Things are a little different at Raita Noda’s self-titled restaurant on Riley Street. Here the chef’s selection replaces the menu and there’s not a table in sight.
A drastic change from running the kitchen of the 200-seater restaurant Ocean Room, Raita Noda has space for just eight guests. This allows Noda to focus on the food. And here everyone sits at the counter. The space is completely open, so you can see everything happening in the kitchen, reminiscent of a narrow, Tokyo diner. It feels less like a restaurant and more like an open kitchen, so don’t expect white tablecloths or wait staff. It’s just Noda and Momotaro – his son and apprentice – doing all the cooking and serving themselves.
There’s no menu, either. Instead, Noda offers omakase (chef’s selection) with dishes changing daily depending on what produce he can source, though seafood is always the hero.
Understandably, bookings are essential. For $120 per person you can have the full, 10-course degustation. Make sure you allow plenty of time too – it’s not the kind of dinner you want to rush through. Each dish is made on the spot so a sitting takes anywhere from two-and-a-half to three hours. Longer if you want to savour every mouthful.