Want unlimited sushi for £45? Is the Pope a Catholic?
Tucked down a quiet back street just around the corner from busy Old Street roundabout, is Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Shoreditch, the group's latest opening. The hotel opened back in July and on 3 September 2017, launched a new all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch.
Chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa creates fusion dishes using traditional Japanese and Peruvian ingredients. Feasting begins each Sunday at 11am and goes on until 4pm (last sitting starts at 3pm).
Nobu's front door is huge. It reminded me of an ancient Japanese temple door with its grey steel and matte metallic design. The upstairs lounge is sleek and modern yet warm and intimate, while the bar downstairs covers an entire wall and looks fun and inviting. I imagine it would be lively at night. We left our coats at the cloakroom and were shown to our table to shouts of, 'irashaimase!', i.e. 'welcome' in Japanese.
The recently opened Nobu Shoreditch Hotel and Restaurant
There is ample room at the tables (if anything the tables are on the slightly too large side so you have to speak loudly to your companion to be heard) and there is an open kitchen with good ventilation I didn't have smelly hair or clothes after sitting in their restaurant for 3 hours and there were lots of flames going up in the kitchen throughout service.
We ordered tap water and an elderflower drink. The elderflower arrived quickly but the tap water took an age. Water was frequently topped up during the rest of the meal.
Unleashing ourselves on the sushi, nigiri and sashimi buffet, we filled out plates with oysters, yellowtail sashimi and tuna and cooked prawn nigiri. The fish was fresh and there is lemon sauce to pour on top which adds a zing.
The Japanese egg and cucumber and prawn stick sushi rolls were popular and so were freshly made regularly but the chicken karage has been fried and left sitting around too long.
Open kitchen at Nobu Shoreditch, Japanese egg sushi, Pot of mini wagyu beef stew ad a sausage roll, tuna and cooked prawn nigiri and Chicken Karage
In the cooked section there were sausage rolls and mini beef wagyu pots with cheese sprinkled on top. Both were a touch too salty and no spoons were provided to scoop up soupy stew. I saw several people struggling to eat it with chopsticks.
The first main that came out was the Parmesan Truffle Rice Toban which was basically a large portion of risotto rice topped with cheese and truffle shavings. I didn't mind it but my friend wasn't a fan. If we had been in an Italian restaurant maybe we would have been expecting it.
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Parmesan Rice and Truffle Toban, Roasted Beef Short Ribs, Sauteed Mushroom with Bao Bun Parmesan and Baby Corn Tempura with Creamy Yuzu Honey
Baby Corn Tempura with Creamy Yuzu Honey was served next. The batter was light and crispy but the baby corn tasted candied and was way too sweet.
The Sauteed Mushroom with Bao Bun Parmesan had a tasty filling but the bun tasted like a sweet, soft, doughnut. It all made for a weird combination.
The Roasted Beef Short Ribs that followed should have been a star. They had a finger-licking sauce but the meat itself was dry.
At this point in the meal, I felt chef was leaning a little heavily towards beef, cheese and sugar. Luckily, redemption came with the second half of the mains.
The Grilled Skirt Steak with Honey Truffle and Teriyaki had quite a good balance of sweet and salty and the Beef Gyoza were yummy.
Up next, the Grouper Tempura had a crisp, light batter and the fish was perfectly cooked.
The finale was Roasted Pork Belly with Spicy Ponzu and In-House Pickled Daikin was the dish of the day. The meat fell apart and was smothered in a fiery chilli sauce. The homemade pickled radish was excellent and extremely moreish.
Grilled Skirt Steak with Honey Truffle and Teriyaki, Beef Gyoza, Grouper Tempura and Roasted Pork Belly with Spicy Ponzu and In-House Pickled Daikin
The desserts stood out and the wow factor. Each came in a perfectly delicate portion so a few could be eaten. The strawberry yuzu cake was citrusy and light, the green tea rolled roulade tasted of matcha and eating the water drop sakura jelly dessert was a lot of fun. It popped in my mouth and a delicate flavour oozed out. The only slightly odd thing was the flower inside it tasted slightly bitter and wasn't that pleasant.
Chocolate Mousse, Water Drop Sakura Jelly, Green Tea Roulade, Honey Brioche Toast and Strawberry Yuzu Cake were all drop dead gorgeous to look at as well as to eat
I would return as the ambience is good, I love the Natura Bisse toiletries in the bathrooms and it is not bad value for money. However, I would focus more on the raw fish and desserts, skip most of the rest of the unlimited buffet and only eat the best mains.
There are three different price points for brunch with the sushi and dessert bar being unlimited for everyone. All the main dishes are served to your table in set portions. You will be stuffed by the time you leave so pace yourself. We had to doggy bag some of our mains.
The prices per person of £45, £55 and £65 reflect what drinks you want (no alcohol; Prosecco, Sauvignon Blanc or Rioja; or Veuve Cliquot, Crozes Hermitage Blanc or Chateau du Moulin Grand Cru respectively).
Sunday Brunch Menu at Nobu Shoreditch Hotel and Restaurant