After a three-year pause, the renowned gastronomic landmark of fusion cuisine, Nobu, has made a much-anticipated return to the Hong Kong dining scene. Nobu, a global name synonymous with the creative blend of Peruvian and Japanese flavors, has rekindled its presence in the newly transformed Regent hotel, previously known as the InterContinental where it originally resided. The reopening of Nobu aligns with the hotel’s grand opening, marking a new chapter for both institutions.
Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, the illustrious Nobu behind the brand, shares that the temporary closure was a consequence of the extensive renovations undertaken by the hotel. At 74, the chef’s passion for culinary innovation remains the heart of the establishment. Nobu has undergone subtle yet significant updates to its decor, enhancing the ambiance while maintaining its signature aesthetic. Diners can look forward to the high ceiling, now meticulously retouched, and modernized lighting fixtures that contribute to the restaurant’s chic and stylish atmosphere.
Loyal patrons and newcomers alike can rejoice, as Nobu has preserved its classic hits, ensuring that the essence of the restaurant’s beloved menu remains untouched. Signature dishes such as the yellowtail jalapeño continue to be a centerpiece. This simple but dynamic offering, featuring sashimi-grade fish immersed in a zesty blend of soy and yuzu, captivates with the unexpected kick of jalapeño. The dish owes its existence to a fortunate surplus of ingredients after an event, a serendipitous creation that has solidified its place as a staple on the Nobu menu.
Another enduring favorite, the “new-style salmon sashimi,” tells a tale of innovation born from necessity. Recalling an incident from 30 years ago in Los Angeles, Chef Nobu recounts how a diner’s aversion to raw fish inspired him to invent a dish that would become a classic. By dousing the sashimi with hot oil, he seared the fish, creating a harmonious contrast that won over the skeptical customer and carved out a new niche in sashimi preparation.
With a forward-looking approach, Nobu hints at the evolution of the menu, a testament to his unwavering commitment to culinary excellence. He emphasizes the brand’s philosophy of incorporating local produce, a practice that Nobu has cherished and continues to prioritize. Hong Kong’s burgeoning array of local ingredients, such as Ping Yuen chicken and Yi O rice, offer fresh prospects for menu innovation, enriching the dining experience with regional flavors.
Beyond the restaurant’s walls, Chef Nobu has extended his creativity into other realms, including a recent venture into footwear design. In collaboration with Chris Stamp of the streetwear label Stampd, Nobu has left his mark on the iconic Nike “Triple White” Air Force 1. The partnership yielded the Sushi Force 1, a sneaker that subtly embodies the essence of Nobu with culinary-themed branding. This cross-industry collaboration speaks to Nobu’s open-mindedness and his readiness to explore diverse creative partnerships.
As Nobu Hong Kong reopens, it does so with a commitment to its roots and an eye toward the future. With its storied dishes, engagement with local ingredients, and ventures beyond the culinary sphere, Nobu remains a dynamic force in the global gastronomy landscape.