Posted 13th July 2013
It seems Japanese kitchens are much like buses, you wait ages for one and then two pop up within the space of a couple of months.
Opened by Ken Wong and Alex Wills (previously Bauhinia, Clifton) Nomu aims to provide a relaxed environment to enjoy drinks and japanese food with friends. After some positive reviews on Trip Advisor and from Bristol’s blogosphere we decided to check it out.
Low lighting, deep blue decor and varying table heights (from bars and stools, to low benches) Nomu has a laid back, yet comfortable and inviting feel. Less fast-food than Yume or Obento however without the formality of Noa and Masa. It’s an easy place to just “hang out’ whilst eating.
The menu has a good selection without being overwhelming. (flicking through page after page of what seems like an endless menu can soon become tiresome) Diners have the choice of small eats and snacks, sushi and sashimi or main courses.
On my first visit we opted for a sashimi selection or salmon and tuna, salmon maki and california rolls with edamame beans and miso soup.
The miso soup was nice, albeit a little on the expensive side (£3 a portion for something which is usually £1 or free seems steep) and whilst it was enjoyable didn’t stand out. The edamame beans were great though. Served warm and well seasoned, these were marvellously moreish.
I enjoyed the sashimi, salmon and tuna with the regular soy, wasabi and ginger trimmings. I personally prefer the thicker slices at obento, however my boyfriend Sam liked the fact that these were thinner – the power of personal preference!
The salmon maki and california rolls were both enjoyable, good portion sizes and really tasty.
On our second visit we also ordered some extra dishes from the small eats menu. This time, the winner for me was the portion of Ebi Bites. Prawns in tempura batter with coriander and chilli. Great flavour, crispy batter and nicely cooked.
The edamame beans tasted as good as we remembered, and the maki was nicely presented and tasty. The alaska rolls were nice but didn’t particularly stand out which was the same for the spicy pepper squid, again, nice batter but not particularly memorable.
Also enjoyed were the pork dumplings and Duck Futomaki; crispy duck with cucumber and spring onion, wrapped in seaweed.
Our friends who were with us (slightly inexperienced sushi eaters who were “willing to give it a go” both really enjoyed our feast of maki, sushi, small eats and
Service and drinks are both great here (brilliant G&T may I say). I was impressed with the wine and loved our digestif, a lychee liqueur. Prices are pretty reasonable with a 3-for-£13 deal on all sushi, small eats and sides, every day which means a meal for two including drinks can cost as little as £35.
Okay, so Nomu may not be the best sushi in Bristol but the food is enjoyable and they tick all of the boxes, which some of Bristol’s competing japanese restaurants don’t. The food is tasty, the service friendly, drinks are good, prices affordable, all neatly packaged in a comfortable and inviting restaurant with good atmosphere that tempts you to stay for just ‘one more drink’.
A return visit within the space of a week can’t be bad. A definite thumbs up from me.