose Johnnie Walker Platinum on the rocks which was 40 thousand pesos. The girls in the group chose to order a bottle of Cabernet for 110 thousand pesos and the other guys went with varying liquors. The drinks were served within 10 minutes and after the toast I decided to order the maki spider roll (43 thousand pesos).
The food was served relatively quickly being that it was a Tuesday night and the restaurant was not particularly full. The waiter unfortunately brought me the wrong dish, a rainbow roll. He was apologetic and polite about it and it gave me an opportunity to sample some other dishes on the table while I waited for them to correct the mistake.
The girl on my right ordered the maki Noa roll, which consists of fried shrimp, salmon, cream cheese and is topped with shredded crab meat and unagi sauce. It was good but a bit sweet. The graduate on my left ordered Arroz wok del mar which was delicious.
When my dish arrived the others had finished eating. The spider roll tasted decent but didn’t include the typical wasabi and ginger which I love to eat with my sushi.
The highlight of the night was the dessert that the table ordered. Called the ice roll, it’s a sushi shaped ice cream stuffed dessert topped with fresh fruit and fruit sauce. I can say that this was the best dessert that I have had in Colombia and definitely worth trying.
I would give the entire experience 4 stars out of 5. I would love to go back and try a few other dishes to see what they have.
Location and Hours
Zoom into the interactive map below for directions (Click the upper left-hand corner of the map for the legend).