For comparison, below are notes from August 2006.
Zuma is very trendily decorated, with an open interior looking into the large kitchen. The style is quite Nobu-like, with food a mix of approachable Japanese and fusion dishes, and the target audience very much the smart 30 something set. There is a large bar area, full of glamorous women and their escorts on this evening. Tables have no tablecloths. We started with seared tuna wrapped into rolls, served in a bowl with a soy sauce, a few spring onions and crisp shreds of fried garlic (15/20). My wife’s tofu was unusually good also (14/20). A main course tiger prawn was served in its shell but carefully removed and reassembled – the prawn was very tender (15/20). Similarly sea bass cooked with salt and then seared was fresh and well timed, served with a chilli salsa (14/20). Vegetable tempura was very lightly handled, the vegetables (carrots, okra, artichoke) fresh and crunchy (14/20).
Desserts were also classy – a hot chocolate fondant had a passion fruit centre, served with a tropical sorbet that had melted just a little (14/20). The only thing that was a little disconcerting was the remarkable hustle of the service. We arrived just after 19:30 and had eaten our starter and main course by 20:10. This makes the legendarily rapid Mandarin Kitchen service seem positively laid back. There was a wine list with some respectable growers, but markups were quite high, so best stick to beer or sake.
A more recent meal began with a starter of tuna sashimi that was of very high quality, served just with a few leaves and some soy sauce (15/20). A mackerel roll was also excellent, simple but having clean taste and good texture (15/20). Best of all was beef, very thin slices cooked rare with a chilli and citrus sauce; the meat was of high quality and the tastes worked very well indeed (17/20). Teriyaki salmon again featured good salmon cooked so that it was extremely tender, served with a teriyaki sauce that was perhaps less intense than the one at Roka. Soft shell crab roll had deep-fried soft shell crab wrapped in a rice roll (15/20). Jumbo prawn was served in its shell, but the meat had been carefully removed and then put back to avoid any need to fiddle around (15/20). Mixed tempura was pleasant (14/20). The ingredient quality was very high and there were no technical errors at all – a fine meal.