Don't miss the black cod at slick Japanese restaurant
Time Out Dubai staff
What’s on offer? Think Zuma, think quality Japanese. Friday brunch at this slick DIFC restaurant is all about the finest sushi and sashimi, a range of Japanese yakitori, salads, noodles, seafood and meat dishes, as well as exquisite Zuma mains, such as the much-talked-about black cod. Diners order their mains à la carte and then help themselves from the two buffets – but the latter is an easy, pleasurable experience, without the queues and mad rush you’ll find elsewhere. Refreshingly, too, the Zuma approach doesn’t involve piling up the food in a grotesque, eyes-bigger-than-your-stomach manner, with offerings instead presented in small, appetising batches and then restocked as required. Drinks include delicious ‘cleansers’ (chilled tea, juice and fruit combinations), premium beverages and a range of Japanese rice-based beverages.
The venue? Intricately carved wood and chiselled stone and granite in distinctly Japanese patterns combine with bamboo features and a sophisticated, controlled palette to create a serene, stylishly understated space, all in keeping with DIFC’s more serious, businesslike design. You wouldn’t come here for a raucous party – such untamed enthusiasm would most likely be frowned upon – but quieter and, dare we say it, classier, more sophisticated affairs will fit right in.
What sort of crowd turns out? As the decor dictates, Zuma is less party and more fine dining, resulting in a slightly older, more mature crowd, with plenty of couples and smaller groups. The staff are also (somewhat overly) keen to stress Zuma’s smart-elegant dress code. That said, you’ll still find larger parties out for a celebration, and kids are welcome, too, with a dedicated play area at the entrance.
Room for improvement? We overheard a gentleman complain about the relatively small size of the mains here at Zuma, but we disagree. Less is most definitely more at this brunch, and it’s nice to think that wastage is minimised as a result.
Standout dish? The aforementioned black cod is certainly a standout, wow-factor dish, but we also love the delicate, thinly sliced sashimi that comes accompanied by a zesty yuzu sauce.
In one sentence… Zuma offers a quality Japanese brunch in stylish yet understated surroundings. Kitsu Dhs345 (soft drinks); Kowaku Dhs495 (house beverages); Kyasha Dhs600 (bubbly); kids ages 0-3 no charge (1 kid per adult), kids ages 4-12 Dhs225 for Kitsu brunch.. 12.30pm-3.30pm. Gate Village 06, DIFC, (04 425 5660).