27 March 2013

Nobu Berkeley Street

Nobu is one of those restaurants that you see photos of in the Daily Mail showbiz column of celebrities leaving in their Louboutins and leather trousers.

Caroline       Jen
They've expanded to cities all over the world: Vegas, Budapest, Milan, Hong Kong and Mexico City to name but a few. I'd been meaning to go to Nobu for quite a while but it just hadn't happened. Until my old school friend Jen suggested we make a special visit to celebrate her birthday. An excuse! Hooray!

There are two Nobu's in London - one in Berkeley Square in the heart of Mayfair - where we were dining - and one in Park Lane (so always make sure you clarify which one you're meeting your friends at to avoid any annoying waste of good cocktail drinking time!)

I arrived at Nobu with no shouting paparazzi taking my picture (who'd have thought?) and following a very friendly greeting - none of the pretension I'd heard was rife from the door staff here - I was taken up the winding staircase to my table in the large dining room.

The restaurant is full of glamour and opulence. I ordered a Japanese Mojito and waited for Jen. It was a lovely cocktail, served in a wonky glass rather like the ones they used in Six Senses. But it tasted exactly like a standard mojito so perhaps they didn't order me the right drink? Either way, I was satisfied.

A lot of the clientele here are glam but it's still a rather diverse crowd. A mix of suited and preened young men talking business, families out for a celebration dinner and several 60-something men with 20-something women (could be fathers and daughters I suppose...). It's a great place for people watching.

Jen arrived and we took to studying the vast and slightly intimidating menu. I'm not an expert in Japanese cuisine and I'm never quite sure what everything is and how many plates to order. Luckily our friendly waitress was on hand to help us! She suggested we order two starter dishes, three mains and a rice.

So we did.

We decided to begin with the Salmon New Style Sashimi and the Nobu Tacos with crab and tuna.

Each plate comes as its ready and therefore you don't end up eating all your dishes at the same time.

The salmon sashimi was served with sesame oil, lots of soy sauce, yuzu juice and sesame seeds. I'm not a huge fan of uncooked fish so I could take or leave this dish but for Jen - who is much more partial - it was one of her favourite dishes of the evening.

The tacos were thick, crispy and delicious but far too small! A little mouthful of flavour! We were tempted to order some more but we decided to wait until after the main then see if we still had room.

Our first of the three main course dishes to arrive was the Half Portion of Black Cod Den Miso

Having previously had a very similar dish at Zuma that I loved, I was really keen to try it again. And being one of Nobu's signature dishes I wasn't expecting to be disappointed.

And happily I wasn't! The cod was melt-on-the-tongue, sweet and silky. Again, there wasn't enough of it for my liking but we did order the half portion as we had two other plates to come. Delicious!

Here are the Pan Fried Scallops with Jalapeno:

Another melt-in-the-mouth dish, these scallops were very tasty and I had to ask for a spoon to get the most out of that jalapeno sauce (chopsticks just don't do the job when it comes to mopping sauce).

But my favourite dish?  The Crispy Pork Belly with spicy Miso:

Bursting with flavour, it was an absolute dream! And so much easier to eat with chop sticks...

Between courses we also managed to sneak in one more cocktail. And why not a creamy little number served in a bottle with a sprig of aromatic rosemary:

In all the gastronomical excitement, we forgot all about our second helping of tacos. And my edamame beans that I'd been determined to have.

It was time for dessert!

Above we have the Dragon Eyes which is Warm Chocolate & Zabaione Ganache served with Crema Catalana Icecream and then the Berkeley Square Cheesecake served with Ginger Icecream & Raspberry Foam.

Here's a closer look at that beautiful cheesecake dish...

The cheesecake was absolutely fabulous. Zingy and creamy in perfect ratios. The Dragon Eye dish was quite nice too but there was a clear winner. I think I've been inspired to work on improving my own cheesecake recipe now!

The time absolutely flew by. Sometimes there's just too much to chat about and so little time to do it in. But there was just enough time for Jen to open her birthday presents and for me to have a nice cup of coffee.

Predictably Nobu is not cheap but we had a fantastic meal and it definitely lived up to the hype. We had a lovely waitress too which always helps make a good restaurant experience even better.

Our only gripe?  The portions were too small!

Or perhaps our eyes are just bigger than our bellies.

Nobu - Berkeley Street
Bar Service
Waiter Service
Nobu Berkeley on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. GOD THAT LOOKS AMAZING! Need to save up my pennies!


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