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Nobu, Berkeley St.
In the constellation of gorgeous, alluring, and captivatingly sexy restaurants in London, Nobu Matsuhisa's restaurant on Berkeley Street shines bright. Of its contemporaries, fewer can lay claim to a striking David Collins façade and interior design, and even fewer can claim to stellar food and a Michelin star. The evening vibe is louche and lascivious, the food Japanese with elements of the chef's stint in Peru. Every inadvertent try-hard in the pantheon of pan-Asian lounges and restaurants tries to replicate this, and fails spectacularly.
So we know it's glamorous and sexy - what about the food?
Incredibly, in a restaurant scene littered with high-end Japanese restaurants and imitators, Nobu's kitchen stands out and delivers. The signature dishes like the rock-shrimp tempura and (still outstanding) miso cod continue to delight diners. The sushi and sashimis are excellent, but skip these in favour of the refreshingly delicious Peruvian ceviches - Nobu was knocking these out before the international gastronomic scene even caught a whiff of Peruvian cuisine - and do not fail to order a dish of life-changing wagyu beef. It's so tender you could literally eat it with a spoon.
The restaurant is open Monday to Saturday and, converse to the solidly booked tables at the Park Lane original, doesn't accept advance bookings for parties numbering fewer than six. Take a date, have a few cocktails - it doesn't get much better than this.
Opening hours: Monday - Friday lunch: 12:00 - 14:15, Monday - Wednesday dinner: 18:00 - 23:00, Thursday - Saturday dinner: 18:00 - 24:00
Sunday dinner: 18:00 - 21:15
Lounge/Bar: Monday - Wednesday: 12:00 - 13:00 , Thursday - Friday: 12:00 - 2:00, Saturday: 18:00 - 14:00, Sunday: 18:00 - 23:00