Finally we get to try Zuma London – it was by luck really as after being told that it was difficult to get a table at short notice, we actually got one for lunch within 48 hours! All excited after being told by some that they thought it was far better than Nobu, I hurried along to meet my lunch companions, family, to see what all the buzz about Zuma London was about. I thought I’d put a picture up of what you would not normally see, the wall full of bottles which was one of the views I had at my table, as an interior shot of Zuma London.
I think the most familiar entrance sight is the wooden entrance door, reminded me of somewhere else… (though I did ponder a while outside it to figure if it opened in or outward – by this time if you really must complain, then I would expect someone to have opened the door for me); my expectations were high!
A friend of mine coined the phrase when speaking of Zuma London …
Lovely place, great food, pity about the clientele!
So with that in mind, I did walk into the restaurant with a bit of apprehension – luckily the rest of my party were already there, but I felt as if the staff in charge of the meeting and greeting side of things weren’t particularly interested, only the serving staff were very attentive – not the best first impressions then.
With just a change in table location (by the extremely helpful and friendly waiting staff) we finally settled ourselves down, looked at each other and said omakase :), oh but with one additional dish… my sister wanted to try one of their salads after she had looked at the menu. So instead of listing the dishes that we sampled, I give you the link to Zuma London’s tasting menu.
Our helpful & accommodating waiter saw that we had everything we required – I do like someone genuinely cheerful and helpful, it brings out all the positive energy and makes you feel good, so a big thank you to our waiter who helped make our lunch experience very enjoyable.
First up a tartare of salmon and tuna with oscietra caviar or as the menu says, kaisen taru taru kyabia zoe. This was followed swiftly by suzuki no osashimi, which is thinly sliced seabass with yuzu, truffle oil and salmon roe. Beautiful don’t you think?
Our waiter when he saw our uniform rush to photograph the dishes (with a Leica, an Olympus OM-D and varies iPhone cameras) immediately paused after serving, so that we could capture all the images we wanted to of the dishes before explaining to us in further detail what each of the various dishes were, and suggestions of mainly sauces complements that go with them.
The most interesting factor of tasting these dishes is the ability of tasting the individual flavour. This was the one thing that stood out for me the most – yes the dishes were beautifully presented and they all tasted wonderful, but just by the fact that you could taste each individual flavour, for me, made it very different from other restaurants I have tried so far.
Using my Olympus OM-D, I have taken more images of the dishes served than I normally do – I hope you can see, perhaps almost feel/taste the food – all very beautifully presented – the maki above and the sashimi below.
A rare view of the restaurant instead of the food (above)! We needed a break and there were still several dishes yet to arrive. I have to say it seems more appropriate to just present the images of the dishes on this occasion and use less words to describe them.
Having said I’d not say much, here is this incredible tempura! It melts in your mouth yet is crispy and the langoustines so fresh!
The only dish, black cod (marinated black cod wrapped in hoba leaf), I was unfortunately not able to taste. And to follow that with Waygu Beef…
There was something familiar about the dessert presentation below! Seriously, by this time we were all rolling around feeling totally stuffed but forcing ourselves to taste the desserts. How fortunate to be young like my nephew with a bottomless pit of a stomach – the only one who could keep on eating with ease!
If you have wondered why there isn’t a picture of the soup, I forgot to take one! Actually I wonder why on all occasions I forget the soup image…
I must say, the tasting menu is really a must if you have the opportunity to eat at Zuma London. Couple that with some sake, what a perfect way to spend a long lunch (in this case) or any meal for that matter.
As for the clientele? I was too absorbed by the food to notice them as much, though I did have a quick look around to and from the rest room: which I have to confess, I got a little lost inside as I thought there was only one cubicle, only to be shown later that there were many more due to the flush door system that have no handles. Oh well, you live and learn! We did take a liking to the wash basin though (see below).
So is Zuma London better than Nobu? How do you rate a place? For me I really need the whole package, so I can’t just judge soley on the quality of the food. Additionally what mood you are in also affects the whole experience. So is it up to the staff to also get you in the right mood? — I have a story on that one… perhaps for another time.