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Nobu London

19 Old Park Lane, London, England, W1K 1LB, United Kingdom

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This is a London branch (it has a younger sister in Berkeley Street) of the global Nobu empire established by Nobu Matsuhisa, who after working as a chef in Japan opened a restaurant called Matsuei in Lima before moving to the USA. There he established Matsuhisa in Los Angeles, which was followed by a Tribeca branch, and now a chain stretching from Dallas to Dubai.   

Nobi London seems painfuilly fashionable, bordering on pretentious – staff shout out a greeting in Japanese as you walk past them and the dining crowd has settled into a mix of hotel guests and the well-off (nearby Zuma has a younger, though still prosperous, crowd). There were no starters and main courses here – things come as they will. A highlight was a “rock shrimp” tempura that was served on a green salad and given a heavy dose of lemon: this worked very well indeed (16/20). Conventional tempura of carrot, broccoli and prawn was good, though the batter was a little heavy compared to the very best tempura (I ate at a famous tempura place in Tokyo a few years ago which had truly gossamer-like batter). 

Teriyaki scallops served on a skewer were of good quality and carefully cooked, while sushi toro (the fatty and prized belly of tuna) and normal tuna was very good. Blackened cod was very tasty, though £24 for a none-too-large piece of cod is scarcely a bargain. Salmon teryaki was pleasant though the salmon was farmed and had limited flavour. Service was attentive, and there is a good wine list though we stuck to beer at £4.50 for a small bottle of Kirin. With no wine, no dessert and no pre-dinner drinks the bill was still £75 each, so this was hardly a bargain. 

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Further reviews: 23rd Jan 2013

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