IN FOCUS: How Nobu built a showcase catering operation worthy of its reputation

Nobu’s Shoreditch restaurant is serving as an international showcase for the well-known Japanese cuisine chain following a giant kitchen and catering project last year.  

Featuring 148 guestrooms and suites alongside London’s newest Nobu Restaurant, the site’s catering operations were installed by CES, which was introduced to the project by hotel building and refurbishment specialist MTD Contractors.

Its responsibilities included the design, development, installation and fit-out of the kitchen and back-of-house facilities for The Nobu Restaurant & Bar and the lobby lounge kitchen and bar.

The distributor’s project managers liaised with the architect, several interior designers as well as the construction teams and tradespeople throughout the duration of the project in order to meet the exacting standards required of it.

CES’ kitchen designers maximised the use of space in the main basement kitchen and upstairs lobby lounge kitchen, which service both the 240-seat restaurant and the hotel’s banqueting, event catering and private dining needs.

The designs catered for separation of the key disciplines and included a dedicated room service kitchen and pastry, fish and food preparation sections. Bulk storage areas were also designed and fitted out, along with the back-of-house service areas and a staff dining facility.

Core to the main open-to-view kitchen design was a seven-metre-long Angelo Po central island cooking suite that was so large it had to be craned into the building in three sections, manhandled down to the basement level and then welded together under a one-piece top and then, finally, polished.

CES also sourced three Tanaka food display cases from Japan, which form the counter between Nobu chefs and their customers. A crucial part of the project design was to minimise heat output from the basement kitchen and back-of-house areas, to reduce demand on ventilation and M&E infrastructure.

The distributor’s designers utilised ‘remote’ refrigeration to direct waste heat externally. The compressors are sited outside of the kitchen itself and linked to fridges and freezers via dedicated pipework.

CES also specified a Meiko rack transport dishwasher, featuring integral heat recovery. The machines are designed to be compact and they capture their own waste steam, which should ensuring minimal heat is introduced into the dishwash and kitchen spaces, helping to make the area a more pleasant space for kitchen staff to work in.

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