Zuma: In a league of its own (December 2016)

For as long as I have been regularly dining in London Zuma has always had a fond place in my heart. The simple reason is that I have never had a bad experience here and despite many copy-cat imitations and an expanding empire of its own (there are now ten other restaurants parading under the Zuma brand outside London), it remains simply the best place in town for contemporary Japanese food. A recent visit there reminded me of all the things that make Zuma what it is: stunning décor (which has remained broadly unchanged), a great atmosphere and, of course, first-class food and drink. The menu offers a broad spectrum of options from salads, sushi and sashimi through to grilled options and then the restaurant’s signature dishes. Best is to come as part of a group, share everything and try as much as possible. Stand-out items from our meal included the ‘dynamite spider roll’ (which comprises soft shell crab, chilli mayonnaise, cucumber and wasabi sauce) as well as the grilled seabass. From the signature dishes, the roasted lobster with green chilli and garlic hojiso butter is a must, and a dish one would willing return to time and again. It is also well worth sampling the sake here, especially with a range of over 40 available. Feel willing to ask the servers for advice, although again, it is best to sample several if possible (as we did). Service on previous occasions has been somewhat erratic, although most recently, we were not let down. All that Zuma offers does, of course, come at a price. But, it is money well-spent and definitely worth a visit.