Nobu

19 Old Park Lane
London W1K 1LB
0207 447 4747
http://www.noburestaurants.com/london/index.html

Opening Hours
Lunch:
Monday to Friday 12-2.15pm
Saturday to Sunday12.30-2.30pm
Dinner:
Monday to Friday 6-10.15pm
Saturday 6-11pm
Sunday 6-9.30pm

We’ve heard so much about Nobu, and the conflicting reviews definitely confused us. According to one online review, “It’s one of those places everyone has heard of, everyone wants to go to and most are busy looking to see who else is there.” (Note: that reviewer gave an overall 5/10 for his experience); according to another, “In a word, fabulous”.

We decided to check it out for ourselves. This was definitely quite the occasion for us, and we were excited, but apprehensive. The problem with going to such well known and celebrity-sighted places is that we tend to feel like we don’t belong there. We were curious as to how the service would be, and having read the dreadful comments about the service, we were all prepared for the worst.

Boy, were we surprised. Our experience in Nobu was outstanding. Perhaps it was because we were so prepared to be treated like crap that when we actually received very attentive service from our Korean waitress, we were so impressed. Our waitress was very professional in recommending some of the more interesting dishes in their menu, which bore hardly any description of the dishes. (How am I supposed to know what Tiradito is?)

One has to appreciate the inspiration behind Nobu when one goes there. If you go expecting to have a good Japanese meal, you are going to leave disappointed. Nobu does not serve traditional Japanese food. The food at Nobu is a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, and ingredients like Jalapeno peppers feature strongly in many dishes, which many an online review have taken offense to. We have travelled to Peru, and we can appreciate the fusion of those 2 cuisines. In fact, the Ceviche we had was absolutely delicious and it brought me instantly back to this particular restaurant in Peru where I had my first ever Ceviche (and cuy, but that’s another story for another time).

We had Sashimi Tacos, a strange choice I know, but it was very, very good.

The Tiradito (which was a carpaccio of fish was just average unfortunately, as was the Soft Shelled Crab spring roll.

We ordered too the Black Cod, and this was the first time we’ve ever had Black Cod with miso. It totally blew us away. Nothing could have prepared us for the slippery texture of the fish, and the wonderfully flavorful sauce it was cooked in. We’ve heard so much about the black cod from online reviews, and this surpassed all expectations. 

The pork belly we had was also outstanding. It just melted in our mouths, and we were very sorry when it was finished.

We also went for a sushi selection, which was good, but not spectacular. By this time we were absolutely stuffed, so our opinion of this might have been clouded by our very full bellies. We went ahead and ordered everything we wanted very liberally, because we knew that it would probably have been our one and only time dining in Nobu.

Finally, on our very full stomach, we ordered dessert – a Warm Valrhona chocolate souffle cake, shiso syrup, white chocolate sauce and green tea ice cream, all served in a bento box. This was very nice – A always likes green tea ice cream, and I like chocolate anyway. Something would have had to have gone extremely wrong for us not to like this dessert.

Overall, we were very pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed ourselves in Nobu. We left very satisfied. On our way back we were discussing why Nobu has received so much flak by reviewers. We guessed it was because most people couldn’t appreciate the Peruvian influence in the food. Japanese food is very commonly eaten, while Peruvian food is harder to come by. Perhaps if one goes to Nobu with an open mind, (or like us, expecting very little), one might walk out with not only a happier experience, but an increased awareness of foods around the world and how they can be paired with one another. (Also, I think we lucked out with a very good waitress.)

Service: 9/10
Food: 8.5/10

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