Jul 24 2012



I am sure most people have been to Zuma or at least have heard of Zuma, it remains one of the most popular modern Japanese restaurants in London, and even though I try to be critical of it, it just remains amazing, food is top class and it is so hard to fault the place, and so this review will be quite boring as it is so complimentary. Zuma is located on a back street in Knightsbridge, 5min walk from Harrods and does izakaya-style Japanese food, which means dishes are brought to the table continuously throughout the meal, and the menu is very varied consisting of cold fish and meat dishes, sushi and sashimi, robata style grill dishes and Zuma specialities, so the risk is that you get too excited about the various choices and over order (which happens to me all the time). The bar in Zuma is always full, even on a Sunday and Monday night, so if you ever want to go out for a drink during these days, this is a good place to be. Also despite the fact Zuma now has branches in most of the big European cities, it serves consistently good food every time I go there. The only bad thing about Zuma is that you have to book these days at least 1 month in advance as it is so immensely popular and also it is one of the restaurants with a strict table turning policy, so you can sometimes feel like the waiters are harassing you and trying to take your order and serve the food as quickly as they can. But then again it is so popular and so good they keep doing that and everyone keeps coming back. When I went to Zuma last week I was ready to be told off for taking pictures with my big camera (as had happened to me in ROKA a few weeks ago), but the people in Zuma were much nicer and the only thing they asked me was if the pictures would be for personal use. As a pre starter in Zuma (to eat something whilst waiting for the rest of the people) we had  spicy edamame beans and I love these spicy edamame beans that you only get in Zuma. In other japanese restaurants you can only get the typical edamame beans with salt, but in Zuma I love the type with the spicy red sauce.  As a pre starter I also had “ika no kari kari age”, which is the crispy fried squid with green chilli and salt, which was great but not much different to the other crispy squids I have had.  Then afterwards I had one of my favourite Zuma dishes, and one of my favourite dishes ever actually, the seared beef with soy ginger, lime and coriander, which is absolutely amazing, and all the flavours there are just incredible, Zuma scores so highly for me because they can make wonderfully tasting dishes like this. We also had the seaweed salad, and I love seaweed, and this is my favourite seaweed salad in the world, soft shell crab with a beautifully complementary sauce, and even though I am not always over the top when I have soft shell crab this was great once again.  Then yellowtail followed served with a nice crisp garlic, and I have mentioned before, but to reiterate this is in my view one of the best yellowtail dishes ever. the sauce, the garlic and the little garnish make the most wonderful touches, and this is another mouth-watering dish from Zuma. Afterwards I had 2 starter dishes I have not had before, the diver scallop tartar and the tartar of tuna and salmon, which even though I am so bored of repeating myself, I once again found amazing. The salmon and tuna tartare was served in the most interesting way (see a picture below) and you have to use a little spatula to take it off, which I thought was very creative and cool, and which will be added to the dishes I order in Zuma in the future. Then it was the beautiful sushi and sashimi selection which followed, note the sashimi was served in really thick pieces, which is great and you don’t get this in many places. Nothing much to add here, but all top class and delicious, I especially liked the spider rolls and the California rolls. After the starter dishes (note Zuma never divides dishes into starter, main course, but this is my very kind of obvious interpretation as you get cold dishes first and then cooked) we moved on to have lamb chops, “tsubu-miso gako hnadori no oven yaki” which is moromi miso marinated baby lamb chicken, oven roasted on cedar wood, “tokudai wafu asparagasu”, which is grilled asparagus with wafu sauce and sesame, the famous black cod, tempura, roasted lobster, mushrooms and courgette skewers. By the way, in case you are wondering how come during my write up I write the Japanese and long name of some dishes and not of others, it is because a very limited number of dishes can be found on line on their website, which I have copied, and the rest I don’t know the full name of. The vegetable side dishes, asparagus, mushrooms and courgettes were served on skewers, and both had nice complimentary sauces and neither was overcooked and wonderful. The Lamb chops were brilliant, really tasty and tender and delicious, and were served with really nice pickled small onions and carrots, which complemented them wonderfully. The black cod was incredible, much better in my view than the one in Nobu as it was served with a bigger portion of the delicious sauce and the piece was smaller and therefore more filled with flavour. The tempura (which we had with the rest of the cooked dishes strangely) was also perfect, the batter being the perfect thickness (ie not very thick at all). The lobster was one of the nicest lobsters I have had, not always do I find lobster really delicious but this one was amazing, and the slightly garlic sauce on the top was great too. Chicken was great as well, I usually find chicken quite boring to eat, but I think chicken here (and at Le Petite Maison) is one of the best chicken dishes in London. For the desert we had the selection of deserts, which included a few cakes, ice cream, sorbet and a lot of fruit, and was great once again. There is nothing to fault in the Zuma food, so if you want to impress someone, this is a good place to go to, as it will always be amazing, and any piece of fish, meat etc will be cooked in a wonderful and delicious manner. The dishes cost from 5 (the courgette, asparagus and edamame dishes) to 34 (lobster). But note here the black cod costs 29, when at E&O it was 36, and at Nobu 42 so value for the dishes is ok (for this type of place), but the problem is that you need a lot and whenever I look at the menu, because all looks so good, I tend to over order and so the bill gets quite expensive.


price for 4 people, no alcohol but a lot of food + service charge: 552

location: Knightsbridge 

date: 24/07/12


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5 Raphael Street, Knightsbridge
United Kingdom
Zuma Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 5