“A sophisticated twist on the Japanese izakaya style of informal eating and drinking.” Zuma
Baikingu Brunch is the Friday offering at popular and multiple award winning restaurant Zuma Abu Dhabi located on Al Maryah Island. This brunch has been on my radar for a while so with friends visiting from the UK over Grand Prix weekend it seemed a perfect opportunity to visit and try this much talked about Japanese inspired feast.
It’s an intimate affair which I personally prefer and Zuma’s popularity ensures a full-house so therefore a great atmosphere. The brunch combines table service with small buffet areas, proceedings start with a selection of edamame and lobster miso soup served to the table along with shrimp tempura and a sashimi platter with caviar. Next stop is the sushi and robata counters where an extensive array of raw fish and nigiri, maki and temaki are displayed and a live cooking area with grilled meats and skewers as well as hot and cold starters. Vegetarian wise there’s a selection of cooked vegetables, risotto and various salads, vegan dishes are available on request.
One main course is offered per guest, including the signature miso marinated black cod wrapped in hoba leaf. As Zuma follows the japanese izakaya style of dining where food is served to share, we as a table of six opted to order one of each of the dishes so everyone could enjoy all the flavours. Along with the miso cod, the tender spicy beef tenderloin and the roasted boston lobster were favourites on our table, the vegetarian option was stir fried ramen with seasonal vegetables available as spicy and non-spicy options.
A large variety of desserts are displayed around the centralised bar that’s decorated with beautiful vintage Japanese bottles, colourful miniature sweet treats with both international and Asian flavours along with pastries, cakes and exotic fruits. A theatrical display of serving saki with gold flakes from a traditional barrel is performed during the brunch that certainly attracts diners attention.
Three packages are on offer; Kitsu – soft drinks with Zuma cleansers, Kowaku – the house package with beer, wine and prosecco and Kyasha – the premium option with champagne and Japanese saki. Disappointingly the delicious Zuma cocktails are not available as part of the brunch and the rule is diners must finish a drink before ordering another one. Surprisingly it’s a family-friendly brunch that offers Kodomo – a reduced price package for younger members of the family aged 4 – 12 years.
From the moment you enter this modern Japanese fusion restaurant, via its glass cube entrance above ground and descend to the bar and restaurant below, you are indulging in an experience that has been successfully replicated around the globe. The well-stocked bar is a place to gather and drink cocktails flanked on one side by the restaurant’s extensive glass wine cellar. Expanses of exposed rough cut Thai stone, glass and polished wood give the bar an opulent feel of grandeur and the surrounding dining area offers a fabulous waterfront view and houses an open fronted show kitchen.
The food, the drinks, the service and the ambiance all have their own unique vibe, it’s a cool and relaxed place yet elegant and stylish all at the same time. Zuma Abu Dhabi is one of the capital’s hotspots, it has carved out a niche as the place to see and be seen and regularly attracts the capital’s glitterati and celebrities since it opened in 2014. It’s not the cheapest option in town but worth experiencing at least once as it’s top-notch, dress up and join the stylish crowd to enjoy an indulgent Friday Brunch
Zuma Abu Dhabi
Location: Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi
Telephone: 02 401 5900
Time: Friday Brunch: 12:30 – 16:00
Cost: Kitsu – AED 362 soft drinks with Zuma cleansers, Kowaku – AED 467 house package with beer, wine and prosecco and Kyasha – AED 583 the premium option with champagne and Japanese saki, wine and beer. Kodomo – AED 158 children aged 4 – 12 years.
All the views are my own. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2018. All rights reserved. First two photos used courtesy of www.zumarestaurant.com