For Those in The Nozomi
A Japanese gem gets Ruby Muson-Hirst’s taste buds tingling
Nestled between galleries and shops on a leafy street in Knightsbridge, Nozomi is something of a gastro treasure trove. Drinks on arrival revealed a seriously well stocked bar, run by a set of super-skilled mixologists. Seated in a quiet corner of the 46-seat space, we were treated to impeccable service from a very knowledgeable maître-d and congenial waitresses who knew the menu and wine list inside-out.
We opted for the set menu, which offered eight courses for £100 per person. The dinning room is topped by a beautiful glass roof, which draws the sky deep into the restaurant’s interior. And, this low-key decor is set ablaze by the extraordinary food – small pieces, crafted with an artful eye and packed with elusive flavours – on many occasions I felt like I was eating textures resembling satin, silk and cloud.
We enjoyed warm, steamed soy beans with Malden salt and a selection of sushi – sashimi, nigiri and maki rolls. Our first course was pure joy: Wagyu beef tartar with yuzu juice and chilli. The beef was lean and tender and the marinade was subtle but fresh. Seared chūtoro and scallops with caviar were packages of heaven to taste and the presentation was outstanding.
The black cod for the main course was grilled and served with miso and pickled daikon. Following this was rock shrimp tempura with ponzu and grated daikon – a light interlude following that indulgent prelude. To accompany the beef course, we drank a very rich Chateau Lucas Saint Emillion (2005) and a delicate Sancerre Domain Villeudiere (2008) with the fish courses. Both were chosen by our maitre’d and proved the perfect accompaniment.
It’s hard not to come away from Nozomi feeling you’ve found a very special place, and bona fide foodies will delight in the authenticity of the plates presented. It isn’t just about the food – it’s about the entire experience; but food is the main event in a menagerie of explosive acts .
Enquiries: Nozomi, 14-15 Beauchamp Pl, London SW3 1NQ/ 020 7838 1500/ email@example.com/ www.nozomi.co.uk