Nobu is one of those trendy restaurants that everyone has heard about. It has so many locations now it isn’t really that inaccessible anymore. Usually, that means the food is compromised. I can’t vouch for any of the other Nobu restaurants around the world, but the two Nobu restaurants that I have been to in London still continue to serve some stellar food. Usually, I prefer to go to the smaller, quieter, slightly less pretentious feeling Nobu London on Park Lane (plus it is closer to our house). But on this occasion, we decided to try Nobu Berkeley (mainly because Nobu Park Lane was booked out).
Nobu Berkeley feels a bit like a nightclub when you first walk in. They even have guards at the door. I thought I was going to get carded. The occasion we were celebrating was our anniversary, and so it was not an ideal atmosphere to whisper sweet nothings to each other, it was more about yelling across the table to get a point across. (Needless to say, there was a lot of quiet eating and smiling).
I decided, with it being a special occasion, I would dress up a little more than usual. I paired my black See by Chloe dress with the Soomin ‘Lorna’ clutch, a velvet and leather clutch that has a gorgeous embroidery feature on the front – it added just enough colour and sparkle to my outfit.
Despite the lack of romance in the atmosphere of the extremely loud restaurant, the meal was still fantastic thanks to the food and the wine.
My husband knows some extremely good Australian wines now thanks to a friend who works for a wine company. So he knew when he saw a Shaw and Smith on the wine list, that we had to have it.
We started with our usual ‘Yellow tail Sashimi with jalapeno’. We get this every time we go to Nobu. Along with the ‘Rock shrimp tempura’ which we like to call ‘Popcorn shrimp’. These delicious morsels are so juicy and I love the 3 sauces that come with it!
We then had the ‘Shitake mushroom salad’ – and let me tell you, they do not skimp on the mushrooms. We actually had to leave a couple uneaten. So sad. I actually wanted some sushi to have with the salad, but no matter how disciplined I tried to be, by the time the ‘Soft crab sushi’ came to the table, the salad was mostly gone. I love soft shell crab. It takes all the effort out of eating crab, without compromising on taste. In fact, since it usually has to be deep fried, it adds even more flavour! I particularly loved the thin radish(?) that was wrapped around the outside of the roll. It added a crispness and a slightly sweet tartness that cut through the heavy flavour of the crab.
On to the mains. We chose ‘Duck breast with wasabi salsa’ and the ‘Wagyu beef toban-yaki with truffle’. The duck I wasn’t crazy about as the wasabi salsa was a bit too salty without enough zing. But my husband loved it so I let him eat more of it. But the Wagyu beef toban-yaki was mouth-wateringly good. Anyone who knows me knows I am a steak lover, and this was so buttery and tasty, I would have eaten 10 more if my stomach would have let me! Despite being in a hot pot, the beef did not overcook at all – it remained a perfect pink the whole time – and the sauce was so delicious! My mouth is watering again as I write this…
After all that food, we probably didn’t need dessert (our stomachs were telling us to stop) but how can you leave without eating dessert? I chose the ‘Fuji apple crumble’ – a perfect end to the meal. The peanut butter ice cream is to die for. My husband went for the ‘Chocolate bento box’ – a solid chocolate dessert paired beautifully with a light green tea ice cream.
All in all, despite the horrible atmosphere, the food was fantastic and we left happy and full. I wouldn’t go back to Nobu Berkeley again but I will definitely continue to visit Nobu Park Lane for my occasional Nobu fix.
Nobu Berkeley Street