I was recently invited to Doha for the opening of Nobu, Four seasons Doha – and the highlight? Robert de Niro was the guest of honor. I stayed at the Four Seasons Doha during my trip in their Ambassadors suite with the most incredible sea view. After a full day at the hotel, I sat down with Mr Nobu himself and the legendary, Robert De Niro (who is one of the owners and top investor) on the opening, their plans and growth in the Middle East.
How does it feel to be here in Doha?
I’ve heard you’ve been here a few times?
ROBERT:Yes I have..
How important is the gulf region to NOBU and the restaurants?
ROBERT:Very important..We’re doing things in other parts of Middle East. it’s all good!
I heard that this is the largest one that you guys have opened? Was that on purpose or was there any reason for that?
NOBU: Well It is the location, we have the indoor restaurants, two bars, private rooms, smoking and non smoking as well as the rooftop that’s why it is big!
Robert, What made you want to get into a restaurants and invest into them?
ROBERT: When I was out in LA, I went to Matsuhisa, Nobu’s first restaurant in LA, and I said to him, if you want to open a restaurant in New York just let me know, and that is how we started and few years later, here we are!
Any plans to bring the NOBU hotel to the Gulf region?
ROBERT: We will be opening in Bahrain and Riyadh in the coming year.
Other than the food, What makes a successful restaurant?
NOBU: Strong partnership, team work and quality of foods, good quality of service and I like to see custumers and guests happy, people come and enjoy our food and they are smiling!
Robert, What is your favorite NOBU dish and favorite NOBU dessert?
NOBU:Black Cod will now be famous!
Any specific dessert?
ROBERT:I don’t have dessert…
NOBU:You know, he says he doesn’t eat dessert, but when dessert comes, he eats it!
ROBERT: ha ha!
What are you working on next? Are you opening something soon after this?
NOBU:Yes, Saudi will be opening next year and hotels, NOBU restaurants aside, we like to educate the young generations of chef and managers.
ROBERT:The London one will also be re-opening
That’s exciting to hear!