Our Review Of Nobu Café In Shoreditch

Fancy a meal at a Kardashian-approved joint? Say hello to Nobu Café – the cooler, more easygoing sibling of the legendary and highly exclusive Japanese restaurant. 

Following its star-studded debut in the early nineties, Nobu has been the epitome of East-Asian glamour, style, and culinary excellence. With Robert De Niro as a co-founder, the original New York restaurant quickly became the go-to place for chic, albeit expensive, Japanese cuisine. Since then, it has opened more than 40 outposts worldwide, from Milan to Cape Town and Dubai, all frequented by A-list big shots such as Brad Pitt, Kate Moss, Tom Cruise, and the Kardashian-Jenners.

Nobu Café Review London | DesignMyNight

Nobu Café's menu is filled with delightful Japanese lunchtime delights.

If you're dreaming of a visit, we guarantee whichever Nobu you pick, the seats will be packed, the seafood top-notch and a bill that'll remind you (and your wallet) why it's such a splurge-worthy spot. But what if we told you there was a budget-friendly way to experience what this global favourite has to offer? As a massive sushi lover (and pop-culture enthusiast), when an invite to Nobu Café came my way, I sure as hell snapped it up for none other than my 25th birthday.

Nestled among Shoreditch's trendy warehouses and indie boutiques, Nobu Café is a delightful little haunt where Japanese and British lunchtime traditions collide. Occupying a vibrant space bridging the hotel lobby and the restaurant's lower entrance, the café's design is sleek yet chic. A serene oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of London's vibrant East End, it's decked out in dark-toned stone and heavily woven textiles in earthy tones, all enhanced by the natural light flooding through massive floor-to-ceiling windows. The constant movement of guests adds a lively touch, enhancing the dining experience with a dynamic flow of people coming and going, creating a buzzy atmosphere perfect for casual dining.

Nobu Café Review London | DesignMyNight

Nobu Café and lunchtime go together like sushi and soy sauce.

As my sushi-loving friend and I settled into our seats among the coffee-sipping, remote-working diners, our stomachs rumbled in anticipation. Our eyes immediately gravitated to the compact menu filled with tempting Japanese nibbles and sips. Naturally, we decided to sample a dish from each section to fully savour the experience. Our flavour adventure began with a classic Nobu chicken caesar salad (£16), given a Japanese twist with wasabi sour cream, truffle oil, crispy rice, and parmesan. Light yet filling, the dish was a tad sharp for my taste, but that didn't stop us from indulging in more than our fair share. We swiftly moved on to plates of katsu beef tenderloin (£24), and katsu chicken (£16) sandos enveloped in crispy, olive-oil toasted shokupan bread, brimming with juicy, glazed meat, tonkatsu aioli, and dijon mustard. These mouth-watering creations were a steal at £10, making them a lunchtime lure I'd gladly fall for again.

Nobu Café Review London | DesignMyNight

Get your fill of sushi maki, sandos, crispy sushi buns, salads, and so much more.

Next came the salmon crispy sushi bun (£14), a compact creation that was like biting into a cloud, stuffed generously with salmon, nori, avocado, jalapeño, shiso leaf, and crispy sushi rice – silken in texture, it packed a punch in flavour, leaving a lingering, satisfying aftertaste that beckoned another bite. The real star of the show, though? No surprises here – the shrimp tempura cut roll (£14). Bursting with juicy prawns well balanced with asparagus and a creamy, spicy sauce, this little gem is a one-bite wonder, especially when dipped in soy sauce and paired with a bit of fiery wasabi and pickled ginger. The harmonious blend of crunch and creaminess made this, hands down, the best sushi we'd ever had.

To cap off our meal, we savoured cups of steaming sweet and smoky craft hōjicha nibancha green tea (£5), a palate cleanser boasting Komakage and Yabukita varietals, expertly roasted over hot sand. With our bellies well and pleasantly packed, by the end of the meal, my dining buddy and I were on the brink of a food coma, primed and ready for a well-deserved snooze.

The DesignMyNight Digest

For a laid-back daytime retreat filled with world-class Japanese eats and drinks, head to Nobu Café. It's the perfect spot to catch up on work while enjoying delicious, beautifully presented food in a gorgeous setting. And with such wallet-friendly prices, this world-famous spot has made luxury dining an accessible everyday treat for Shoreditch locals.

  💰 The damage: £100 for five plates and two drinks. 

  📍  The location: 30 Willow St, London EC2A 4BH.

  👌 Perfect for: A casual afternoon treat or remote working pick-me-up.

 ⭐ Need to know: If you need a lie-down after your feast-a-thon, you can crash in one of the hotel's 249 rooms.


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