Restaurant Review: Nozomi
Nozomi opened its doors nine years ago, and the luxury lifestyle restaurant has been busy ever since. It’s not hard to understand why; the food is simple, elegant and incredibly tasty. Art deco-inspired slate-grey and metallic hues create an ambience of sophistication and extravagance. A striking wooden bar serving arguably some of the best cocktails in London is a welcoming feature, lined up with leather high-chairs – a great place to meet your date.
The drinks, flowing throughout the evening, were superb as the mixologists knew their art and created homemade blends that alerted and titillated the senses. We were lucky enough to be treated to a brief master class as the barman made up two house specialities: the Green Tea Granita and French Fig Martini, the latter featuring cognac infused with fresh figs. The Japanese Old Fashioned is one of the most distinguished of its kind and draws in crowds simply by reputation.
Although Nozomi’s menu is based on contemporary Japanese cuisine, the establishment sources the very finest seafood and ingredients from all over the world, and it shows. Dishes are designed to be shared, although after one bite you will wish you had them all to yourself. The flavour combinations are subtle but flawless, in fitting with the black granite and silver-grey seating.
The atmosphere, even on a Tuesday night, was vibrant and energetic, while the decor transports you from the centre of Knightsbridge to evening Tokyo. The live DJ created a pulsating blend of music which suited the food.
The Nozomi Platter is a perfect way to begin the meal as it gives you a great idea of what the restaurant is all about. The flavours explode on one’s palate, and the staff invitingly suggest further dishes to take you on a journey to the East. If you’re looking to sample traditional Japanese sushi favourites, highlights include the spider roll, black cod tempura maki and unagi maki. One notable dish is the Canadian lobster served in the shell served with yuzu koshu relish, and the recommended Kobe beef was sumptuous. Perfect for sharing, the small dishes allow diners to sample a range of Nozomi’s house specialities: lobster and lotus chip salad, foie-gras and kari kari squid.
For dessert we opted for a chocolate fondant and crème brûlée, a fitting finale to an incredible evening. For a first date this may not be the place to go, but with a long-term partner, it would be perfect – this is a place to treat someone, not meet someone.