A Nobu dinner kicks off with a boisterous chant from the staff and kitchen to welcome you to the restaurant. The rather unexpected outpouring for such a posh place it sets the tone for what is bound to be a lively and interactive dining experience. Nobu might form part of a chain of luxury Japanese restaurants laced with Peruvian influence, but this is not your run-of-the-mill sushi joint!
The menu is broken down into cold and warm, light and rich, old and new-style, as well as the chef’s signature tasting menu. Come prepared to share then jump straight in with edamame beans and a few portions of the new-style sashimi. The salmon new-style is the most popular of them all – a simple, moreish dish comprised of melt-in-your-mouth salmon dressed in soy and an unctuous sesame seed oil. A better eel California roll would be impossible to find – Nobu’s expert chefs are classically trained and it shows in how they prepare the all too often taken-for-granted California roll – with perfect execution and attention to consistency.
Determined not to be singled out as just a sushi restaurant, Nobu’s meat dishes come packed with addictive Eastern flavours. Only high-quality cuts are used and, where available, the Wagyu beef can be enjoyed in four different ways – new-style, toban yaki, tataki or ishiyaki style.
The pièce du résistance has to be the much-hyped Black Cod den miso. This dish has helped some of the Nobu branches earn Michelin stars – it is a firm but flakey fish, served with a tasty charr on the outside, a hint of natural sweetness and spectacularly pared-down presentation. It’s worth every solitary penny.
The often-popular Rock Shrimp Tempura is a little underwhelming, but the umami-packed baby spinach salad with dried miso is an unexpected highlight set to send you soaring on a flavour joyride.
Chocolate fiends are spoilt for choice with three chocolate desserts on offer. But it’s the chocolate bento box with a gooey lava fondant, served with a scoop of matcha green tea ice-cream, that is the perfect end to a whirlwind meal.
The selection is well-curated, comprising of both local and international wines all broken down by varietals. The list of spirits is equally inexhaustible, comprising of Japanese whiskeys, beers, cognacs and saké.
Welcoming and efficient service and staff have a detailed knowledge of the extensive menu, though the staff are perhaps a tad over-eager to push the pricier items on the menu.
Nobu is the most designer space inside the generally muted One&Only Hotel – the restaurant enjoys palatial triple volume high ceilings topped with an edgy origami light fixture. The dark contemporary wood gives the space a moody feel, making it a suitable place for both a romantic dinner for two or a swanky champagne dinner party.
If the craving for Nobu arrests you before payday, worry not, the upstairs nook serves delectable finger food at budget-friendly prices.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.