Brunch review: Why Nozomi's Saturday brunch is a must-try
Perfect for all Japanese food lovers…
When swanky Nozomi launches a Saturday soirée, you know to expect big things. Sumptuous interiors, delicious food, and brunchers are treated to terrace views overlooking the waterfront, making for a wonderful ambience.
As regular Nozomi patrons may know, the restaurant has only opened for Saturday brunch recently, though never a fixed event on the calendar.
We’ve had the opportunity to experience Nozomi’s first Saturday brunch, and the buffet truly showcases the best of Nozomi’s menus. So, naturally, the Nozomi standard for top-quality fare remains as well.
With an extensive sharing brunch menu that ranges from sushi to the more fragrant robata and tempura, you’d best arrive early… and stay late.
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We’re welcomed with some steamed Edamame seasoned with Maldon salt and transitioned to the rest of our starters: fried eggplant with miso dressing and fish tempura.
If it’s sushi that’s your Japanese cuisine kryptonite, then make your way to the dedicated sushi counter, boasting the freshest sashimi and seven of the chef’s choices of maki and nigiri. Only the best are served here, and, with such a deluxe selection, you’ll never be disappointed.
Our favourites include the Chansan roll (prawn tempura with avocado and unagi sauce) and the Chirashio Special (tempura maki with bluefin tuna, yellowtail, salmon, and avocado sprinkled with tobiko) for their refreshing and bold flavours.
Picks from the salad station are also among the highlights, including the kaiso seaweed salad with ponzu dressing and spicy somen noodles salad with Gochujang paste.
From the robata station, you’ll find beef sliders, chicken karaage, chicken, lamb and seafood gyozas, as well as sizzling meats and vegetables, filled with an irresistible savoury fragrance.
Among the grilled items, the Gulf prawn with balsamic vinaigrette dressing is pleasantly aromatic, inclusive of a glistening surface and perfectly charred crust. It’s soft and buttery and flavourful.
The chicken thigh yakitori is so succulent you’re forced to devour them in one bite to prevent its juices from escaping your lips. Pair it with their yakitori sauce to excite the palate and a vibrant kick from the shichimi.
We’re also quite taken with the grilled zucchini, broccoli and sweet potato with teriyaki sauce. Simple dishes done well; they’re packed full of sweet, smoky, buttery flavours.
Another sure-fire winner is the tempura kakiage. Coated with a batter so light it would be indiscernible if not for its loud crunch.
When we realise we’ve had our fill from Nozomi’s live stations, our main courses arrive shortly after: miso-marinated striploin, baked black cod, chicken binchotan with miso marinade, and mushroom takikomi rice for sharing – and they’re all excellent.
With our stomachs almost reaching their maximum capacity, dessert is the final course of the day. From white chocolate brownie, chocolate layer cake, and tiramisu to freshly cut seasonal fruits, berries financier, and matcha strawberry roll, it’s one of the most delectable dessert spreads you’ll ever see.
We cap off the feast with the highly recommended miso cheesecake, banana pudding with dulce de leche, yuzu meringue tart, and a side of an unabashedly umami ice cream flavour – black sesame.
A respectable standard and a great appreciation for quality and ingredients set the sharing brunch menu at Nozomi. Not to mention, for just SAR325 per person, there’s a world of choice when it comes to food.
Nozomi is a spot that’s fitting for any kind of dining, be it extravagant celebrations or just another casual weekend brunch. It’s cosy, with large, cushioned sofas for intimate tête-à-tête with friends, with a live violinist and a DJ booth playing some head-bopping tunes. No doubt we’d be back soon enough – if they’re having another brunch experience, that is.
In the meantime, keep a lookout on Nozomi’s Instagram page for any of their Saturday brunch updates.
Nozomi Saturday Brunch, SAR325 per person, 12.30pm to 4.30pm, 2nd Floor, Al Matal Complex, Alkurnaish, 6563, Al Khobar. Tel: 9200 12681. @nozomiksa