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Nobu’s Parisian Pop-Up

fusion chef takes iconic brand to Paris for winter pop-up...

Nobu’s Parisian Pop-Up

The ubiquitous black cod, wrapped in leaf with pink ginger oozed class and gentle want-more persuasion - it's an iconic dish for a reason, and tastes just as good in these surroundings...

Throughout December, chef Nobu Matsuhisa has taken residency – for the remainder of this year – at Le Royal Monceau, Raffles ParisLa Cuisine restaurant to show the locals and visitors alike how the master of fusion works his oh-so-popular magic.

Timing couldn’t be more perfect, with Christmas just weeks away, the time for socialising and congratulating oneself for a jolly good 2012 has begun. If said 2012 was particularly jolly good, then why the heck not grab the nearest available friend, jump on the Eurostar and head to Gay Paree? As Audrey Hepburn once said: “Paris is always a good idea”.

If like me, the hefty Champs-Elysées meets Christmas price tag is a little beyond your means, fear not, you don’t have to stay at Raffles Paris to enjoy its opulent environment. The giant atrium will have your head spinning with magic and sparkle, as will the beautifully adorned tree and the lustre of its chandeliers – the contemporary interiors will have you feeling glamorous inside and out.

Nobu's Parisian Pop-Up
Nobu's Parisian Pop-Up
Nobu's Parisian Pop-Up

Designed by Philippe Starck, expect an eclectic mix of modern art, photography and classic furniture. La Cuisine sits in a tall ornate room with lashings of wall-to-wall paraphernalia. Teamed with classic chairs and leather sofas, comfort is unrivalled. Lighting is low, yet highlights each and every item on show like a mini museum. With this in mind, does the art of Japanese cooking suit such elaborate surroundings?

I usually associate Japanese cooking with simplicity, and strong stand-alone ingredients. With hot and sweet accompanying seafood and the finest leanest cuts of meat – Nobu, has never failed me. From the exotic to the everyday, a subtle mix of flavours and seasoning one cannot say no to Wagyu beef or sea urchin sushi.

We opted for the seven-course Omakase chef’s choice tasting menu, accompanied by specially imported sake. The seared salmon in a garlic and sesame dressing was sweet yet delicate, not once did I question the garlic. The baby spinach salad with dry miso and truffle oil was another surprise: vibrant and super fresh, the flavours began to compliment the exuberant dining room. The ubiquitous black cod, wrapped in leaf with pink ginger oozed class and gentle want-more persuasion – it’s an iconic dish for a reason, and tastes just as good in these surroundings. Matsuhisa’s dishes presented as elegantly as Starck’s opulent interiors, the collaboration between Raffles and Nobu appeared as fitting as any of the hotel’s curatorial adventures.

The global success of both parties has and will continue to be celebrated. The level of imagination and tradition is unrivalled and our evening could not have been more perfect. I think for me, the added bonus of the service team’s enthusiasm, energy and professionalism made the evening that little bit more special, which – in some opinions – is key to the perfect dining experience.

Nobu's Parisian Pop-Up
Nobu's Parisian Pop-Up
Nobu's Parisian Pop-Up
Nobu's Parisian Pop-Up

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