According to Forbes, Nobu and Matsuhisa restaurants adhere to Nobu’s philosophy of excellence by focusing 50% on exceptional service and 50% on food quality. Both play with Peruvian influences like seafood ceviches and tiraditos, a thinly sliced raw fish similar to sashimi or carpaccio de crudo. The restaurants also incorporate local flavors into their seasonal dishes and specialties and offer exceptional drink lists.
The concepts differ in mood and approach. “Matsuhisa restaurants are different from Nobu restaurants in that they are smaller, more intimate and more upscale, but the concept of the food, the blend between Japanese and Latin American cuisine, is the same,” explains Nobu Matsuhisa at Forbes. So essentially Matsuhisa’s restaurants are upscale and more formal, with a sense of exclusivity reminiscent of a private club. Nobu restaurants, meanwhile, are open and bright, with visible kitchens and sushi counters buzzing with chefs and guests.
Chef Nobu’s signature creations feature on both menus, but are arranged and served differently. Nobu’s beginnings in Peru are rooted in his technique and culinary creativity. “It’s not Nikkei or fusion,” he insists to Forbes. “It’s Nobu style. That means the food is still Japanese but with ingredients and styles from Peru like cilantro, jalapeno peppers and ceviche. But I wouldn’t call it fusion.” Chef Nobu Matsuhisa says, “Restaurants and hotels that bear my name, Nobu, are considered high-end, but they are not exclusive. I want Nobu to bring smiles to the faces of our customers with the bite of food, to give them a place to relax, enjoy good conversation, a good meal, and walk away happy,” via Nobu Hotels.