Robert De Niro spent four years trying to get business partner Nobuyuki Matsuhisa to launch Nobu.
The Raging Bull actor – who co-owns the brand and also has his own restaurant, the TriBeCa Grill – saw potential in the Japanese chef and followed his career before “eventually” getting him to open their flagship eatery in New York in 1994.
He said: “It took around four years from me asking him to getting the first Nobu up and running in New York. He wasn’t ready to move at first and I understood that. But I had opened the TriBeCa Grill and was looking for another opportunity. I kept up with Nobu’s career through my restaurant partner, Drew [Nieporent], and eventually convinced him to come out to New York.”
Now there are Nobu restaurants in over five continents and De Niro insists each one is unique as they have an “appreciation” for the area where they are situated.
He told Britain’s GQ magazine: “Nobu has a real care and appreciation for all our different locations. It has taken a while, but we’ve fine-tuned our expertise so we know how to handle any problems.
“If a restaurant is struggling in the off-season, or a chef is having issues, we can find a solution. Nobu cares about everyone. I’m not sure if he cares about me.”