Before I do me hun, it’s important to point out that my dining buddy on this evening – a man who writes and eats and laughs better than I could ever dream of – loved his main course. I know this because I was sat opposite him at the time, and also because he sent me a text saying that his main was ace when he realised I was writing this up. It’s also important to remember that we both really enjoyed the dessert we shared. So in writing this shit sandwich, with its great big turd centre, the outside layers are actually rather good. Feel free to treat this like a Katie Price book; pick up, admire, put back. Do not open.
That sea bass main course comes highly recommended by the keen if slightly nonchalant team. It arrives at the table mummified in the banana leaf it has been steamed in; the long, generous fillet coated in something akin to Thai green curry paste which is rife with lime acidity and chilli heat. It is, in total honesty, ace, the cook on the fish precise and balanced. Like Le Tissier in the Southhampton team, it could easily be playing on a bigger stage.
The rest of Nude, well maybe it’s just not for oldie like me. The polished black interior and the way we’re told it’s better when the DJs are here. Or maybe the way the dry ice is put inside the glass so that the drink angrily bubbles away like your uncle watching two gay men dance together on Strictly. We mention that it’s not overly safe to consume dry ice to be told “nobody has died, yet”. It doesn’t get drunk. The overall feeling is that food is a secondary thought, which is their prerogative had the wagyu and caviar heavy menu not been priced in line with Nobu. It’s not a cheap place to come for dinner.
There are chicken wings, sludgy in texture and meagre in meat, that have a passable Korean coating which is gochugang and little else. Pork chicharon is really nothing of the sort. What should be crispy pork scratchings are deep fried cubes of belly, with a mushy interior that gives the impression they have been poached first, but not for long enough. The sweetcorn purée on the plate tastes like tinned soup. My main is poussin shown more heat than a JK Rowling supporter on Twitter. It’s drier than Jack Dee. Drier than the Death Valley. Drier than Dyson. Eating this is like putting cotton buds in your mouth but less fun or rewarding. They send the wrong side sauce with it. Chips are just one big spud cut into wedges, curves, skin and all. I did not expect a deconstructed jacket potato for dinner.
The dessert is a corker. No, I don’t understand it either. Roast banana parfait spiked with miso and salt, with blobs of what I think are miso salted caramel and a smattering of chocolate crispy cornflakes. It’s grown-up and frankly fantastic. And this is where I will call an end to this, by telling you that should you ever find yourself in Nude, do yourself a favour and have the sea bass followed by the banana parfait. You’ll probably have a nice time. Nobody has died there. Yet.