Ah, Japan! The lights of Tokyo, the sprawl of never-ending urban growth, the expensive… well, everything, the great peak of Mount Fiji and the gracefully drawn characters of Japanese script… and the smell of Jalapenos in the air?

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Well, erm, that’s a “yes” In this case.

Nobu is an international, intercontinental take on Japanese dining and in a good way. Nobu Budapest is the latest annex in Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s worldspanning empire. Nobu’s partnership with actor Robert DeNiro has led to expansion of Nobu restaurants into cities worldwide, including Budapest.

Having been to Japan several times myself, I can honestly say that Nobu takes you to Tokyo in a big way. The menu here is not exactly traditional Japanese. But it is wonderful in its own right and presented traditionally. Nobu’s recipes wind western and South American heat and flavors into familiar Japanese cuisine, and wind ingredients together that hail from Alaska to Japan and Lima, Peru.

Appropriate, as his eventual foray into Beverly Hills (and 24 restaurants later, Budapest) was preceded by restaurants in all three. If you look at Chef Nobu’s western and South American influences, then technically you are escaping into three places at once with certain dishes, but… atmosphere. You have a sushi bar area, a more formal dining area and something special: a private room to be served sushi in.

I honestly expected a kimono-draped geisha to walk in and sit with me when I dined here. You might, too.


— Nobu, In The Kempinski Hotel Corvinus, V. Budapest Erzsébet Tér 7, Hungary, Tel: +36 1 429 4242, www.noburestaurants.com/budapest