Nobu Berkeley

15 Berkeley Street, London, England, W1J 8DY, United Kingdom

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This restaurant has quite a different feel to the Park Lane Nobu. It has a large downstairs bar, attractively designed, while the dining room is upstairs. There were no reservations, which resulted in me turning up before 19:00 and yet not being seated until 20:15, which cynically I guess is great for the trade at their bar, but is frustrating as a customer.  Drinks were costly e.g. a glass of champagne is £12, a small beer £4.50, cocktails £10.50, though this does not trouble the crowd of hedge fund manager and the like who were here. There was a wooden floor and music, so the noise levels were extremely loud – my wife and I were struggling to have a conversation although we were sitting at the same table. 

The food started very well, with a very fine tuna sashimi salad; this had superb tuna, fresh salad leaves and an attractive, slightly spicy dressing that worked really well (16/20). Crab roll was just ordinary by comparison (12/20). Rock shrimp tempura was not as good as that at, say E&O, being neither as light with the tempura batter not having as good a taste, these prawns seeming a little bland (12/20). A whole poussin cooked in a wood-fired oven was fine, but was served with no sauce and just a few root vegetables, seemed out of place here (14/20). Similarly a dish oven-roasted wild mushrooms was generous in size, but again with no sauce needed to have perfect ingredients, and yet the varying mushrooms (which were a pretty display) were cooked together, meaning that some larger ones were undercooked and some smaller ones relatively overcooked (11/20). Peruvian salmon was tender and marinated with a spicy sauce, but this was merely pleasant (12/20). In summary, while this place is a big commercial success, catering to the rich under 35s, as a dining experience you would be better off either at the original Nobu.  

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