How Nobu Became A Modern Culinary Empire - Mise en Place

On September 27, world-renowned Japanese culinary master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa visited his namesake restaurant in City of Dreams Manila for an exclusive one-day affair. Serving a luncheon and dinner for distinguished guests, giving them the peak Nobu experience. Both events showcased Chef Nobu’s gastronomic expertise with masterfully prepared Japanese dishes with a Peruvian touch ranging from a vibrantly plated Kinmedai with Wasabi Soy Cream and Oyster Mushroom to the simplistic and sleek look and flavor of the Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno and Yuzu Soy

Kinmedai with Wasabi Soy Cream and Oyster Mushroom

This exclusive event was part of his Asia-Pacific tour, with other stops including the Singapore Grand Prix, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur. With over 41 Nobu restaurants around the globe, Chef Matsuhisa is a testament of culinary excellence with his brand spanning continents and his restaurants regarded as an innovative approach to luxury dining. 

Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno and Yuzu Soy

But how did Nobu reach this international caliber? Nobu Matsuhisa started cooking at a very young age, working at a restaurant in Shinjuku right after graduating high school. In 1973, he moved to Lima, Peru, and opened “Matsue.” It’s his experience here where he started his penchant for infusing Peruvian elements into his dishes. Due to the lack of ingredients he would normally find in Japan, he made use of what he had and integrated ingredients found locally. After his stint in Peru, he moved to the United States and opened Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills, where he would meet his eventual business partner, Robert De Niro, who frequented his restaurant. This led to the first Nobu restaurant opening in August of 1993, his first namesake restaurant in Tribeca, New York. This venture gained international recognition with additional branches quickly following in more cities such as Dallas, Tokyo, Milan, and beyond. All of this would eventually lead to Chef being recognized as a modern international force in the culinary world, even being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 British GQ Food & Drinks Awards. 

Chef Nobu presenting his culinary skills

Now at 70 years old, Chef Nobu shows no sign of stopping with more restaurant openings, books, and even movie roles under his belt. When asked on his secret to success during his luncheon in Manila, Chef shares, “I always cook from the heart.” Comparing his passion for cooking as to a mother cooking for her children. From Japan, to Peru, to New York, and now Manila – Nobu stands as the quintessential Japanese fusion brand that upholds quality in every country it is in.

Nobu is located at City of Dreams Manila, Aseana Blvd cor. Macapagal Ave, Parañaque. For reservations, contact +632-8691-2882 or through their website at

Photos from City of Dreams

Order your print copy of this month's LIFESTYLE ASIA Magazine:
Download this month's LIFESTYLE ASIA digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]