Knightsbridge, one of London's most wealthy and upscale districts, is remarkably charming. Its streets are dotted with high-end restaurants, boutiques, and five-star hotels, and it borders the magnificent Hyde Park. There's something for everyone in Knightsbridge, with its splendid museum, historic churches, and fancy restaurants. In 2010, a one-of-a-kind restaurant opened in Knightsbridge, London, named Zuma.
The restaurant was founded by chef Rainer Becker. The idea of establishing Zuma was inspired by izakaya-style Japanese eating, in which food is repeatedly served to the table during mealtime. Becker created the Zuma idea while working in Tokyo for six years, where he learned the complexities of Japanese cuisine and culture. Becker opened Zuma's first outpost in Knightsbridge, London, in 2002 with Arjun Waney and Divia Lalvani. After this successful launch, Zuma restaurants opened in various other locales, including Hong Kong in 2007, Istanbul in 2008, Dubai in 2009, and Miami in 2010.
Zuma has a variety of distinct rooms that are ideal for any occasion. Our elegant private dining rooms are suitable for hosting a business or social luncheon, brunch, cocktail receptions, or supper. They can accommodate up to 14 persons in a group reservation. Tables are located within the main restaurant, allowing customers to continue to experience Zuma's ambiance.
The venue of Zuma consists of several “areas” that include:
The restaurant serves authentic but not conventional, modern Japanese food. The menu features items from the restaurant's three kitchens: the main kitchen, the robata grill, and the sushi counter.
This may be a social gathering spot, but it wouldn't be the same without the cuisine, as the kitchen consistently produces "excellent" fare. When the little dishes are completed, they are carried out in clusters to share all of the diverse flavors. The crispy squid with chili and lime is a menu favorite, while the steamed spinach with sesame sauce (which has been on the menu since Zuma's inaugural night) is deceptively simple. There's also finely sliced and adorned sashimi, as well as perfectly prepared maki and nigiri.
The house version of black cod (adorably wrapped in a hoba leaf) is incredibly flaky and tender, while the crispy shrimp tempura with shiso and citrus mayonnaise is a meal you'll want to have again and again. Pecan pie and kokuto caramel sundae are two east/west treats that we love. Still, the melting cherry-blossom flourless chocolate cake is our favorite because of its unbelievably glossy chocolate covering replete with Zuma branding.
The wine list is unsurprisingly costly given the clientele, but it's backed up by excellent sakés and some very seductive cocktails, while the green tea is spot-on for those who aren't indulging.
Zuma's design and ambiance give you a laid-back yet refined and tranquil sense that you won't find in many other London restaurants, and the sharing method of ordering many meals at once works brilliantly. We can propose a number of meals, including the characteristic tsubu-miso gake hinadori no obun yaki, which consists of baby chicken marinated in barley miso and oven cooked on cedarwood. Zuma's menu also includes the wagyu gunkan no fuyu torifu with wagyu beef tartare and black truffle, as well as the ise ebi no tempura, which is lobster tempura with spicy ponzu.
Zuma is a terrific option if you're looking for one of London's top Asian restaurants, as well as one of the best and most satisfying dining experiences in the city. Although the competition is tough, Zuma is always a safe pick.