Cover New-style sashimi

You won’t have to travel overseas to have a taste of chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s new-style Japanese cuisine, as he opens his first local outpost at Four Seasons Singapore

Japanese restaurant Nobu is a global name in the F&B scene, attracting throngs of foodies and celebrities from the Kardashian-Jenners to the Beckhams and more with its signature new-style Japanese cuisine. Since its inception in New York 28 years ago, it has expanded its reach with the opening of outlets in different cities—from Los Angeles, London, Barcelona, Sydney, Hong Kong to Manila. With its continued success, it was to be expected that it would come to Singapore, which already has a diverse F&B scene.

That time has finally come, as the Japanese restaurant officially opened its doors at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore on June 1. While the restaurant has only been operating for a few days, general manager Gopi Kanala told us that it is already booked out for two months.

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As you will discover upon your visit, there is plenty to be excited about. Designed by Studio PCH—the same studio that designed five other Nobu outlets—to reflect Japanese and botanical influences, it has taken over the previous space of the indoor tennis court on the third floor. To get here, ask the staff to lead you to the semi-hidden lift on the first floor that will bring you to your destination. You will know you’re in the right place once the doors open and you see a calming Japanese garden that serves as the pathway to the main dining room.

Typical of Nobu restaurants, the dimly lit modern dining room with a contemporary playlist (instead of the traditional zen tracks) is packed with Singapore’s well-heeled crowd—all excited to have another taste of Nobu’s signature Japanese cuisine using Peruvian ingredients. That said, executive chef Hideki Maeda moved from Nobu London and executive sushi chef Takahiro Tim Otomo from Nobu Hotel Las Vegas to helm the kitchen.

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New-style Japanese cuisine

Having been with the group for decades, both are well-versed in preparing Nobu’s classic dishes that make up 70 per cent of the menu. What about the remaining 30 per cent?  Well, it’s up to the culinary team to get creative in the kitchen. As it has barely been open for a month, it is best to get started with signature appetisers to share—among which are the lightly salted edamame, blistered shishito peppers sprinkled with sesame seeds for additional crunch, and fresh-off-the-ocean yellowtail sashimi in a citrusy soy-ponzu sauce and crowned with jalapeno slices.

There is a chef’s table in the restaurant, which will soon be serving up an omakase menu, and a teppanyaki room that will be soon offering a more tailored experience. While waiting for these to open, you can opt for more sharing dishes to feast on. These include the fork-tender black cod coated in a sticky-sweet miso glaze, and the plump rock shrimp tempura enriched with a spicy cream sauce.

Nothing spells Japanese-Peruvian (or Nikkei) cuisine more than the Peruvian style ribeye steak, grilled with a beautiful char and succulent meat, then doused in a piquant sauce traditionally made with chilli pepper, garlic and vinegar.

Options abound on the menu, so if you are craving for sushi, there are plenty to choose from that are made the traditional way. Otomo uses Japanese rice that is infused with special vinegar and topped with seasonal fish—currently, they are Japanese red snapper, tuna and yellowtail. Down to the wine and sake list, you will find plenty on offer including some Junmai Daiginjo exclusive to Nobu.

Nobu, 190 Orchard Boulevard, Level 3, Four Seasons Singapore, S(248646), 6831 7653

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