A unique, futuristic building amongst Shoreditch’s stonework and graffitied grey buildings, the Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch stands six storeys tall in East London’s creative district, tucked away on a quiet street off the main thoroughfare. The world-renowned luxury chain of hotels and restaurants, founded nearly 30 years ago by four businessmen – including Japanese celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Hollywood acting icon Robert De Niro – boasts 164 guest rooms and suites, a private alfresco terrace, a gym and spa, and for guests and non-guests alike, a famed Nobu restaurant and NAMI bar.
Following a two-year hiatus as a result of the pandemic, Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch reopened its doors to the public mid June to a flurry of bookings. The spot is ready to beckon fine diners and Japanese and Peruvian cuisine lovers with a whole host of incredible dishes, unique flavour combinations and unforgettable experience. The whole hotel boasts a distinctive style that pairs Japanese influences with a 70s style, and the re-launch of the hotel coincides with the unveiling of the brand-new sixth floor and the Nobu Shoreditch Penthouse, which has a private outdoor terrace and two new bedroom types.
At Nobu Restaurant, classic Japanese recipes are lifted using Peruvian flavours, and served ‘family style’ (shared on the table). There are a variety of diners: intimate dates, celebratory groups, and solo visitors, and while the menu is costly, you each receive a faultless, exclusive experience. The atmospherically lit dining area, which employs dark colours and wood, looks onto the open kitchen, so you can catch a glimpse of what goes into preparing the beautifully presented dishes (or, if you’re like us, spy what other diners have ordered for inspiration).
We were recommended to try the yellow tail, served with crispy rice; it is clear attention to detail is high priority here, with the rice cubes perfectly formed, and a harmonious balance of fresh fish, a little kick of spice, and a variety of textures. In fact, all the fish dishes we tried had a lovely balance of flavours and textures, using Peruvian spices to elevate the freshness of the fish. The skin on the sea bass was perfectly crisped, and the fish itself melt-in-your-mouth soft. The shrimp tempura sushi was very satisfying, again, with a lovely hit of heat.
If fish isn’t your thing, fear not: the menu features a range of other meat and veg-based dishes too. The beef toban yaki in particular has the wow factor. The dish is served in a round iron skillet topped with a lid, which your server will open theatrically at your table, revealing a tempting aroma and sizzling meat. The beef is accentuated by many different types of mushroom, and the broth is lovely. If you have room for dessert, the offerings do not disappoint. The attention to detail in the presentation and flavour balance continues: I highly recommend the chocolate bento box, which paired light green tea ice cream with rich chocolate mousse and cake. The mochi balls are a brilliant burst of fruity ice cream for those who prefer a lighter dessert.
Alternatively, if you fancy just going for a drink – or the purse strings are set a little tighter this month with all the summer activities – NAMI Bar offers the same exclusive Nobu experience for a fraction of the price, with an al fresco terrace to boot. Arguably, it is the place to go for afternoon drinks and long summer nights. The space is rather unique: it is below ground level yet awash with natural light, and you can sit across different levels in the outdoor terrace area, flanked by flora. Available only at Nobu’s Shoreditch outpost, the extensive menu is impressive: from carefully crafted cocktails to Japanese spirits, sake to beer, there is something for everyone. Hey, just take a look at the row after row of bottles glimmering behind the bar from floor to ceiling. I particularly enjoyed the Nami Spritz, which was fruity and pretty, and their strong margaritas. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, NAMI welcomes live DJs who set the tone for the evening.
The hotel rooms
If it is a special occasion, and you’ve eaten and drank yourself silly, it’s only right to make use of one of Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch’s hotel rooms. Now, you can book into one of the new rooms at the top of the building, or stay in the just as sumptuous other room types on lower levels. Each room comes complete with a king-size, or super king-size bed (all the better for stretching out after your indulgent meal), Wi-Fi, a traditional Japanese tea set, and all the comforting amenities you need for your stay – I’m not kidding when I say they have thought of everything. The minimalist Japanese interiors conceal a trove of helpful treasures in the bathroom (top tip: look inside the soap holder!), and in the room itself, you’ll want for nothing with a fully stocked minibar and even a drawer of tasty premium snacks. There is a ‘welcome back’ offer off the back of the relaunch, which includes a £100 food and beverage credit, room upgrade and late check-out, subject to availability with each booking.
Whether you decide to stay in the hotel, indulge in a meal, or just pop in for a drink at the bar, Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch is impressive. It’s not just the look and fame of the place, but rather the impeccable service that’ll have you saving up to return again and again.