By Katie Wilson
When Nobu opened in London’s Old Park Lane in the Nineties, it instantly became a celebrity hangout. Owned by renowned Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Hollywood actor Robert De Niro, such was its A-list status, mere mortals stood little chance of bagging a table.
These days Nobu is a little more accessible. The restaurants still retain an air of exclusivity, but two Nobu hotels have opened in the capital since 2017, both with restaurants and bars. You’ll find one in Shoreditch and the newest in Portman Square, Marylebone, just behind Bond Street.
A secret spot for after work cocktails or one of their many DJ nights, such as the newly-launched Drop The Beat on Thursdays, the bar at Nobu Portman Square Hotel is still a place to be seen.
Nobu Portman Square Review
Designed by the same team behind The Wolseley restaurant in Mayfair and Harrods Chocolate Hall, the interiors are dark and moody with cosy corners perfect for a date night. Every Thursday at the moment, the bar at Nobu Portman Square gets a glitterball makeover.
Delightful Bar Manager Sophie Bratt has designed the ultimate ‘almost’ weekend night out with a brand new cocktail menu and her favourite female DJs gracing the decks until 1am.
Pop in for one of their new cocktails like the Raichi Martini, a twist on a lychee martini, or a Japanese whisky Shanpan Old Fashioned. We loved the menu was in a Japanese passport as it is meant to represent the hotel’s namesake chef Nobu who has travelled to a myriad of countries across the globe.
The food is great here, as you would expect, and the bar menu is much more affordable than in the restaurant. Smaller snacks like Spicy Edamame and individual tacos are under £10. On the more extravagant end of the scale, you can order Caviar for up to £300.
We opted for something in the middle when we visited and tucked into tasty Salmon Spicy Miso Tacos (£7 each), Black Cod Croquettes (£20), Chicken Skewers (£21) and Wagyu Dumplings (£32.50).
As well as Drop The Beat on Thursday nights, Nobu Portman Square is playing hosts to vinyl DJs and a four-course sharing menu for their Chilled Sundays sessions taking place every Sunday afternoon in the Nobu Restaurant from 12.20pm to 3pm.
Costing £59pp, tuck into sharing platters like Yellowtail Jalapeño on a skewer, Sea Bass Tiradito and Crispy Rice with Seafood Ceviche alongside a Salmon Nigiri Roll. This is followed by a selection of sushi for the second course. Mains featured include Nobu’s signature Black Cod Miso served with rice or salad, before finishing off with Portman Square cheesecake. Vegetarian options are also available.
Best for: Japanese food, after work cocktails, date nights, DJ nights
Nobu Portman Square Hotel is at 22 Portman Square, London, W1H 7BG and is open Monday to Wednesday 5pm to midnight, Thursday 5pm to 1am, Fridays and Saturdays 5pm to 2am and 5pm to 11pm on Sundays
Bar food starts from £7 for snacks. Cocktails start from £17
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