Zuma is one of those places in London surfing on the wave of Japanese trendiness. Not far from Harrods, it attracts wealthy Knightsbridge customers while its sister restaurant Roka in Canary Wharf is dedicated to business diners. In terms of service, you will be immediately impressed by the sheer number of waiting staff, who do a good job at making you feel special. But don’t be fooled, on a busy day you’ll be regularly reminded when the table has to be given back.
Design wise, it is in line with what Europeans think a Japanese interior should be; light wood tables, a small pond with fountains and stones and fabric screens. It seems basic, but its elegant simplicity is its charm.
In terms of food, the quality of all the ingredients is absolutely unquestionable. Toro, yellowtail or fatty tuna, salmon, sea bream – all of which (and more) are available for sashimi or sushi. For more elaborate creations, it’s better to go for rolls like the dynamite spider made with softshell crab, chilli mayonnaise, cucumber, wasabi and tobiko sauce.
Zuma also provides a good choice of marinated and grilled meats, as well as their signature dish; blackened cod. Marinated in miso, the fish is caramelised as it cooks. Some people would argue that there are better ones around, however, is is still a “must order” dish if you haven’t tried it before.
Overall, the experience is good and there is no doubt that a couple of years ago, you would have been pleasantly surprised. Though, if you’re already are a Japanese connoisseur, there isn’t much that would surprise you here. More interesting rolls can even be easily found and at much more affordable prices elsewhere.