In the culinary world, few names carry as much weight and reverence as Nobu, the iconic fusion restaurant blending Japanese cuisine with Peruvian ingredients.
Founded by world-renowned Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and acclaimed actor Robert De Niro, Nobu’s success story started in New York in 1994 – and over the decades, the restaurant has grown into a global phenomenon.
One of its newest outposts in the Middle East, Nobu Jeddah, brings this legacy to Saudi Arabia, merging world-class gastronomy with the charm of the country’s coastal city.
Located right on the lively Jeddah Corniche within Al Nawras Resort, Nobu Jeddah’s enviable location adds to its allure.
Looking over the calming waves of the Red Sea, the restaurant occupies a bespoke pavilion-style building – a twisting roof and triple-height ceilings embodying an elegant fusion of traditional Japanese aesthetics with a contemporary touch.
As you step into the venue, you are greeted with an energetic “irasshaimase”, a traditional Japanese welcome that sets the tone for an authentic dining journey.
Inside, illuminated orbs dangle from the ceilings, casting a warm glow that dances across the expansive dining space and the serene outdoor seating area. It’s here, amid a fusion of global class and local charm, that your Nobu journey begins.
Beginning your meal with one of the restaurant’s signature non-alcoholic cocktails provides a refreshing modern twist on classic favorites. The drinks, expertly crafted and elegantly presented, are a taste of the innovation that Nobu has been celebrated for worldwide.
Tropical fruits take centre stage in these beverages, their bold, natural sweetness balanced by the subtler notes of herbs and spices, providing a cool, palate-cleansing introduction to the meal.
The food at Nobu Jeddah is a masterclass in Japanese cuisine with a global flair. Their globally renowned Black Cod Miso, a dish that perfectly encapsulates Nobu’s culinary philosophy and that has been specially adapted for the Saudi Arabian market, is a standout.
Marinated for 72 hours in sweetened white miso, each fillet is grilled to perfection, the heat transforming the miso coating into a caramelized crust that gives way to flaky, tender fish beneath. This signature dish, with its unique blend of umami, sweet, and smoky notes, is a textural and flavourful delight.
Continuing the Nobu Jeddah culinary adventure, the Chicken Anticucho mini tacos showcase the restaurant’s innovative fusion techniques.
The chicken, imbued with the smoky, tangy flavor of Anticucho sauce – a Peruvian marinade typically used for grilled meat – is nestled within a mini taco shell that adds a satisfying crunch to each bite. For vegetarians, the mini tacos are filled with creamy avocado, providing a lush, buttery contrast to the crisp shell.
But no visit to Nobu would be complete without sushi. Fresh seafood is transformed into delicate morsels, with each piece reflecting a balance of taste, texture, and temperature. The sushi rice, prepared with utmost precision, is lightly vinegared and served at room temperature – a hallmark of traditional sushi.
Each roll, nigiri, or sashimi piece is a testament to the restaurant’s dedication to maintaining the authenticity of Japanese sushi culture.
For caviar lovers, the spread at Nobu Jeddah is beyond compare. The caviar, served with salmon tartare, melds the briny flavor of the sea with the silky, slightly sweet tartare, creating a perfect pairing that is both luxurious and satisfying.
Yet the culinary journey at Nobu doesn’t end with the savoury dishes. The dessert menu, as thoughtfully crafted as the rest of the offerings, is a fitting end to theexperience.
The Mochi Pistachio stands out as a refreshing and innovative choice. The chewy, subtly sweet mochi is filled with creamy pistachio paste, creating a texture and flavor combination that is surprisingly complex.
And then there is the ‘cappuccino’ dessert. In a playful nod to the Italian classic, this creation is an indulgent combination of rich coffee cream and sweet sponge cake. It’s a dish that captures Nobu’s spirit of innovation and global influence.
No review of Nobu Jeddah would be complete without highlighting the exceptional staff.
The kitchen team not only prepares and serves dishes, but takes time to explain each one to diners, adding a level of connection and personal touch to the experience. Their passion for what they do – and high levels of skill rarely seen outside Japanese kitchens – is evident, and it only adds to the appeal of Nobu Jeddah.
As the sun sets, casting a soft, warm glow over the Red Sea, diners at Nobu Jeddah are treated to a sensory experience that goes beyond the food. This location upholds the standards set by its predecessors while establishing its unique identity.
Nobu Jeddah stands out not only for its gastronomic excellence, but also for its commitment to creating an unforgettable, luxury dining experience. It’s an epitome of elegance and quality that pushes the boundaries of culinary innovation in Saudi Arabia.
It sets the standard for high-end dining in the region and is, without a doubt, a must-visit destination for anyone seeking the crème de la crème of global cuisine in a supremely luxurious setting.