"Celebrity favourite with Ian Pengelley as executive chef"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
Like the nearby Buddha Bar, Nozomi is another of those clubby, Pan-Asian restaurants that’s so dimly lit you’re practically in the dark and has a soundtrack of chill out music that’s supposed to make you think of Balinese beaches. On the Friday night we visit there’s barely an empty seat in the house and the bar is packed too, as this is clearly a destination for young socialites about Knightsbridge and neighbouring areas.
It also happens to be a hit with celebs; Rihanna loves it so much she allegedly persuaded them to start a delivery service. Their executive chef is Ian Pengelley, an accomplished chap who knows a thing or two about working at glitzy restaurants (his previous employers include the ostentatious Gilgamesh in Camden and A-list favourite E&O).
We try the spider roll sushi, with moreish deep fried soft shell crab and a healthy dollop of roe, and we like the bit of table theatre that comes as part of the mixed smoking sashimi, a platter of tuna and salmon over a tray with dry ice which creates a trail of smoke. Dumplings stuffed with prawn, scallop and foie gras are surprisingly satisfying, rather than the mouthfuls offered elsewhere that are never quite enough to taste the butteriness of the offal or the meaty seafood. Japanese fusion staple black miso cod is also on the menu naturally, a good hunk of fish in a flavoursome glaze.
The food cannot be faulted and the venue is fun, but this is by no means an affordable restaurant. One gets the impression that for Nozomi's diners anything not reassuringly expensive isn’t worth bothering with in the first place.
Leila reviewed Nozomi on Sun 28 Sep 2014