Nobu is one of those marmite restaurants that people either love or hate. A friend went a while ago and was hit with a £500 bill between four and frankly speaking, that did put me off a little. I love sushi but always feel hungry after a couple of hours and would not appreciate a rumbling tummy after a hefty bill.
Having said that, every time I have had sushi at a restaurant with a Nobu guest chef (most notably Sushi Say in Willesden Green and Yuzu in West Hampstead), I have enjoyed the sushi so much that I have always thought I really ought to go to the real thing – preferably on a night that Mr Beckham is also in town!
So, I was simply delighted to be invited to a party in Nobu and see for myself whether it is anything worth writing about. In short, I would advise you to book restaurants that have guest chefs attending as Nobu is simply not worth the extra £450.
We started with a simply marvellous salmon tartare that was beautifully presented in a small oval dish in soya sauce. I found the soya a little over powering but was able to drain it off my cute little spoon and it was delicious, just melted in your mouth – simply exquisite. I tasted my friend’s vegetarian version which was the same dish but made with avocado and I am not exaggerating, I had to take a drink of my over priced wine to get rid of the disgusting taste out of my mouth.
The second course was black cod. Mmmm – divine. The flavours were perfect and it was excellenty cooked and presented. My mouth is watering even now. My vegetarian friend had a floppy disgusting looking watery aubergine. Given my previous experience I decided not to steal any more of his meal!
The main was beef steak – I had requested the vegetarian meal and I was beginning to regret that decision. Sure enough, when it arrived my heart sank as I was presented with a tofu “steak”. Yuck. I ate it out of politeness but it was gross, it came with two sauces. One tasted like a sticky icky molasses sauce and the other was a sticky icky honey sauce. Oh, I just want to forget it. Let’s move on.
We then moved on to a selection of sushi – there were five pieces altogether. I was starting to feel very full by now but managed to eat all five pieces (good for me!) – the first was tuna sushi which was delicious. I found the sea bass a little chewy but the rest of the plate was very delicate. One thing I found a little shocking was the presentation, honestly, Itsu roll a better sushi than what I was presented with. My now very-hungry starving vegetarian friend ploughed through bland veggie sushi that tasted as bland as it looked.
Dessert was the worst. I have a 30 year unblemished record of alwasy finishing my dessert but it was in Nobu that I met my match. I simply could not finish the Green Tea mascarpone pudding that was inedible. The green tea “bits” were swirled around in a creamy dessert and I have to admit, that it looked like mould. I wish it tasted better than it looked but it didn’t. Have you ever had an unpleasant taste in your mouth after drinking green tea? Imagine that being “dessert” ! All I can say is, no wonder Japanese women are so slim!
Overall, as you can see above my night was exquisite and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. It did not wow me so much that I am planning any repeat visits – I simply do not feel like I have missed out on a great secret.
And if you are interested, my veggie friend got a pizza on his way home.