Whether he’s creating an inspired Omakase menu or planning stunning sashimi bites for one of Nobu Old Park Lane’s many private events, Executive Sushi Chef Masaru Okayama has been winning over sushi lovers for more than 15 years.
As one of London's most enduring hot spots plans for its 20th anniversary next year, Chef Okayama took some time to flavor our Instagram feed with his delicacies and share a few insights into his day.
N-S: Walk us through your morning – what’s your routine like?
MO: I wake up, stretch toward the sky and have some coffee. Then I take the tube to Green Park station, walk to the restaurant and get ready for service.
N-S: What is your favorite dish to make?
MO: Our signature Yellowtail Jalapeño always gives our guests so much joy, whether they are trying it for the first time or have it once a week! So it is one of my favorites because, for me, the moment when guests tell me how delicious they found the dish is the best part of being behind the sushi bar.
N-S: What about your favorite dish to eat?
MO: I love the meat around the fish eye. I simply like the textures and the fact that this dish is a delicacy in Japan.
N-S: Do you ever incorporate that into your Omakase dishes?
MO: For Omakase, I am always looking for new and interesting ingredients to stimulate our guest’s eyes and tastebuds. This can mean so many things – new ingredients, seasonal flavors, or special touches that help guests eat every bite on their plate. For instance, I often use fish scales to decorate my dishes. This part of the fish is often thrown away. However, if you fry it, the texture of the skin becomes like a crisp potato chip.
N-S: The idea of using every bit of an ingredient is very Nobu, and we love this interpretation. Is this something you learned from Chef Nobu?
MO: I have learned many things from Chef Nobu, but the best thing he ever taught me is that we can make people happy through the food we make.