Restaurant Review: Dubai’s Zuma

The Japanese restaurant in DIFC promises flavourful food and fantastic service.



Four years since its opening and Dubai’s Zuma is still attracting the in-crowd with its minimalist interior, reliably fresh food, and slick service.

The Japanese restaurant’s steely lines glisten in the midday sunlight as a repeat crowd enjoys the four-course Ebisu lunch for Dhs130 a head.

Situated at Dubai International Financial Centre, a quick look around Zuma on any given afternoon will reveal a who’s who of the business community enjoying what is one of Dubai’s best value lunch deals.

Co-founded by German chef Rainer Becker and the Waney family, this family-owned restaurant was founded in 2002 and has gone on to become global Japanese restaurant chain with much-hyped branches in London, Hong Kong and Istanbul.

But does the Dubai food live up to Zuma’s international reputation? Well, one famous guest, Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, thinks so.

The business lunch deal offers miso soup, plus a choice of two starters and a main.

The excellent starters include prawn and black cod gyoza, grilled portobello mushroom and the delightfully tangy and inventive sweet corn
tempura with lemon salt. The food is wholesome, original, and bursting with flavour.

Equally worth a mention are the oven baked on cedar wood barley miso baby chicken and the signature miso marinated black cod don buri.

Our ebullient South African maître d’ is trademark Zuma stock with his sharp fashion sense but down-to-earth manner. It’s clear that our waiter’s biggest passion is food and drink – and ensuring that you enjoy your food and drink.

In a city of carbon copy, solicitous waiters, one of our favourite things about Zuma is that the staff have unashamedly big personalities. They know they’re good and they want you to know it too.

The fact that this restaurant opened just as the world’s financial climate imploded and still managed to deliver hundreds of lunchtime and evening covers is testament to its sleek operational style and consistently enjoyable food.

With Zuma opening in Abu Dhabi in 2013, the capital’s in-crowd will soon have somewhere new to dress-to-impress.