The high-ceilinged basement space of the Nobu Hotel Shoreditch has been re-modelled and Nami carved out of what was the bar. The idea is that the new concept is a ‘supper bar’ offering a more casual drinking and dining experience than the main Nobu dining room. It looks and feels pretty cool in a corporate way, with screens streaming Japanese Street art and a masked DJ spinning tranquil beats.
There’s a big focus on cocktails; we started with a bright pink Kiichigo Fizz, a sweet and easy-drinking concoction of vodka, raspberry, coconut, cranberry juice and lemonade which slipped down a treat with some salty edamame beans and bitesize nigiri.
Not everything is so small, though. A fresh and light yellowtail quinoa donburi would have fed one person nicely although, like all of the food, it’s designed for sharing. Tempura shrimp with tofu skins and creamy unagi sauce on a bed of rice was the best dish we ate. We’d also recommend the umami chicken wings, crisp and meaty; subtly miso-flavoured dashi fries; and the Wagyu burger with a fried quail egg in a fluffy tofu bun.
Some dishes are more of an acquired taste. Sakana chips consisted of a combination of cod and potato fried together into one block to give fish and chips in one bite. A dessert of choux buns filled with matcha and black sesame Chantilly cream, meanwhile, is one for green-tea fans only; fruit salad topped with a hard purple sugar disc and edible flowers is a more crowd-pleasing, pretty finish.
With dishes ranging from £7-£18, Nami will set you back considerably less than Nobu proper if you only plan on having a few small plates to accompany your drinks. But with so many winning dishes and a great atmosphere, you may find yourself ordering more than you originally intended.