September 16th, 2011
Since opening in 2007, zuma Hong Kong has been enthusiastically embraced by Hong Kong diners, and enjoys a consistently high popularity in the competitive “high-end” market segment. The zuma restaurant concept was first created in London in 2002 by award winning chef Rainer Becker and co-partners, the Waney family. Immediately making an impact on the London dining scene, popular with many celebrities and high-profile guests, the zuma concept has since expanded with restaurant openings in recent years in Hong Kong, Dubai, Istanbul, Miami, and with a Bangkok opening scheduled for late 2011. zuma offers a contemporary update on the culinary traditions of Japan- embracing the informal “izakaya” style of eating and drinking- but in an environment of chic sophistication and understated elegance.
zuma Hong Kong is located within an expansive space occupying two levels of The Landmark- Central Hong Kong’s premier integrated development of luxury fashion and lifestyle retail, fine dining, office towers, and a Mandarin Oriental hotel. A collaboration between two Japanese design firms, the design concept blends the traditional Japanese aesthetic of clean, spare style with modern design elements. The interiors have been crafted essentially from natural materials- timber, stone, glass and steel. The upper level holds the Lounge and Sake Bar, and a spectacular spiral staircase connects with the lower level where the Restaurant and outdoor Terrace are located. Full height- floor to ceiling glass flood the space with natural light during the day, and the lights of the Central office district by night. The interiors look fresh and inviting during the day, and the transition to the evening, with sophisticated lighting effects utilising both ceiling and indirect low-lights, creates a sensual warmth to the dining and lounge atmosphere. An essential concept behind the “zuma experience” is for guests to move comfortably around within the various spaces, so the experience is not just about the food- it is also about the atmosphere, the style, the entertainment, and the interaction with service staff.
Entering the upper level Lounge, past the reception area, the impressive wine cellar of over 2,000 bottles is displayed in glass fronted racks along the passageway into the Lounge and bar area. The Sake Bar stands prominently in the centre of the upper level- exuding an amber colored glow. Bar stools extend around three sides of the bar- and overhead a suspended display rack of sake bottles compliments the functionality of the bar. Behind the bar area, the Lounge has some high tables and chairs, comfortable sofa seating in discrete arrangements, and a semi-private space. The palette of colors for the furnishings and lighting reflects the traditional Japanese colours- subtle oranges and reds, charcoal and beige, with dark timbers. The Lounge is a popular destination for pre-dinner drinks and cocktails, and later in the evenings DJ’s play mixes of tunes creating a more vibrant atmosphere. The Sake Bar has an extensive selection of over 40 different sake varieties, the signature cocktails feature Japanese spirits blended with fresh seasonal fruit juices to create tempting concoctions.
Proceeding down the spiral staircase, the Restaurant is strikingly spacious and has a bright, open feeling. The three large open kitchens provide the visual focus- with the long solid granite construction of the Robata Counter and the Sushi Counter extending almost the entire length of the room. At the end of the counters is the Main Kitchen- open to diners behind full height glass. A private dining space occupies the far corner of the room, behind a decorative glass “screen”. The Terrace area is accessed from the main Restaurant room- and features timber tables and chairs under large parasols-for guests who prefer outdoor dining, and a large granite slab functions as a stand up bench- for the smokers.
The menu at zuma is extensive and includes selections from the three main kitchens- commencing with “Small Dishes”–kaisen taru taru kyabia zoe – tartare of salom & toro with oscietra caviar; gyu tataki yuzu-kosho fumi– seared beef with yuzu kosho-ponzu dressing.
The Sushi Counter– serves fresh selections of sashimi and sushi- zuma nigiri zushi– zuma-style nigiri, toto and truffle, hotate and pomelo, tako and yuzu unagi and plum, wagyu beef and caviar; dynamite spider roll– softshell crab, chilli mayonnaise, cucmber and wasabi tobiko sauce.
dynamite spider roll– softshell crab, chilli mayonnaise, cucmber and wasabi tobiko sauce.
The selections from the Robata Grill include finest quality meats and poultry, fresh seafoods, and seasonal vegetables- all served with zuma signature sauces. Hotate to ringo-wasabi no robatayaki– hokkaido scallops with grated apple, wasabi and sweet soy; yaki-imo no teriyaki gake– sweet potato with teriyaki sasuce.
Signature zuma dishes from the Main Kitchen include gindara saikyo-yaki– miso marinated black cod wrapped in hoba leaf. There is also the Daikoku Tasting Menu– with a serving of 11 dishes.
The Sunday Brunch is a very attractive proposition, with generous selections from all of the kitchens, and is immensely popular. Bookings are a must.
The beverages menu includes an impressive selection of over 40 sake, including zuma’s private label sake. The wine cellar holds over 2,000 bottles of wines from world-wide premier wine growing districts. The cocktails are based around Japanese spirits- sake and shochu- and blended with fresh seasonal fruit juices. Some of the most popular cocktails are featured below.
Soryu Sangria – Kiwi, strawberry, orange and peach with Japanese blueberry wine
Zuma Mai Tai- Havana 3yr and Myer’s Dark Rum, shaken with plum sake, fresh pineapple puree and blood orange juice, with a touch of almond syrup
Rubabu- signature cocktail- Rhubarb infused sake, shaken with 42 Below Vodka and fresh passion fruit – served as a martini
Cherry Blossom Bellini- Black cherry puree stirred with almond syrup and plum sake, topped with prosecco
zuma hong kong
Monday to Saturday: Lunch 12:00 ~ 15:00
Dinner 18:00 ~ 23:00
Sunday: Brunch 11:00 ~ 15:00
Dinner 18:00 ~ 23:00
zuma lounge & bar
Monday to Friday 12:00 ~ Late
Saturday & Sunday 15:00 ~ Late
Food photograph courtesy of the venue