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10-50 Willow Street
It’s 20 years since London’s first Nobu launched on Park Lane and almost as long since Shoreditch became a destination with a ragtag of cooler-than-thou bars clustered around Old Street. Now the two worlds collide with the launch of the Nobu Hotel Shoreditch. Come for quieter lunches and weekend brunches to appreciate the calm beauty of the design. A long staircase leads down to a dramatically high-ceilinged, concrete-lined space of glass walls and gauzy curtains, tricked out in 90s neutrals and with a four-stepped terrace leading off the large bar area for when it’s not raining. Inside, it’s raining men: we spotted a total of four female diners hidden among the big tables of City boys of every age group. A menu that’s about half the size of Nobu London’s nods towards time-pressed City diners and touts the brand’s greatest hits, from black cod with miso to yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño. Springy rock shrimp tempura encased in light batter and slicked in addictive creamy jalapeño sauce, and crisp tacos stuffed with lobster smeared in wasabi mayo, do the classics proud, while ‘Shoreditch specials’ include excellent pork belly with a beautifully balanced spicy miso caramel sauce. For pud, squidgy mochi cakes are perhaps more of an acquired taste, while a chocolate orb twice failed to melt on cue under its torrent of hot sauce. Cynics may carp that the arrival of one of the world’s foremost luxury lifestyle brands in EC2 shows how corporate the Shoreditch scene has become, but Square Mile diners will be thrilled to have somewhere on their doorstep with such a palpable frisson of global glamour.
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10-50 Willow Street
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Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
Went to Nobu on Friday night with high expectations due to their outstanding reputation. I have to say I was a bit disappointed.The restaurant had a nice vibe, it was well lit, open, hosts were lovely, shown to our table promptly. Our waiter was also lovely and answered our many questions and offered recommendations. We ordered 12 dishes between the four us. The salads were lovely, inventive. The tacos were interesting, though literally bite size, they were miniscule. Probably wouldn't order these again. The vegetable toban yaki was average, a bit heavy on the soy sauce and heavy on boring vegetable such as courgette and carrot. There was only one piece of broccoli on the plate. Again, the vegetables in spicy garlic sauce were very heavy on courgette and carrot, with not a lot else. Not the nicest dishes. However the vegetable sushi roll was very nice, though came without any sort of sauce. The soft shell crab sushi roll was DELICIOUS! Definitely recommend this dish. The salt & pepper squid arrived overcooked and chewy. We asked if we could get a replacement which they were happy to oblige to. The replacement was much much better. Chicken wings, black cod and the other fish dish which I cant remember the name of were all nice. But nothing was particularly outstanding. Mocktails and cocktails were nice. Wouldn't visit again as expectations weren't met. The food was nice, but not that special. And definitely not worth the money!
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