There’s a certain rhythm to life on Mykonos during the summer months. A light breakfast is usually had sitting poolside quite late in the morning (possibly nursing a hangover), then depending on your mobility, it’s either catching the bus or riding your scooter to Super Paradise beach to bake and watch beautiful people. Back in time for sundowners on the deck, you may slip in a quick disco nap before heading to the Old Town to grab a late dinner, before hitting the bars for a hedonistic night-out until the early hours. Then you get to wake up and repeat the whole thing all over again.
What can separate the evenings from turning into an all-too familiar blur, is when you can break it up with a memorable dining experience that keeps you coming back for more. We enjoyed chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s eponymous restaurant so much, we went back there two evenings in a row. Besides the fact that it’s set in a beautiful outdoor venue inside the oh-so chic Belvedere Hotel, if you’re a lover of all things Japanese food-related, then there’s really no excuse not to dine here during a Mykonos visit.
We were quickly won over by some excellent cocktails and the stunning poolside setting. With views stretching all the way down to the Aegean, we indulged in the chef’s special tasting menu, which completely blew us away. The next evening we went down the a la carte route, ordering a parade of sushi and sashimi, along with some of our favourites from the previous evening’s. We were joined by a close friend who raved about the excellent beef tataki with citrusy ponzu dressing – a huge hit. The wine list has some excellent local wines (especially the whites from Santorini) to choose from, and the high standards you would come to expect from a Nobu restaurant were present. The service experience was a bit mixed – attentive most of the time, yet a little snooty in pockets.
I thoroughly enjoyed my Matsuhisa experience, but if I had one bone to pick, it would be to criticise the value aspect of the experience. I subscribe to the view ‘you get what you pay for’, and the cost of dining in general certainly didn’t deter us from a repeat visit. Just a fair warning to set future diner expectations, but well worth a visit for some top-rate Japanese cuisine.
Restaurant – 8/10
Experience – 9/10