Sunday lunch at Nobu in Old Park Lane last weekend, pretty tame in the way of pilgrimages, was a journey of discovery just the same.
I love Japanese food and I’d promised myself a visit to the London mecca of the cuisine for many years. Now seemed an appropriate time to treat my family, while I still had sufficient teeth in my head.
It could have been a once in a lifetime experience; my credit card isn't going to take another hammering there. The food was mouth watering; the prices eye watering.
There were some limits to my philanthropy. Nobu’s signature dish Black Cod Miso (pictured) is £42 a portion; you work out what that is after the addition of a 15 per cent service charge on the meal.
It doesn’t matter I can’t tell you how it tasted because this isn’t a restaurant review but rather reactions to my brief sojourn in the lap of luxury.
The sushi, sashimi, and the rest were exceptional. The stuff served up in the capital’s takeaways and supermarkets must have Japanese tourists wetting themselves; no wonder they prefer fish and chips when in London.
The Nobu visit showed the limits of TripAdvisor reviews. Contributors’ comments about the restaurant range from the ecstatic to the abusive to a degree that makes the website useless as a guide. For the record I couldn't fault the service which is targeted in some of the critical reports.
Recession. What recession? The restaurant was full. Quite a few tables had babies in the party.This wasn’t a special occasion for these well-heeled families but a run-of-the-mill outing.
I couldn’t help wonder at the life of privilege these infants would enjoy by having the luck to be born to wealthy parents. At their age most kids are discovering the delights of fish fingers not shrimp tempura.
Celebs (I didn’t see any) would warrant special treatment at Nobu but generally money is the only passport; more egalitarian than in the class-obsessed days when some establishments were off-limits if you lacked the right pedigree.