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Nobu Cape Town at One&Only

Cost
R350 avg main meal
Ambience
Classic elegance, Family friendly
Food
Japanese, Modern
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Graham Howe

Food
Devotees of chef-owner Nobu Matsuhisa are familiar with the global Nobu formula. This approach which gives Japanese cuisine a contemporary makeover, combining the tastes and textures of classic Japanese, Peruvian (try the anticucho skewers and tuna tacos) and South African (crayfish, kingklip and yellowtail) ingredients and influences with an innovative twist. Novices might well settle for the lighter bento box, which artfully presents a selection of miso, sushi, sashimi and tempura. The regulars enjoy sharing a contrast of cold and warm, light and rich, old and new style, on one of the tempting yin and yang set menus – including a sublime eight-course vegetarian set menu. Whatever you order, do not miss a few of Nobu’s signature dishes: notably, black lacquered cod den miso, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño and new-style sashimi. Whether you do tempura, teriyaki, tiradito or toban yaki, this will be a culinary journey into the sublime joys of umami (the fifth savoury sense). Much more than sushi and sashimi, this is Japanese cuisine on the cutting-edge – and it doesn’t come cheap. Finish with a Suntory whiskey cappuccino.

Drinks
A superb wine and spirits list also tempts with a comprehensive selection of Japanese beer, sake, plum wine and Japanese whiskey for an aperitif at the sleek Nobu bar – or try the sake and omakase pairing menu.

Service
World-class, from the sommelier to the servers, with great advice on how to mix and match the tastes and textures of old and new style sushi and sashimi, classic Japanese cuisine, South African and Peruvian fusion dishes.

Ambience
A metropolitan venue, this cathedral-esque venue is grand for a special night out. Enjoy the posh booths and banquettes, to the chic décor and lacquered finishes.

And…
Try the omakase (meaning ‘from the heart’) tasting menu for an epicurean journey of classic Japanese cuisine, featuring six samplers chosen by the chef.

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  • Greg Landman

    Food
    Nobu Matsuhisa spent some of his formative years in South America, specifically Peru, so you will find, rather unusually, some Peruvian items on this vast Japanese menu. There are things like chicken, beef and salmon anticucho, which are delicious morsels on skewers, and tuna and salmon, or lobster and crab tacos, which are crunchy and satisfying. The rest of the menu deals in the Japanese manner with all sorts of things from fish to flesh to fowl, either in sushi and sashimi styles, flash-fried tempura and quick-seared tataki, all with tantalising sauces. If you’re not up to wandering through the various types of cooking, go for one of the set dinners, which feature various kinds of teriyaki and spicy garlic shrimps.

    Wine
    The wine list is vast – and pricey – with many treasures from the Cape and from further afield, as well as the obligatory sake.

    Service
    In a place like this it is advisable to let the staff talk you through the various things on offer unless you have spent time in Japan – and they can do it.

    Ambience
    The plush double-volume room at this upmarket venue is very large and does not lend itself to cosy corners. However, once you’re seated it doesn’t seem to matter that much, but it helps to take a group – and  some money.

    And...
    Try the Lite Menu, which is available every evening from 6pm to 8pm at the bar, and features platters of finger food for four people of meat, fish or vegetarian, as well as some of their spectacular cocktails at special prices.

    (July 2014)

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  • Food
    A fantastic culinary experience and possibly the best raw seafood experience in Cape Town. The menu is so extensive that it is tempting to select one of the set dinners, but be sure not to miss out on the flagship dishes such as yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, the black cod and the Wagyu beef.

    Wine
    There is an extensive selection of top-end wines from mainly well-known estates. The advantage of dining in this price range is that you have a sommelier to assist you with your selection.

    Service
    Although well trained, the waiters could be a little more attentive.

    Ambience
    Nobu does struggle to shake off the hotel feeling, but once the food arrives you will no longer be paying attention to anything else.

    And...
    The best experience is found when you sit at the sushi bar and leave the dish selection to the chef (omakase). (DV, October 2012)
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  • Visit on a special occasion to blow the budget on high quality Japanese food. Nestled in the luxurious One&Only Hotel, Nobu offers an exceptional dining experience in line with the world-wide Nobuyuki ‘Nobu’ Matsuhisa brand. There’s a great ambience in the spacious, amber-hued space, with well-trained, informative staff and a great winelist to match the fresh and spicy food. Highlights on the exciting, varied menu include the spinach and crayfish salad with spicy lemon dressing; prawn tempura; black cod miso; brilliiant sushi; a variety of vegetarian dishes; aubergine with miso; and Nobu’s signature yellowtail sashimi. (Eat Out magazine 2014)
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User reviews

  • We visited Nobu last night as part of Restaurant Week. The service was friendly and attentive, and the food was delicious. Our waitress suggested we have the edamame to start - they were served in a spicy sauce that we would quite liked to have bottled and taken home! The Restaurant Week offering (for R300 per person) was a Bento Box with 6 different dishes in it - a sound taster of the restaurant's food. The highlight was the crispy tempura fish with creamy dipping sauce, and the yellowtail sushi. The chicken satay skewers were a bit pedestrian. The dessert was a perfectly sized and oozing chocolate fondant with gently-flavoured green tea ice-cream, which was just delicious. While we had a really enjoyable evening, I am not sure we would go back - a glance at the menu revealed prices more suited to tourists (not surprisingly, given the location. The famous blackened cod is an eye-watering R580). You do also feel like you are sitting in a hotel restaurant - carpet flooring will do that. The space is also a bit too high in volume, which takes away from what could have been an intimate atmosphere.
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  • Not a gastronomic experience!

    My daughters always wanted to eat at Nobu. So when we booked to stay at the One & Only, I booked at Nobu well in advance. Booking was made in May for our dinner on the 10 August. All was going well. The waitress was friendly, gave us a good description of the meals, noted our allergies. The first concern was the fact that all food was fried in the same oil as the prawns! Really dangerous if you have a shellfish allergy! Our food arrived one dish at a time, meaning not everyone got their food at the same time! Strange but it was getting late. The dishes were nothing to rave about. 3 out of the 4 at the table had finished eating and there was still no sign of the 4th person's deluxe Bento meal! The reason - our apologies but the kitchen was busy, your food is being plated now! Still a wait so we settled the bill and left feeling really disappointed with a much anticipated visit!

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  • We were invited to celebrate combined birthday and loved the experience tremendously. The waitress was very knowledgeable and helped us with all our various food allergies! Ambience was the only disappointment. Totally overpriced, but so delicious you want to go back anyway!

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  • One of the best Asian food restaurants anywhere! Nobu in Cpae Town never disappoints. Been here quite a few times now - on special occasions, with visitors, and just to indulge ourselves. It can feel a little stiff at first, but just take it in and you will find it quietly friendly and very welcoming. So many delicious things on the long menu - let the attentive waiter help you. The other day we had tataki tuna with ponzu dressing, lobster salad, ceviche, some new style sashimi, blackened cod and oysters with Nobu salsa. All excellent, beautifully presented - every dish is a piece of art, and in perfect portion size. Do a sake pairing with the food, a great experience. The hotel feeling just adds to the special fine dining experience.

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  • The best thing about this was the cocktail at the bar of the One & Only before we went to Nobu for our meal.

    I know this is a chain of famous restaurants, so its reputation is well known.

    My partner and I were totally disappointed by the food. Overpriced. Underwhelming.

    There are much better sushi/Japanese restaurants in Cape Town, which are much more vibrant, cheaper and of a higher standard of food.

    As an example, the King Crab with ponzu sauce, which is around R210, arrived in a small flat dish, smothered in sauce. It looked like a dessert covered in custard. The sauce was so thick you couldn't see what was underneath. Thick like taco cheese sauce. Anyway, I sent it back, and they did credit our bill. Weirdly, the waitress told us, that it is not a popular dish, and most people don't like it. Wonder why no-one suggested we not order it then. Or perhaps take it off the menu.

    Unfortunately most of the meal was of a poor standard. Even my bloody mary was nasty. I remade it at the table. Something i have never done before.

    The high point was the fish and chips Nobu style. The kingklip was lovely, the chips not so.

    My advice if you are thinking about Japanese food in Cape Town, is give this place a wide berth. Sorry to say.

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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Accommodation
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • StreetSmart affliated
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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