It would not be a stretch to say that Nobu was instrumental in making Japanese cuisine accessible to the uninitiated. When it opened its doors in 1994, the restaurant gained instant critical acclaim for its Japanese-Peruvian flavours, and for elevating the traditional dining experience into a fun, upbeat vibe.
Beyond his unimpeachable contribution to the Japanese fine-dining scene, chef Matsuhisa Nobu’s story is also a tale of grit and perseverance, and a potent reminder to never give up: in the 1970s, he moved from Japan to Peru, refining his style of Peruvian-Japanese cuisine. Following a bust-up with his partner, he moved to Argentina but found the pace of life too slow. He ended up in Anchorage, Alaska, where another disaster would upend his life: his restaurant caught fire, burning his life savings and his dreams.
He managed to secure a gig at a sushi-ya in Los Angeles, where he honed his unique style for six years, before being given the opportunity to set up an eponymous restaurant called Matsuhisa. It was there that Robert De Niro would become a regular, and would end up spending five years convincing the chef to open a restaurant in the trendy Tribeca neighbourhood in New York.
In 1994, the first Nobu opened its doors, and gained critical acclaim for dishes like the black miso cod, which remains a signature for the group.
Since then, the Nobu empire has grown from strength to strength — with outposts in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Las Vegas, Dubai and more, the group now boasts 47 restaurants across the world, as well as a number of Nobu-branded hotels.
Now, finally, our little red dot is ready to welcome the restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore.
Here’s everything you need to know about the much anticipated-opening.
One of our Nobu favourites is undoubtedly the yellowtail with jalapenos, where the fish is lightly marinated in a yuzu ponzo sauce and topped with thin slices of the pepper. The piquant dish remains a signature on the menu, along with the black miso cod and the toro tartare with caviar.
The restaurant is located within the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, and is the first Nobu in the world to feature an outdoors Japanese landscaped garden space that offers a view of the Singapore skyline.
Another first in Nobu’s constellation of 40-plus restaurants worldwide is the private room with a chef’s table, making for an intimate dining experience.
Reinforcing its commitment to making its Singapore outpost a world-class restaurant, the kitchen will be helmed by executive chef Hideki Maeda, who was head chef at Nobu London. Maeda is a protege of Nobu himself, and has three decades of experience in refining and elevating Japanese cuisine.
He is joined by executive sushi chef Takahiro Tim Otomo, and general manager Gopi Kanala, who worked for 14 years in Nobu’s Kuala Lumpur outpost.
Other highlights include two teppanyaki rooms, which are only found in a handful of Nobu restaurants around the world. In terms of tipples, you can expect nothing but the best — a sake bar will serve up craft cocktails, as well as sakes that have been brewed expressly for Nobu from the Hokusetsu brewery in Niigata prefecture.