Saturday 23 October 2004
Despite competition from chef-proprietor Rainer Becker's own new Charlotte Street venture, Roka, which received mixed reviews in the press, another recently-opened upscale Japanese restaurant, Umu - ditto - and, of course, good old Nobu, now passé, Zuma is still where it's at as far as stylish, glamorous modern Japanese dining is concerned.
Despite competition from chef-proprietor Rainer Becker's own new Charlotte Street venture, Roka, which received mixed reviews in the press, another recently-opened upscale Japanese restaurant, Umu - ditto - and, of course, good old Nobu, now passé, Zuma is still where it's at as far as stylish, glamorous modern Japanese dining is concerned. Located on the spacious ground floor of an office block, this fabulously buzzy restaurant, designed by famous Japanese design team Super Potato, is done up in stone, wood and granite, and includes such elements as a golden screen, an open, glass-fronted kitchen, and a robatayaki and sushi counter. Dishes showcase trendy ingredients such as wagyu beef, yuzu, wasabi and sansho pepper, and the menu lists exquisitely fresh sushi, sashimi and feather-light tempura. For truly fashionable dining, try tuna tataki, black cod cooked in a hoba leaf, barley miso-marinated baby chicken roasted on cedar wood, crispy fried squid with green chilli salt, green tea and banana cake with coconut ice cream and peanut toffee sauce, and mango, papaya and pineapple chawan mushi. Aficionados of the ever-hip sake will be thrilled with the list and sake-based cocktails. There's even a sake sommelier who hosts food and sake pairing dinners.
Zuma, 5 Raphael Street, Knightsbridge, London 020 7584 1010 www.zumarestaurant.com, Mon-Sat 12-2.30pm, 6-11.30pm, Sun 12-3pm 6-10.30pm. Meal for two, excl wine: £60
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