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|Address:||Metropolitan Hotel, 19 Old Park Lane, London W1K 4LB|
|Tel:||020 7447 4747|
|Price: £82.00||Wine: £34.00||Champagne: £64.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 12N-2.30pm Sat-Sun 12.30-2.30pm Mon-Sun 6-10.15pm (Fri-Sat -11pm Sun -10pm)|
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I was invited to lunch here by a person I've known for some years and who I now regard as a friend and a person whose creativity, optimism and joie de vivre I admire. These are qualities which this branch of Nobu also reflects, I think. First the slight criticisms: the serving staff kept shouting in loud voices something which I thought must have been an institutionalised ralying cry – it was disruptive. Second, although a guest, this place IS expensive even if the high-quality ingredients and the sourcing dictate that this should be so. For the first time ever in my experience, the place was only half-full as well (is there a patern emerging here ? ). Now the strengths: wonderful, wonderful food – have not had better even in California where Japanese food has been taken to new levels (confession: I've not been to Japan yet). Great, informed, helpful service by people who seem genuinely interested in the food they serve and that the customers should have a positive experience. It was a sunny day, I had great company, discussed future plans and aspirations (in spite of the times we live in), had a wonderful dining experience, enjoyed the chablis my host chose (in glasses, it being lunchtime) and emerged feeling that the world is not such a bad place after all. Clearly the company had a lot to do with this, but I think that Nobu played its part as well. All the dishes we had were fresh, zingy, a joy to eat. If you go there, take advice from your server and go with the flow. Remember to check your bank balance first.