For as long as I can remember, Christmas has been a time spent mostly in the car. Travelling from one parents house to another, far too many family lunches and squeezing in just about every friend to exchange presents. But 2017 was the year I’ve decided to end all of that madness and Christmas will (hopefully) be spent at home for the foreseeable future. To kick off this new stay-at-home tradition was an overnight stay in the rather lovely and new Nobu Hotel in Shoreditch.
Nestled away within the back streets of London we finally found the hotel and for a few minutes stood in awe at the very eye-catching modern exterior of the hotel which will no doubt be a love hate relationship for some. We also got a little carried away prodding the origami Christmas tree which changes colour at the touch. There was a lovely smell of food as we entered the hotel and the reception staff were so welcoming.
After checking in, we took the lift up to the 5th floor of the hotel and made our way round the endless corridors to our room. We were staying in one of the hotels premium rooms which is third in line in terms of room categories. A little on the small side perhaps, but very cleverly designed. The walk-in wardrobe was big enough for 3 to stand in, the tv well-concealed into a piece of wall art and the entire room was packed out with the latest mod-cons. A large mini-bar came in rather handy too with a small bottle of Sake which went down very nicely. My only negative was no complimentary water – the first time I’ve come across this in a five-star hotel.
I also loved the addition of the Japanese teapot in the room for a more authentic experience and the complimentary home-made chocolates were excellent. So good in fact I’d have purchased a box to bring home if they were on sale.
Again the bathroom wasn’t particularly large, but it didn’t need to be. The extra-spacious shower even had a seat for a long steam and the Natura Bisse spa products were pure and refreshing. The towels were lovely and plump too and the robes extremely comfy.
Before lunch and after settling into our room we explored the rest of the hotel. Large meeting rooms, the 240 seat restaurant, outdoor courtyard with terraces and my favourite part – the hotel lobby bar. Quiet, relaxing and the perfect place to enjoy a morning newspaper of afternoon book with a cocktail or two. There’s also a treatment area on the ground floor which offers an extensive treatment menu, fitness centre and steam rooms.
While the style of food we were eating for Christmas day wasn’t quite the ordinary roast dinner we’re so used to, I was so happy to be eating something less traditional and from my favourite cuisine – Japanese. We had no idea what menu was being offered on Christmas day but was delighted to find it being their usual brunch menu which is rather epic! Starting with a lychee & elderflower martini in the gorgeous bar first to celebrate the start of our special day.
This brunch menu is priced at just £45 for everything you see here (and more) but upgrade to a £75 package and you can also enjoy two hours worth of bottomless drinks. Choose between Prosecco, Japanese bloody Mary’s or lychee & elderflower martinis, the latter we were so pleased to see and continued at our table from the bar. First out from the kitchen were some edamame, these lovely jalapeño salmon pastrami oshizushi and juicy grilled tiger prawns with shiso tomato salsa and crispy sweet potato.
The strangest dish on the menu was the parmesan truffle rice toban with dry miso. A risotto of sorts and whilst I enjoyed, it just felt a little out-of-place on the menu. Better still was the selection of gyoza which were filled with braised beef and drizzled in a tarragon red miso sauce. We then tucked into the brunch bar which given how much food is brought around the table already it can be a little overwhelming – but in a good way. A selection of hot & cold Nobu classics including oysters, ceviche, chicken karage, Japanese beef curry, pan seared salmon, salads and an array of assorted sushi which I filled my plate with a few too many times.
Some more martinis later (and perhaps some Prosecco) we finished up on our dessert. First plate out was from the brunch menu and was absolutely delicious. Warm sesame star anise French toast with caramelized bananas & ginger strawberry sorbet. We followed up with a cheeky visit to the dessert bar and found an array of sweat treats waiting. The cheesecake was gorgeous, but the panna cotta fell a little short and hadn’t quite set.
After a few too many cocktails in the bar the night before, we opted for a nice Boxing Day lie in and a late breakfast which is served until 11pm in the main restaurant. With a choice of the buffet table or a la carte, we opted for the latter as I already had my eye on two dishes. Match waffles with fried chicken and the Nobu-style “Full English”. The waffles were lovely and sweet, the chicken crispy and all of the ingredients on the full-English were packed with flavour. A great start to our morning and a lovely lasting impression of Nobu Shoreditch.
We had a really lovely time at Nobu Shoreditch and it made for a perfect place to spend our Christmas day staycation. The hotel is so relaxing in the bustle of Shoreditch, the rooms are well-designed, service was excellent and the food & cocktails were all of quality. From the exciting breakfast options, right through to the delicious plates of late-night sushi we enjoyed at the bar. If you love the Nobu brand and want it to last more than just a couple of hours then a night here will be very well spent.