“I was born in Japan and grew up there, so that culture and food is a big part of who I am. That’s why, for my last supper, I’d like to eat very traditional Japanese food: steamed rice, miso soup, grilled fish like salmon, then Japanese pickles and seaweed. I’d also like my wife or my family to cook it for me.
Japanese meals come all at once – not as a starter, main, then dessert – so that’s how I’d like it served, too. I don’t need anything too fancy, I just want something that brings back memories.
My mother used to cook for me for every meal. At home, she’d make three meals a day. New Years food is very special in Japanese culture. She’d cook a feast that would include things like green beans, fish eggs, smoked fish, chestnuts, rice cookies, noodles, shrimps, rice mochi, and just a variety of seafood, vegetables and meat. I remember my mother would always start cooking it a couple of days before New Years.
For my last supper, though, I’d eat sushi as well as traditional Japanese food because sushi is what I’ve been cooking since I started out as a chef when I was 18, and it’s what I’m known for.
To drink I’d have a nice red wine, like a Bordeaux, maybe a Chateau Latour of a good vintage. I like sake, too. Can I have sake, wine and tequila? I’ll drink anything, but those three are my most frequent orders, so I’ll go out on a bang and have all three. And some Champagne, too.
A traditional Japanese dessert would be seasonal fruits. No cake, no ice cream, no chocolate; at the end of a meal, I like fresh fruit. In Japan there are four seasons and right now would be orange, persimmons, grapes, Japanese peach. In summertime, I like watermelon and in spring I like Japanese cherries.
I only cook once a year at home, usually at Christmas or New Year. I make sushi for my family. I don’t make a feast like my mother, but sushi is doing it my way, Nobu-style. That’s the theme of my final cookbook, World of Nobu, which has just come out. It covers nearly 40 years of culinary development, starting with my personal journey and signature dishes, then introducing the next generation of Nobu and Matsuhisa chefs who will carry the tradition forward.
We are also doing our own festive afternoon tea at Nobu Shoreditch until the end of December. London is very famous for its afternoon tea and I like it – you see, I like tea and cake, too! But for my last supper I’d still prefer fresh fruits.”
World of Nobu is available to buy from Nobu Shoreditch now for £54.55, published by PEI International