This eastern outpost of the global Nobu empire has everything you expect including, of course, the legendary black cod.

When I went to Nobu London the first time, perhaps in 1998, there was nothing else like it and I was as enthralled as everyone else by the whole experience. The shouted Japanese greeting, the sheer luxury of the setting and the remarkable food, fusing traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients, was eye-opening.

I’ve since got to eat Nobu all over, and wherever you eat Nobu you eat the same. The brand is consistent and that’s no bad thing, if you’re an international rich diner who doesn’t like surprises.

It’s no surprise though that Nobu finally fetched up in Shoreditch. Back in 1998 the idea of an upmarket hotel and restaurant in this part of the world would have been laughable, but not any more.

Of course as with any artistic district, the impoverished young creatives who made it hip and happening have been rather pushed out by the scene-hopping rich. Even now though, a new generation will be making another part of London cool, and if you know where that is then my advice is to invest there, now.

So here it is, Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch, a spaceship of industrial chic and Japanese simplicity landed in London, a place for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to stay when visiting the tech industries of the area, as well as for City types looking for a bit of a buzz.

It is of course beautiful. The soft lighting is immediately embracing and down a superstar staircase is the bar and the restaurant. The bar is marvellous, but we head straight into the minimalist ultra-chic restaurant to be greeted by the traditional ‘irasshaimase!’

Executive Chef Sandi Richmond’s kitchen is open, the front sushi counter displaying the fresh, raw, fish and seafood. The menu is familiar, but with some new items I’ve not seen before, and we toy with our chopsticks, trying to remember how it’s done. 

Ordering is never easy, I want it all. We go for a bit of what we know, and a bit of what we don’t. I love Nobu’s classic Black Cod with Miso, but what was once a novelty has become a bit ubiquitous. Dare I say I am bored with it now?

We order Black Cod Butter Lettuce instead and it comes as pieces of black cod in lettuce cups, the cod is lightly seared and finished with Saikyo Miso and topped off with crisp thin noodles. It’s a one bite job, unctuous and delicious. This may be my new favourite black cod dish,

We eat rice squares, cubes of rice deep fried and topped with spiced tuna. These are a bit deadly, red hot oil comes out in my mouth and I was a bit burned, but that was my fault for being hasty. I soothe the pain with Whitefish Sashimi Dry Miso, delicate and fine each piece of fish so thinly cut it’s translucent it almost melts in the air before melting in the mouth.

A tossed salad of Field Greens with Matsuhisa Dressing is slightly too sharp for my taste, but it doesn’t stop me eating more than my fair share, and that acidity does cleanse the palate after the fish. Ngiri, raw fish on rice, is one of my favourites. We choose Yellowtail tuna, which is first class fish and the rice is the right degree of sticky.

Tempura shrimp are a compact delight, the batter perfectly crispy and not so thick as to mask the taste of the excellent shrimp. This calls for precision chopstick work if you’re not to lose a shrimp overboard in the dipping process. I do lose one, several times, but no one appears to notice.

It’s all been good, although there had been a rather long delay before the first dish came out, which brought us to the ‘run out of conversation’ stage, but after that small hiatus the dishes have come out fluidly and the staff are charming.

We feel a little bit hungry still, well my wife does, so we order up some Sushi maki –  fish and rice rolled in seaweed and perfect for dipping in sauce, after adding a bit of fiery wasabi and pickled ginger, and popping into the mouth. These are delicately made, exact matching proportions and perfect.

My wife has now managed to eat herself into a food coma, so only I embark on the final frontier – dessert. I have the simplest thing, but something I love, Mochi ice cream.

A Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice, the mochi is wrapped around an ice cream ball. The contrast of the chewy shell and the ice cream is delightful.

Leaving Nobu into the Shoreditch night is rather like being cast out of paradise. Old Street tube station is in such a mess these days, as they modernise it to meet the area’s new demand, it’s not easy to find your way around or down.

Still,  the warm glow of satisfaction from Nobu carries us along, an institution that is still in a class of its own.

Sample photos supplied by Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch, which is too romantically lit for smartphones!

10-50 Willow Street, London, EC2A 4BH