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|Address:||15 Berkeley Street, London W1J 8DY|
|Tel:||020 7290 9222|
|Price: £89.00||Wine: £33.00||Champagne: £64.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2.30pm (Sat-Sun -3pm) 6-11pm (Thus-Sat -12M Sun -9.45pm)|
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Review – Nobu Berkeley Square
What three things makes a great restaurant? Well great food for a start springs to mind, outstanding service perhaps and reasonably priced food. Well two out of three is not bad. I’m at Nobu Berkeley Square and some of the prices on the menu remind me of the winning amount being paid out for picking five correct numbers on this week’s lottery.
As I enter this restaurant from Berkley Street and hand over my coat to one of the two very welcoming ladies at the desk, I then feel slightly awkward as I am then left to my own devices. Naturally they must have assumed that I had been before and I cannot bring myself to disappoint them so I hover for a moment and then head off in the opposite direction. I am sure they would have been more happy to show me where the actual restaurant was, if I asked, but deep down somewhere inside me, I just feel that I do not qualify for that extra special customer service. I’m told they often have many celebrities here and personally I doubt if they are left to wander the ground floor alone. Nevertheless, I’m a big lad and make my own way and soon end up in the downstairs bar. It’s quiet vast and I imagine has a real buzz about it at the weekend, but sadly it’s completely empty on this Friday afternoon I visit. By chance, a fellow diner appears who is in the same predicament and asks the barman where the restaurant is. He points to the stairs so I head up and as you reach the top you make somewhat a grand entrance at the main desk and from now on, the service is impeccable.
I sit at the sushi counter with a another couple and have the chance to watch the chefs in action. The whole operation is very well oiled and efficient and their preparation of the ultra-quality fish is seamless with very little communication needed. Clearly everyone knows their role and the wheels of fish preparation just roll effortlessly.
I order on recommendation the Nobu Bento box and a nice glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc. My waiter is keen to check I have no food allergies and I feel tempted to tell him, fish as a joke, but do not have the courage as I am sure he has heard it all before.
My bento box arrives and is placed in front of me and the lid is removed with a certain amount of ceremony to reveal two layers, one of hot food, the lower of cold. On the top layer I have before me, tempura rock shrimp, black cod and spicy garlic rice with warm vegetables as my hot option and some nice sushi, sashimi and a salad for the cold section. I am also given a nice miso soup. The waiter indicates that I should go with the hot dishes first to enjoy them at their best. Of course, presentation is first class, but unfortunately, placing a lid on top of crispy tempura has the effect of immediately making most of it soggy as the steam created diminishes that super crunchy tempura they do so well. Happily, not all of my tempura is soft. My black cod is beautifully cooked, but again I wonder if the skin which is left on should be crispy or was crispy originally?. It is good and still has that distinctive cod taste . The vegetables are just al dente and the garlic rice is outstanding. My lower section of sushi and sashimi is super fresh and very moorish.
The price was £33.00 for the bento box and perhaps a tiny bit overpriced, but maybe not so much as my glass of wine at £8.50 for a small measure, but hey it’s Friday and I now know my way back to the entrance all on my own.
Overall a wonderful experience with exemplary service and I can see what the fuss is about.