Zuma is an experience of its own. Some say it's the best restaurant in London, others love to come here for a drink while appreciating the finesse and skill put into every single creation. Yes indeed, Zuma is breathtaking.
The day before, we were at Coya, a restaurant by Zuma, and it was superb, so how about visiting the Zuma itself? A few years back, I remember the unique experience I had in Dubai at Zuma and since then I’ve been waiting to visit again, or to try the original venue in London.
Two blocks from our hotel, located just behind Harrods, is Zuma. A large, open space pumping with action and positive vibes. Everyone in here seems to be having fun, everyone is happy and willing to wait as long as it takes to find a table.
Enter the place from the street, before stopping at the reception desk located directly to the right. Gentle and beautiful ladies will make sure to find you a table within a few minutes. To the left side is a stone wall facing the first bar, a drinks bar decorated with colorful sake bottles. A large space opens behind that where two bars, with chairs around them, prep and grill for the pleasure of your senses.
Good to know: At the bar, your credit card is taken from you while you're given a number. At the end of the night, after being charged for the drinks, the card is given back.
Zuma is a contemporary japanese izakaya. Dishes are prepared in three seperate areas: The principal kitchen, the sushi bar and the robata grill. Rather than offering individual starters and main courses, zuma serves dishes that are designed for sharing and are bought to the table steadily and continuously throughout the meal.
The decor is wonderful. Wooden walls cover this large space, some of them are made up of tiles placed one next to the other and others of large panels lit from above. The floor is half wood, half dark tiles, while glass strips separate some of the tables from one another. A soothing music added ambiance while we started enjoying our dinner.
The food is simply exceptional. The flavors, the colors, the aromas and little, perfect, details make every plate more special than the first. Everything I had was exceptional.
- Gyu no tataki: Seared beef with soy, ginger, lime and coriander: Freshly rolled and thinly cut slices of seared beef each filled with an explosion of freshness. Amazing textures and surely an exceptional knowhow and finesse. I've never had something like that before.
- Ebi no sumibiyaki koshou fuumi: Jumbo tiger prawn with yuzu pepper. Perfect presentation, tender and juicy bites... That's exceptional.
- Yaki taraba gani: King crab with ponzu lime butter... Finger licking good if I may say.
- Zuma nama yasai: Zuma salad with asparagus, tomatoes and barley miso dressing. You might say;" fine that's a salad like all others". Believe me it's not. The flavors, the textures, the presenation... Zuma has a way of making things out of this world.
- Sake no tataki: Six rolls of seared salmon with crunchy bits, soy sauce and a spicy aftertaste. A salmon quality like no other and a sauce that will put a smile on your face.
- Steamed rice
- Shiitake no ninniku fuumi: Shitake mushrooms with garlic and soy butter. Honestly, I didn't feel the garlic much but enjoyed the juiciness of those giant mushrooms looking like meat. Impressive!
- Pirikara hamachi: Spicy yellowtail with sansho pepper, avocado and wasabi mayo. Even the rolls are unique with their chewy rice, perfect ingredients and light spiciness.
- Prawn tempura roll: Served warm with a perfectly cooked rice, those rolls wll be remembered for long.
That's Zuma, a reference point in London, a restaurant everyone comes to for its great food and unique ambiance. Expensive it might be but worth every penny. Visiting London, put it on the list.