REVIEW

Zuma

Zuma purports to be a “twist on the traditional Japanese izakaya”, but it doesn’t resemble any izakaya I’ve ever visited. The 10,000 square foot contemporary space in the Landmark is stylishly designed and features three open kitchens composed of natural stone and glass with a sushi counter and robata counter. Upstairs is a sleek lounge and bar which is accessed by a dramatic spiral staircase. The cuisine is also modern, with signature sauces and updated preparations. All of these factors have made it an extremely popular choice for business lunches. It’s also a chain, with locations in seven other cities. If you’re beginning to think that this all sounds a bit like Nobu, you’d be right: venture capitalist turned restaurateur Arjun Waney famously opened Zuma when he repeatedly couldn’t secure a table at Nobu in London due to the waits.

Zuma has a sprawling, eclectic menu, and I am typically wary of restaurants with too many options, fearing that they will be unable to execute all of them well. I was impressed by the consistent quality at Zuma, particularly of the robata and cooked items, though the sashimi and sushi was consistently underwhelming. For example, a grilled maitake mushroom is wonderfully crispy and a squeeze of sudachi, the green citrus fruit analogous to a lime, is a perfect ornament. Asparagus with wafu sauce and sesame has a slight char and is extremely fresh. There is excellent seafood prepared in a variety of fashions: yellowtail teriyaki with yuzu radish, a light and refreshing baked cod in a mitsuba salad, flying fish temura with wasabi mayonnaise or miso marinated black cod in a hoba leaf.

Zuma has two other significant virtues: wonderful al fresco dining on its terrace and a popular, boozy Sunday brunch buffet. It also has one significant drawback: indifferent, inattentive service that was unfortunately not a one-off problem, but a consistent issue.

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INFORMATION

Central
15 Queen's Road
Central
+852 3657-6388
Mon-Sat, midnight-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Sun, 11am-3pm, 6pm-11pm
    Rainer Becker, Chef
    Yoshi Muranaka, Executive Chef
    Kazutoshi Endo, Head Sushi Chef
    Eddy Lee, Head Pastry Chef
    Noriyoshi Muramatsu, Designer
    Super Potato, Designer

    TAGS

    • Hong Kong
    • Japanese
    • Robatayaki
    • Sashimi/Sushi
    • Tempura
    • Al Fresco
    • Best Decor
    • BYOB Corkage Fee $500HKD
    • Private Dining Room Private Dining Room 1: 8 seated Private Dining Room 2: 12 seated

    OTHER REVIEWS

    • Zagat : 24 (2008)