Nobu – Berkely St, London
Updated: The black cod is marinated in sake which is a Japanese wine, meaning it is not halal. I didn’t check this when I had it.
Anybody who is anybody hangs out at Nobu! Known for its popularity with celebs, Nobu is famous for it’s contemporary take on Japanese cuisine. Of course I couldn’t wait to go, after hearing so much about Nobu, I wanted to know — will Nobu live up to its world famous reputation? First of all I didn’t spot anyone remotely famous, not even a D-list celeb, or at least someone from Made In Chelsea? Nope, nobody except us common folk, perhaps they were hanging out at the other Nobu in Park Lane? (Or at the other 20 Nobus around the world) The lounge which is on the ground floor was not so full and seemed like a nice place to chill — I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a large bar! For the main restaurant you have to go up the ornate staircase into a buzzing and packed restaurant.
The menu at Nobu is fish and seafood heavy, not much of a selection for meat eaters but there is enough on the menu to keep everyone happy including my anti-fish husband.
To begin we ordered some non-alcoholic cocktails, an apple mojito and a passion fruit concoction of some sort. Both thirst quenching and both at a premium of £7 each, steep for a non-alcoholic drink of which one was mostly ice.
For starters we ordered one of Nobu’s special appetisers ‘Octopus Carpaccio with Bortaga’, which is thin meaty slices of raw octopus (carpaccio means slices of raw meat/fish) but actually doesn’t taste raw at all. The sauce with this was pretty decent, the refreshing taste of jalepeno peppers really coming through and not at all like any octopus I’ve eaten before.
For sushi we ordered some unagi (eel) and a vegetable sushi roll just to keep it simple. The unagi was tender and flavoursome but I found it a bit slimy. The sushi wasn’t anything extraordinary sadly. For mains, we had to try Nobu’s signature dish of ‘Black Cod with Miso’. This truly was the best thing that we ordered. Sweet and smoky the cod was really fantastic, even my husband really enjoyed it.
It took me ages to order another main dish as the menu is pretty vast but I finally decided on Seared Scallops with Yuzu Truffle. Presented beautifully I was given two scallops in a citrus topping with some pickled cabbage. The scallops cooked to perfection but I was left wanting more, not surprising as there were only two.
For dessert we ordered a ‘Macana’ which consists of (get ready) a white chocolate mousse, pistachio charged sponge, mango cream and kalamanzi sorbet. I also ordered a Fuji Apple Crumble. Yes apple crumble in this suave Japanese place — what can I say except that if there’s apple crumble on the menu I’m having it! It was yummy and I felt slightly guilty for not finishing off the meal in a healthy fashion as everything on the menu (except dessert) is pretty low in fat.
To summarize I would like to go to Nobu again and order a few more different things. It’s impossible to order lots of dishes with just two of us dining, perhaps going in a bigger group would warrant a bit more variety. Service was faultless, with the waiter more than happy to explain the menu. The cool and swanky setting makes Nobu a very desirable place to eat at for those with adventurous palates, and a great choice for a special night out.
Halal status: No halal meat available even if ordered in advance Alcohol: Yes, Pork: Yes
Address: Nobu Berkeley St, 15 Berkeley Street, London W1J 8DY