Restaurants, Japanese Mayfair
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© Luca Zampedri

The hype has died down, the celebs are long gone, but London’s first branch of Nobu (there’s a second on Berkeley Square) is still a heavyweight on the Japanese dining scene. Imitations of the restaurant’s signature dishes – black cod with miso, or rock shrimp tempura, for example – can be found on many a menu in the capital these days, but if you want to try the original Nobu Matsuhisa version, then head to Old Park Lane.

Crisp tacos topped with sweet-fleshed crab and piquant tomato salsa make an enjoyable prelude to a meal. Then it’s time to explore the rest of the restaurant’s much-lauded range of Japanese/Peruvian fusion dishes. A vegetarian dish of tofu anticuchos came bar-marked with a spicy red-pepper sauce. Though perfectly tasty, it wouldn’t get pulses racing. Sushi here is excellent, however; our well-shaped temaki was filled with diced scallop and smelt eggs in a rich, creamy chilli sauce.

A meal at Nobu might not come cheap, but a few things are guaranteed: impeccable service, great views (the restaurant overlooks Hyde Park) and perfectly fresh fish. Another likelihood is a dining room packed with moneyed tourists and smart Kensington families, so get your glad rags on.



Venue name: Nobu
Address: 1st floor
19 Old Park Lane
Cross street: The Metropolitan
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2.15pm Mon-Fri; 12.30-2.30pm Sat, Sun. Dinner served 6-10.15pm Mon-Thur; 6-11pm Fri, Sat; 6-10pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Hyde Park Corner
Price: Dishes £3.25-£38. Set lunch £35 bento box; £65, £75. Set dinner £85, £95
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

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Kateryna V

When you get a £320 bill for 2 and find yourself thinking 'that's quite alright', then you know that this particular restaurant excels. We drank Saint Clair Sauv Blanc (one of my favourite NZ whites and a great pairing for seafood), ate a selection of sashimi and tacos to share. As a main, I had black cod miso (but of course!) and my companion had lobster wasabi pepper. We then rounded the meal off with deserts (mine, Suntori Whiskey Cappuccino, was served in a cup and looked exactly like a cappuccino and tasted divine). Everything, and I mean everything, tasted great. The service was always good, friendly (even unexpectedly so, as with all the multiple 5 star hotels around Park Lane and with all the Bentleys pulling into the driveway rather formal service is more of a norm) and available at a moment's notice despite the place heaving with customers. And oh my, the place is busy. We arrived for an 8 pm setting on a Thursday and were leaving approaching 11 pm and the place didn't look like it was slowing down (it says on the web-site they close at 11 pm so not sure how that goes down).

The clientele is undeniably wealthy (a Bottega Veneta woven hobo lying on the banquette left of me, a Chanel shopping bag under the next table, a Loro Piana cardigan hanging casually on a chair to the right), but in a chick, not rub in your face kind of way (thinking of Sexy Fish and Chiltern Firehouse here). I left strongly intent on making more money to make eating out at Nobu a habit, not a special occasion.