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About this restaurant
Japanese fusion. Founder Nobu Matsuhisa's genius has been to combine the tastes of his native Japan, Peru, where he cooked for some years, and the American west coast at the same time as cultivating a celebrity Hollywood clientele. Robert de Niro is a partner. The chain now has branches worldwide under several names including two in London. It gets a 4 star Google review but it’s not cheap to eat there. A set sushi dinner costs £33.50 per head and its signature black cod with miso sauce is £35.25. Nobu has come under severe pressure, following release of the film, The End of the Line, to take bluefin tuna off the menu but has resisted.
"Bluefin tuna is an environmentally-threatened species - please ask your server for an alternative" - asterisked footnote on Nobu's menu.
The following is a statement from Nobu restaurants:
"The consumption of Bluefin Tuna in Japanese culture can be traced back over 2000 years and was an integral part of Japanese born chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s upbringing.
There is still a large global demand for Bluefin Tuna. As such the British government has put in place certain restrictions in order to safeguard the species. However, the government has also taken the decision to continue issuing licenses for the fishing of Bluefin Tuna within these new guidelines.
All Nobu restaurants' fish suppliers respect and operate within these parameters."
This restaurant chain seems unable to deal with the fact that some fish species, such as bluefin tuna, are now overfished and officially listed as endangered. After five years of pressure, Nobu saw fit to encourage its customers not to eat bluefin, while not actually taking it off the menu. That remains the position today. Equally, Nobu serves what it describes as "fresh water eel". Sadly, the European eel, if that is what this refers to, is classified as critically endangered because of a severe decline in its numbers. The online menu names other fish about which there are concerns. These include groupers, sea bass and turbot. There are concerns about stock numbers or catch techniques in some parts of the sea but the menu fails to inform diners where Nobu’s supplies come from or how they are caught. Similarly, tiger prawn is served but its source is unclear despite there being concerns about the sustainability of both wild and farmed supplies. In our view, this restaurant takes an ostrich-like approach to one of the greatest problems of the modern world.
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