There are many things you think of when the word “Nobu” comes up in conversation: sexy, opulent and delicious are probably the quick-fire word associations I would use if I were ever interrogated.
“Great value” probably wouldn’t be high up on my list.
But all that changes with an innovation that the restaurant has recently introduced to its mid-week dining options at its fabulous new Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch, and which I taste tested this week.
For now, dear readers, Nobu Shoreditch has introduced a Bento Box that pretty much defies expectations of what a Bento Box is meant to do.
Whenever I’ve had one in the past, usually in Japan, it’s a small, quick, travel-lite lunch, you can munch on a bullet train at your leisure.
But the new Nobu Shoreditch Bento Box is something else altogether. It arrives, stacked, in a beautiful Japanese style deep red lacquered box, and opens out into a huge five sectioned box of tasty delights.
And, not that i’m greedy (okay, I am), but there’s a lot of it.
The box brings together a sample menu of iconic Nobu classics, crafted by their Executive Head Chef Sandi Richmond, and includes Rock Shrimp Creamy Spicy, Black Cod, Spicy Vegetable Donburi, a light Sashimi Salad and a selection of their famous Sushi.
Every single one of these is a delight, covering off every possible flavour, from the sweet and crispy Rock Shrimp to the tangy Donburi and the velvety black cod; there was not a weak link, and the Box is a brilliant way to sample the best of Nobu.
The glass of house white we had was also delicious, and comes complimentary of the Box.
And the cost? £50. I don’t think I need to say any more.
We were also tempted to have starters (Rock Shrimp Tempura with Ponzu, Jalapeño or Creamy Spicy Sauce and Pork Gyoza – delish!), which was recommended but not entirely necessary, as the Bento Box proved more than enough food.
That said, we couldn’t resist deserts, and the Chocolate Bento Box and Nobu Cheesecake were as tasty as we had hoped. Possibly more so.
Even without the Bento Box Bonanza, Nobu Shoreditch would be a pretty special place to eat. The restaurant is a sleek, opulent, utterly sexy space, which is technically in the basement below their new hotel but feels like its the absolute centre of the whole building.
The staff are as friendly as you would expect, and the vibe is slick chic.
Having a cocktail in the swanky NAMI bar is also a good way to start and/or end the evening, serving up an impressive range of Nobu cocktails and mocktails. The bar is housed in an impressive double-height space at the front of the restaurant, and leads out on to a summer garden.
To sum up: If you work around or are visiting Old Street or Shoreditch and want to pop somewhere for a dinner that won’t take ages, won’t cost a fortune, but will be the tastiest thing you’ll eat that month, then we have found the place for you.
Get to it!
by PAUL RAVEN
The mid-week Bento Box Menu is available at Nobu Restaurant Shoreditch, priced at £50.00 per person. Available Monday – Wednesday from 6:00pm – 9:00pm for up to 6 people.
Booking & Info: Nobu at the Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch