Sundowners, sushi and shisha converge in a perfect seaside setting.
The Nobu brand is known for its beguiling blend of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines. Created by chef Nobu Matsuhisa and actor Robert De Niro, Nobu opened its first restaurant in New York in 1994. It has since gained a reputation for upmarket restaurants that span the globe from Cape Town to Sydney.
A meal at Nobu provides some serious culinary clout, whether dining on the beachfront in Malibu or within the Royal Bridge Suite at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai. However, Nobu’s outpost in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offers the most Insta-worthy setting.
Situated on the Jeddah Corniche overlooking the waters of the Red Sea, Nobu’s lofty dining room opens onto a wraparound terrace that hovers inches above the shoreline. It’s a popular spot for sundowners, sashimi and shisha while watching the sun slope seductively below the horizon. We’re greeted with a ceremonial chant of “irasshaimase”, which roughly translates as “please come in”, before taking a seat on a low-slung sofa.
Nobu Jeddah serves Nobu’s signature dishes and drinks. Popular choices include Umami Chicken Wings (SAR 70), Salmon Spicy Miso Tacos (SAR 40) and New Style Sashimi Salmon (SAR 95). The signature sushi rolls include Shrimp Tempura (SAR 55), Soft Shell Crab (AED 125) and Yellowtail & Jalapeño (SAR 65). Nobu’s menu in the Kingdom is almost identical to Nobu’s worldwide outposts except for some minor ingredient substitutions.
You can’t visit Nobu without indulging in kushiyaki, sashimi and tacos. Stuffed with chicken anticucho, spicy salmon miso or wagyu beef, the latter are moreish morsels. We soon move onto Nobu’s signature Yellowtail Jalapeño (SAR 155), where delicate pieces of sliced yellowtail come topped with fiery jalapeño slithers. It’s upon these premium ingredients and bold flavours that Nobu has built its lasting legacy.
Nobu Jeddah’s Whitefish Ceviche (SAR 75) amounts to a generous blend of white fish, avocado and mango that delivers a fresh and zesty punch to the palate. The inclusion of beetroot brings an elusive earthiness to the dish, while the accompanying tortilla adds a textural touch.
Aromatic truffle rice is served in a hot clay pot that is stirred and served table side amidst wafts of steam. The robust rice dish pairs perfectly with the Wagyu Tenderloin Umeboshi Salsa (SAR 400), a Chef’s Special in which a juicy piece of tenderloin is wrapped inside a leaf and presented on a tabletop BBQ.
Chef Nobu first served his Black Cod in the late 1980s, and we can attest to the quality and consistency of the ever-popular dish. On the shores of the Red Sea, the delicate fish is infused with sweet miso to ensure the signature remains a must-order over thirty years since its inception.
Nobu Jeddah’s delightful desserts include Bento Box Chocolate Fondant (SAR 80), Pistachio Baklava (SAR 70) and the silky smooth Nobu Cheesecake (SAR 80). Swayed from our usual Bento Box order, we indulge in the Miso Cappuccino (SAR 80), which layers miso crème brulée with caramelised pecan, vanilla ice cream and coffee foam in a presentation that resembles its namesake.
Nobu Jeddah retains much of the brand’s DNA within its spiral seashell-shaped restaurant space. Expect sculpted ceilings, dazzling dangling lighting orbs, elaborate woodwork, and a sleek sushi counter within the cosy restaurant space.
With few fancy fine dining destinations in the Red Sea City, Nobu Jeddah sets the bar for Nikkei dining in the Kingdom.
GO: Visit https://noburestaurants.com for reservations and more information.