Nobu is set to change the dining scene in KL.
THE story begins exactly 20 years ago on August 16. Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, Japanese sushi chef and owner of Matsuhisa, a sushi establishment in a tiny enclave somewhere in Beverly Hills, was persuaded by one of his longtime customers Robert “Bobby” DeNiro to forge a culinary partnership in Tribeca, New York.
The result – Nobu – was just what the world was hungering for.
Earning highbrow accolades
for its creative cuisine from the New York Times, the Zagat Surveys, and the Michelin Guides, Nobu is now an empire that spans from New York to Moscow. Even Madonna has once said, “You can tell how much fun a city is going to be if Nobu has a restaurant in it.”
Now thanks to Tan Sri Syed Yusuf, the same man responsible for establishing KL’s Hard Rock Café and Hard Rock Hotel in Penang, the restaurant is now set to dazzle with its first ever Southeast Asian outpost in KL.
It hasn’t all been smooth. The restaurant already has 90 staff under its employment, according to the general manager of Nobu KL, Stephane Heard, and the scheduled six-week training, although rigorous, has not been quite enough.
This staffing headache, coupled with a huge dose of culture shock, has all contributed to the delay of the restaurant’s opening, which was initially scheduled for mid-August (now adjourned to a date after mid-September).
But when it does open, Heard – who has worked in 14 different Nobu restaurants in his 14 years with the company – says the timing will be perfect. As our neighbour down south is continuously inundated by a seemingly endless roll call of celeb chefs and their dining establishments, KL is left floundering with none.
“Malaysians do know food and can appreciate great products. And they don’t mind paying a higher price for a memorable dining experience. These same people often mention that KL is lacking fine dining restaurants and world-class chefs,” says Stephane.
Nobu is set to change all that.
Designed by Studio PCH, Nobu Kuala Lumpur is a dialled-down version of its overseas counterparts and features an open kitchen, two lounges and wraparound views, with glimpses of the Petronas Twin Towers from the main bar. Teak wood contributes to the general warmth of the space, which can comfortably accommodate up to
Perennial favourites such as the legendary Black Cod Miso, Yellowtail Jalapeno and Toro Tartar with Caviar will all be available together with newer creations by head chef Philip Leong.
There’s also the Omakase, a seven-course meal specially crafted by the chef himself. The drinks menu is no less extensive, with high-end sake and masterfully crafted martinis and signature Nobu cocktails.
Did you find this article insightful?