Monday marked the last night in town for some family who were staying so we thought we should take them somewhere special. They love Japanese food as do we so we booked Nobu. It is Nobu Matsuhisa’s famous restaurant that started in New York in the early 90’s and has since become synonymous with innovative Japanese cuisine around the world.
Underwhelmed…yes I was totally underwhelmed. I had heard that it had minimalist decor but really, the barren surroundings looked more like a stark cafe from 1997 than a top ranking restaurant in Mayfair. We were almost embarrassed.
The two bottles of Saint Clair Reserve Sauvignon that I managed to dent certainly softened my critical eye throughout the evening, but I will not be going back to Nobu in London. I found it overpriced for what it was, and while many of the dishes were delicious, I have had better versions of all of them in the past, for a fraction of the price!
Tuna tataki with ponzu dressing is usually one of my favourite starters…but the tuna was not delicate enough here, and the ponzu sauce was too sweet for my palate. The miso soup was great, as was Nasu Miso (eggplant with miso paste on top) and the Beef Toban Yaki. The enoki mushrooms that were served with the beef were sublime (although the taste of butter is not really Japanese…nonetheless..yummy!).
Another favourite that I like to order in Japanese (or Japanese fusion) restaurants is Black Cod with Miso. This is a signature dish of Nobu’s so I was expecting miracles in my mouth. Sadly there were none. And for £44.00….??
We also shared a sashimi plate, which was OK, but not amazing. The spicy tuna roll and salmon and avocado rolls were also fine, but you don’t go to Nobu and part with that much money for ‘fine’. You want brilliance, and food that makes you unable to speak and only mumble your pleasure with nods while you are chewing! Or at least I do. Harsh review? Yes, but fair.