- The Dish: Matcha waffle and chicken with smoked maple ponzu and pecan miso butter
- The Place: Nobu Hotel Shoreditch
- The Chef: Nobu Matsuhisa
What? From the matcha waffle to the katsu-style chicken to the smoked maple ponzu (a citrus-infused sauce), Japanese influences course through every element of this dish. Which isn’t a surprise given it was created by the godfather of London’s Japanese cuisine scene, Nobu Matsuhisa. But the fact that the Asian flavour explosion is happening at breakfast time is perhaps a little different. Is the UK ready for it? Well, thanks to Nobu’s genius take on fusion cooking, the familiar-meets-foreign sweet spot might just be the place to start.
Want to experience more early morning Japanese fare? Elsewhere on the menu you’ll find donburi, which is traditional rice bowl dish, in this case featuring scrambled eggs and flaky salmon topped with ikura (salmon roe) and scallions, as well as breakfast bento with umami seabass.
Where? July’s opening of Nobu Hotel Shoreditch has essentially introduced a space for a Japanese-influenced breakfast that simply didn’t exist in London before. Aside from morning meals created to appeal to Japanese guests at hotels such as the Langham, Koya Bar in Soho claimed to be the only place that served breakfast udon in the UK. The new Nobu is offering a lot more than just noodles.
Why? NYC’s enthusiastic embracing of the Japanese breakfast no doubt helped set the stage for Nobu’s debut (US food site grubstreet.com recently voted the Japanese breakfast at Okonomi in Williamsburg the ‘absolute best’ breakfast in NYC, so given Shoreditch is a younger Brooklyn, perhaps there’s no better place to start). Meanwhile, our global trend-spotters assure us Asian twists on brekkie are also gaining ground in Australia, so the influence is coming from all sides.
Aside from increasingly curious palates, there’s a lot to be said for its innate health credentials (there’s the fermented thing for one, and if you’ve embraced a rice bowl, you’re basically there). Its general heartiness also complies nicely with the insatiable brunch obsession that continues to enthral the weekend diner.