NICKY SUMMER: A few things on social media have kept me going through lockdown, amongst them Nobus’ simple but delicious home made recipes (seen below) including avocado and lightly scrambled egg on white toast. Yum! My first visit to a Nobu restaurant was to his understated icon of Japanese/Peruvian fusion gastronomy, ‘Matsuhisa’ in LA; not too long afterwards, he opened in New York then in the newly built Metropolitan in Old Park Lane, London, supported by his co-founder, the actor/hotelier Robert De Niro. I was asked to be a Committee Member for the famous Met Bar within the hotel and this came with various incentives including comp. membership, two nights in a contemporary suite in the hotel, (lethal) martinis in the bar, plus lunch or dinner for two in the restaurant…
I invited the same friend who’d taken me to Nobu in Beverly Hills to have lunch with me in Mayfair. The contemporary, light and airy setting on the first floor was the polar opposite of LA’s traditional, wood-lined restaurant on N. Cienega Blvd., but just as complementary to the chef’s delicious and addictive cuisine. ‘Nobu’ on Old Park Lane was one of the first to elevate London’s fine dining scene to a whole new gastronomic level, with it’s pared-back decor and exquisite menu offering unique combinations of flavour and presentation. This was the benchmark of perfection; even the standard appetiser of steamed edamame with rock salt and miso was transformed into another realm, just because Nobu himself had prepared it.
Now the chef has expanded his empire to include own-label food products, restaurants and hotels around the world, ‘Nobu Malibu’ being my favourite – for the ocean and sunset views, it’s proximity to Carbon Beach, fabulous A-list clientele, beautifully presented cuisine, atmospheric lighting, delicious sushi, cool indoor/outdoor vibe and amazing staff. It may be on the pricey side but as Nobu’s partner Robert De Niro once said “If you are ever lucky enough to have something be successful, be sure you don’t short change yourself…” – excellent advice!
Within the collages of images on this page: *Photographer and model scout Jim Jordan with supermodel Taylor Hill at our early supper at Nobu Malibu; *me on the same evening with Jim at sunset (taken by Taylor Hill); *me with with LA friends outside Nobu, Malibu (below, left); The Met Bar on Old Park Lane; a suite at The Metropolitan Hotel; Nobu resort, Ibiza; Nobu’s comfort food on instagram; *me nearby my local Nobu while at home on Carbon Beach; *sushi and sashimi chefs at work at Nobu Malibu (above, right); Nobu Matsuhisa and brand co-founder, Robert De Niro; *a maitre d’ at Nobu, Malibu (below, right); *delicious soup and a *salmon/caviar dish served at Nobu Malibu; *a neighbour walking her dog on Carbon Beach, Malibu; red banquette seating inside The Met Bar, London; *Malibu Pier from the terrace at Nobu, Malibu; a selection of 3 of Nobu’s personal dishes produced at home during lockdown; the original Matsuhisa, at 129 N. Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills. *Images with an asterisk credited to Nicky Summer