Like Hakkasan, Zuma’s birthplace is London. Zuma was founded by chef Rainer Becker in 2002 in the very posh Knightsbridge neighbourhood on 5 Raphael Street. Now Zuma has locations on almost every continent serving izakaya style Japanese dining, which means that dishes are brought continuously to the table throughout the meal.
On our recent trip to Dubai, we had lunch at Zuma, located in Dubai’s international financial center. The restaurant is absolutely stunning with high-ceiling and sophisticated décor. At lunch time, the restaurant was packed with businessmen and fashionable girlfriends grabbing a bite to eat. We were intrigued when a huge commotion arouse as a group of men wearing the kandura, which is the typical clothing for men in Dubai, exited the restaurant. Upon asking, we were informed that all the bustle was due to the Emir of Dubai who had been having a business lunch right next to us. That was a perk to our meal and a surprise to see him out and about as I would have thought that he would lead a much more private life.
Normally, Zuma is quite expensive but in Dubai they have a wonderful lunch menu for around 30 euros (drinks not included) which I totally recommend. The set menu consists of miso soup, then your choice for a first, second and third course from a wide array of options. I went for the kegani and yellowtail, inaniwa noodle and yuzu soy
For the second course I chose the nigiri selection
For the third course, miso marinated black cod don buri
The menu does not include dessert but we chose a chocolate fondant with a caramel interior and ice-cream to share. My chocolate lover friends were licking their lips!
I loved their non-alcoholic juices with such exotic mixes as jun no ume which is watermelon muddled with yuzu and shaken with fresh lychee juice or norisan which is mint, passion fruit and pineapple, shaken with orange juice. I would have had one of each!
Although Zuma can be quite expensive for a dinner experience I found their lunch experience to be worth every dirham.