Nobu Berkeley may be facing fierce competition from newbies such as The Chiltern Firehouse, but the cool celebrity hangout continues to draw hordes of A-listers. Celebrities including Rosie Huntington- Whiteley, Alesha Dixon , Imogen Thomas, Simon Cowell and Rihanna have all dinned at Nobu. Princess Beatrice and her boyfriend David Clarke are also known to pay regular visits.
When you arrive you will be taken to the ground floor bar, which with its swish white and black leather banquettes is the most glamorous part of the venue. Look out for the gorgeous tree emblem embroidery stitched into the walls, handpicked by designer David Collins, and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere. The upstairs restaurant, decked out with heavy wood and bamboo tables, has a more relaxed vibe.
If you like to see your food being cooked, then request to be seated at the sushi bar and watch as the chefs personally hand-roll your soft shell crab roll. Nobu Matsuhisa, the mastermind behind the chain, may not be involved in the various transatlantic posts but his influence is clearly felt on the menu, which features as many Japanese fusion creations as your heart may desire.
Tuck into some of the sashimi appetisers, ensuring that you try the raw beef (£12) which is served in hot oil and soy sauce. Sushi is a must-try with the salmon and egg sushi roll being one of the highlights on the menu. Luckily, the sushi is sensibly priced , starting at £2.50 to £9 per roll.
If you fancy something a tad more European, go for the chicken wings “lollipops” (£16.50). The wood oven roasted Poussin Yasai Zuke (£22.50) is also a mouth-watering option.
They say that imitation is the biggest form of flattery. Nobu’s famous blackened cod has been copied in almost every single pan-Asian restaurant across the world. Do not be fooled! Matsuhisa's recipe means that it is seared in a medium pan with sake, sugar and miso paste. The fish is fresh, meaty and will set you back a reasonably £25. Although undeniably sweet and delicious, desserts are more about presentation than substance. If you are going to try one, then make sure that it is the chocolate fondant with green tea ice cream (£10.50).
Moving on to the drinks. Nobu houses a long list of pre-meal sake and cocktails. Sake is definitely an acquired taste but rather surprisingly, the cocktails are easily consumed. If you are in the mood for a treat then go for the dry and rich sake with floating gold leaf (Hokusetsu Honjozo Kinpaku-iri). The Japanese mojito (£12), made with Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka, lime juice, Shiso leave and vanilla Syrup is a clear choice for those seeking a refreshingly minty beverage. If a celebration is in order splash out on a bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Rosé 2005 which retails at a hefty £790.
Nobu Berkely's glamour is timeless. The dining experience is truly special and the cocktails and wine list will satisfy even the most fussy palate.