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Zuma

5 Raphael Street, London, London, England, SW7 1DL, United Kingdom

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Zuma has established itself as one of the most successful restaurants in London since opening in 2002. A quiet lunch may see 150 – 200 covers, while in the evening the large dining room and bar are jam-packed with customers, whether early or late. The wine list was extensive and had some excellent growers, with mark-ups that are not as high as one might guess: Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2009 was at £45 for a wine that you can pick up in the shops for around £14, Vina von Siebenthal Montelig 2005 from Chile at £80 for a wine that you can buy in the shops for £31 and Morgan Double L Pinot Noir 2007 at £105 for a wine that costs £30 to buy retail, though for those with the means and desire to splash out there are rarefied wines such as 1982 Latour at £3,750 for a wine that you can buy retail for around £1,575.

At a recent lunch I had a salad of seared tuna (£12.60), chill, daikon and ponzu sauce: the tuna (yellow-fin tuna from Spain on this occasion; Zuma have several fish suppliers) was lightly seared but the secret here was the very careful balance of the sauce: there was just enough acidity from the ponzu, just the right level of chill bite and enough earthy flavour of the radish to balance the richness of the tuna; this also showed a much more careful touch than a version I had tried on a previous visit (16/20).

Sushi of both eel (£7.80 for two pieces) and nigiri tuna (£8.20) had rice at the correct temperature, and nicely prepared eel (15/20). A salmon (£8.30) with lime shiso soy also showed the same care in flavour balance (15/20). Crispy squid (£7.80) featured non-chewy squid in a light batter, and enough chilli and lime to enliven the dish (15/20). It impresses me that the dishes here are so consistent, despite the scale of the restaurant. Zuma is becoming a global brand now, with Rainer Becker opening branches in Miami, Dubai, Istanbul and Hong Kong, with a Bangkok branch planned for later in 2011.

 

Further reviews: 12th Jul 2013 | 01st Jun 2009 | 01st Apr 2007 | 01st Aug 2006

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  • Pablo

    I visited Zuma Miami on February 2011 and everything I tried was fresh. The grilled Cod was perfect, despite it seems very simple when you read about it at the menu. The restaurant architecture is also amazing...

  • Joshua

    Thorough agreement with Andy on our May 2008 meal. The pork belly was simply a star, on par for flavor - though in its own way - with pork belly I've had at Eleven Madison Park, WD-50, and elsewhere noted for it. And the meal had no real miss or letdown to it, staying top-notch the whole way (agreed that the seared tuna was least inspiring). A banana cake for dessert was probably 4/10 or so, as well. This place clearly and consistently exceeded our meal at Umu, by way of comparison.

  • Tiffany Hall

    We had the tasting menu at Zuma last week (September 2007) and it was absolutely delicious. But the experience was somewhat marred by the speed with which courses were brought to the table, many arriving before we had finished the previous one. The waiting staff said that the menu intended us to eat the courses in combination (hard to believe for two particularly large-plated courses that swamped our table) and assured us, on enquiry, that they were not trying to rush the table for a later sitting. Despite their view, we expressed a preference for a slower pace but it was ignored until we escalated to one of the managers. She then dealt with the situation very professionally and appropriately. So... be wary of being rushed on the tasting menu.

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