London SW7 1
020 7584 1010
Saturday to Sunday 12.30-3.15pm
Monday to Saturday 6-11pm
We went to Zuma on the eve of New Year, and it was absolutely packed. The dining room had golden balloons all over the ceiling, and we were told by our server that last year, one chap took every single balloon and gave it to his date (the cheap fella). We nicked one ourselves (pardon the hypocrisy).
Anyway, Zuma is owned by the same dude as Roka is, and if you thought Roka was expensive, wait till you try Zuma. The menu is very similar to Roka’s, and everything we had was very good. The clientele that Zuma attracts is quite different to that of Roka’s. In Roka we see more families and the atmosphere is quite relaxed. In Zuma however, the people around us were more of the young, model wannabes, and in the words of one of our dining companions in Assaggi, you’re likely to see a Russian prostitute sitting at the table next to yours at Zuma. Strangely, I thought the lady at the table next to ours looked just like what I thought a Russian prostitute would look like. This is translated to the menu as well, as there is a slightly more pretentious feel to the food at Zuma.
We had the crispy fried squid with chili and salt, which was very good. The soft shelled crab was also very good, and our server was attentive enough to our request for no wasabi in any of our food and warned us beforehand that there was wasabi in the dipping sauce for the soft shelled crab.
The deep fried prawn was a real pleaser as well. We think it’s hard to go wrong with fried food. Maybe we should train ourselves to be a bit more discerning in this aspect.
The sake grilled chicken wings were also very nice, though there was no sign of the sake in the wings at all. A reminds me that one usually never tastes the alcohol in such dishes, which makes me then wonder why bother with it at all.
We ordered the wagyu beef with truffle sushi, and it was one of the highlights of the meal. We happened to order this by accident, as we thought this was another dish that the lady in the table next to us was having, which we wanted. Turns out we ordered this instead, which we didn’t mind at all since it was very, very good. In a strange twist of events, the same good lady in the table next to us saw us having this, and ordered it for herself too.
The other dishes we had were the lamb cutlets, which A thought were on the salty side, the tempura, black cod, and a selection of sushi and sashimi. All of these were pretty good.
The desserts were excellent. We read many reviews about the desserts, and on hindsight we should have just ordered the whole lot. The lady next to us had 2 desserts for herself – we should have just taken her cue on that, bless her soul. (As you might be able to tell, we were very entertained by her throughout the evening. It’s not everyday that one gets to sit next to such an interesting character.) We had the green tea and banana cake which doesn’t sound like much, but was absolutely divine. We just came short to licking all the goodness off the plate. We also had the green tea ice-cream, which came topped with a delicate sesame seed biscuit. That too was amazing.
In short, Zuma is pretty much Roka’s very spoilt sister. It definitely has the goods to back it up, but we think that we’d probably not be going back as we prefer something less obnoxious, and will happily settle for Roka instead. (The money earned goes to the same person anyway).