“Nobu Nobu Nobu Nobu Nobu!” with Future’s voice.
Nobu needs no introduction really, but introduce I will. Nobu is a Japanese and Peruvian fusion restaurant owned by celebrity chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa; and has the likes of Robert De Niro as co-owner. So needless to say, it’s A-list level clientele, word of mouth, and marketing, got Nobu on my radar. There are Nobu restaurants all over the world, but here, I’ll focus on the Berkeley Street Restaurant in Mayfair, London.
Nobu is a restaurant Shiima and I usually reserve for special occasions – Birthdays, Christmas Dinners, Eid, and Valentine’s Day – because it is rather very pricey, but we hadn’t been in a very long time and I really wanted to write about it, so off we went. There is another Nobu in Mayfair actually, but we’ve never been, only to the restaurant in Berkeley Street, which is less than five minutes away from Green Park station. There is a doorman right by the door, but he is really friendly, less security, more, “over here, yes, this is Nobu”. Soon as you step in there is a check in desk, but now that desk doesn’t check in you for dinner, but rather any of your belongings you want kept – bags, jackets and the like – and then passes you off to the maître d who is just ahead, in front of the bar. She, usually a lady, checks you in, and if your table is upstairs, passes you onto a waitress who leads you up the nice stairway to again get checked in by another maître d. Here, they all greet you loudly, and Shiima doesn’t like this because it attracts attention, but I don’t mind. Our table was fairly prominent; again, Shiima didn’t really like this, but soon got over it; me … I didn’t mind at all lol. The restaurant’s décor is simply classy, and the clientele too is rather upmarket, but this you ought to expect.
The menu is quite extensive, from cold to hot starters, sushi, tempura, Peruvian skewers, set dinners, and grilled and oven roasted main dishes. You could get dizzy trying to pick, and looking at the table of the diners around you doesn’t help because everything looks good. I, though, already knew what I wanted, and Shiima, rather unusually ordered different than her usual. I ordered the Salmon New Style Dried Miso Sashimi and the Spicy Salmon Sushi for starters, and the Duck Breast with Wasabi Salsa and Chilean Sea Bass Jalapeno Miso for my main. Shiima ordered Edamame beans, Chicken Kushiyaki & Anti Cucho skewers, and Vegetable Tempura for starters, and Roast Whole Poussin with Cabbage and Tosazu for her main.
My starters were exemplary. Both tasted fresh, very delicious, and very moreish. But then the Chilean Sea Bass with Jalepeno Miso came and just blew the starters out of the water, it was incredible; imagine the black cod, but hot and spicy. I love black cod as is, my favourite dish at most restaurants that serve it, but the Chilean Sea Bass with Jalepeno Miso kicks it up several notches. Which was sad for my duck breast in Wasabi Salsa. It tasted really bland in comparison, and it was cold, so it didn’t really work after the hot (both in spice and temperature) Chilean Sea Bass.
Shiima’s starters, which I had a large proportion of as always, were really good too. Edamame beans are edamame beans; if you like them, and you should, this is just as good as any. The chicken skewers were also really good; the anti cucho skewers were sweet (teriyaki probably) and the kushiyaki was spicy. It does depend on your preference, but you cant go wrong with either. Vegetable tempura at Nobu is really cool because you get to choose the exact vegetables you want – Shiima went for sweet potatoes, carrots and peppers. Sweet potatoes are always the best in my estimation, but regardless of the actual vegetable, the tempura batter was light and crispy. Shiima didn’t really like her main – Roast Whole Poussin with Cabbage and Tosazu. It really isn’t the fault of the dish, but a preference of hers; she likes the chicken to come with a little more sauce so it goes well with her steamed rice. I like the chicken, yes it was a tad dry, but it was tasty.
This time, we also had desserts. Chocolate Bento Box with Vanilla ice cream for Shiima and the Nobu Chocolate Tart for me. My tart is the chocolate dome that melts as the waiter pours hot chocolate sauce on it, and beyond the pageantry, it tasted really good, especially the almond crumble – I certainly recommend. Shiima’s was a melt in the middle chocolate fondant, which went rather brilliantly with her vanilla ice cream – also a winner, in our estimation.
We’ve been to Nobu on three more occasions, so have a good grasp on the menu and what to recommend. So here it goes … Black Cod Den Miso (obviously); Chicken Teriyaki; Lobster Wasabi; Padron Pepper Anti Cucho; Octopus Carpaccio with Jalapeno Dressing and Dried Miso; and the Secreto Iberico Pork with Nobu Sauces.
Needless to say, Nobu is pricey and they like it that way. Everything is of the highest quality, from the food, the service, the décor, and the dishware. And this makes Nobu ideal for most special occasions, and a first date if you are really looking to go all out.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Cuisine: Japanese and Peruvian Fusion
Amen’s Star dish: Chilean Sea Bass with Jalapeno Miso
Shiima’s Star dish: Chicken Kushiyaki
Price: £50+ each (alcohol not included in that estimation)
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
VIDEO OF THE NOBU CHOCOLATE TART
Nobu Berkeley Street
15 Berkeley Street
Mayfair, London W1J 8DY
Reserve at OpenTable or Call