A few days ago after postponing my birthday karaoke plans for the weekend, a good friend texted that though the party had been cancelled, she was still taking me out to celebrate! After contemplating a few of Dubai’s top hot spots, she took the recommendation of a colleague and reserved dinner for two at Zuma in the DIFC. I wasn’t entirely familiar with Zuma, but after one evening of tasty culinary fare, it’s definitely on my radar!
The restaurant is utterly sexy when you walk in, as Dubai tends to be, with sleek upscale decor and low lighting. Upstairs is comfortable cushy seating overlooking spacious first floor tables and chairs with a view of the sushi bar. The music, a surprising combination of urban jazzy instrumentals and house remixes of American soul artists like Bill Withers, certainly added to the ambiance and provided a great backdrop for people watching over the course of the evening.
After ordering from the signature drink menu (I am self-proclaimed connoisseur of the Old Fashion cocktail and was impressed with both of their versions: the Tokyo Old Fashion as well as the Japanese Old Fashion – note the huge rounded ice cube, which was an added bonus considering the large single block cube that usually accompanies the drink!), we decided to try our luck with the six course menu tasting! Afterall, neither of us had been to Zuma before, which also has locations in London, Hong Kong, Istanbul, and Miami, so we figured it was best to celebrate with the best of what the menu has to offer!
As each delectable course was brought to our table, we were increasingly impressed not only with the presentation itself, but with how delicious everything was! If beauty is in the details, this meal was beautiful in every way!
Now, if you go to Zuma and opt for the menu tasting, be forewarned that there are two options to choose from, and if there are only two in your party, it’s probably best to go with the first option. Also note that each course offering is determined by the chef, so be prepared to experiment! Between the sushi and miso, then appetizers, followed by the chicken, beef, and fish courses, we had no idea HOW we’d get around to dessert! (Don’t worry, we figured out how!)
Honestly, it didn’t look like very much in quantity, however, it was really hard having to leave such tasty food on the plate!! When we realized that take-away wasn’t an option for the food we couldn’t finish, we made a more concerted effort in trying to finish it all!!! LOL! It seemed strange that we couldn’t take the food to go, especially considering the price, but I decided that trying to reheat Cornish hen or Chilean sea bass in the microwave the next day would completely diminish the integrity of the master chef’s vision for his palatable creations. So…. we ate!
After mentioning to our waiter that we were there to celebrate my birthday, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that the chef would prepare a special birthday arrangement for dessert! With “Happy Birthday” inscribed on a sheet of white chocolate, the rest of the platter (hidden behind the birthday greeting) had about five or six different types of confections, along with fresh melon, berries, tropical passionfruit, rambutan, and sweet mangosteen.
The aftermath was RIDICULOUS! When I blew out the candles, I literally wished for more room to finish the spread! After sitting full and content, an executive decision was made that we needed to DANCE our dinner off, which we did at a cool R&B/hip-hop party at club Sensation in the Crowne Plaza, DIFC!
Needless to say, the food and drinks at Zuma were impressive enough to make another trip there very soon. As we were leaving, it became even more apparent that not only is Zuma a great place for an excellent dining experience, but it really begins to come alive as the night continues. The bar was buzzing with expats dressed in chic attire and sipping on signature cocktails after being admitted by a suit with a list! It was definitely an indication to come back soon to get the full effect! So, here’s to the next celebration at Zuma!! Whatever the occasion, it’s sure to be a hit!