Shaka Zulu

The Stables, Chalk Farm Road , London, NW1 8AH

020 3376 9911

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Offers available

SquareMeal Review of Shaka Zulu

You have to admire this huge South African-themed pile for its pluck. To the sound of drumbeats, we navigate our way to the lounge bar at this gastroplex, which must be seen to be believed (once will do). With wall-to-wall tribal carvings, ethnic prints and images of statuesque warriors à go-go, this overwrought subterranean kingdom feels more Sun City than Camden. For £9.50, you can sample the Shaka shakers’ finest efforts. The pick of the ‘Zulu cocktails’ are angel face (African Mishale brandy, fig, lemon and apple juice), Ketel dawa from Nairobi, and a vodka and kumquat thirst-quencher called sufrica. Ten wines by the glass include Kloovenburg Merlot at £7.50. In similarly ‘classy’ bars in Cape Town, £10 will get you three Bellinis. What’s Zulu for ‘taxi to Heathrow’?

Wine List Of The Year

Tony Safqui has stuck with this busy South African eatery’s national theme and put together a list made up (apart from Champagne) entirely of South African wines, all bound in a fake crocodile-skin folder. It’s easy to follow, looks great, the pricing is fair, and just about all the country’s good producers are included.

Special offers

Christmas menu at £60 per person

This offer is available from November 24, 2017 until December 22, 2017, subject to availability as displayed in the booking interface. Not available in conjunction with other offers. Offer excludes service.

From: 24 November 2017

To: 22 December 2017

Max: 50

3 courses & champagne cocktail £24.50

This offer is available from August 15, 2017 until September 15, 2018, subject to availability as displayed in the booking interface. Offer excludes service and includes VAT. Not available in conjunction with other offers.

From: 15 August 2017

To: 15 September 2018

Max: 0

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4.9

Food & Drink: 5.1

Service: 4.6

Atmosphere: 5.4

Value: 4.8

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

Julia N. 13 May 2014

Amazing atmosphere as you go down the escalator into this venue. The staff were all polite and courteous. There were eight of us who had the menu with the shared starter (wonderful selection), had the best steak that I have had for some time and then had the shared pudding (could have done with a little more). Service was reasonable. Overall had a wonderful evening the venue is truly spectacular, despite being full and busy it still felt quite intimate. Loved the dancing later on. A little bit on the pricey side but that's London for you.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

David G. 26 November 2013

Took my wife and children and loved the venue. The kids thought the Zulu warrior figures were fantastic and kept staring at them all night. Wife and I had a good bottle of SA wine to share and the kids had non-alcoholic cocktails. We decided to have a ‘sharing’ starter and ‘sharing dessert’ and each of us had a separate main course. The steak I had was great. Would come back with a few adult friends and family as the vibe was cool and the staff were friendly and knowledgeable. The bill was about right for what we ate and drank and is typical of London prices, so no complaints from this family!

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

Sarah D. bronze reviewer 20 March 2013

I'd only recommend this place for the ambience and decor – in good company this place can been enjoyed. Absolutely awful service, the food was only slightly better than the waiter's attitude.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 3.0

Lola T. 25 February 2013

I went to Shaka Zulu over the weekend to celebrate a girl friend's birthday and it was overall an incredible night. The ambiance and decor of the interior is elaborate and beautiful, none of us had ever been anywhere like it. The cocktail list is extensive and the music was great. We stayed until 2am and danced all night. I am so happy we chose Shaka Zulu and look forward to bringing all of my friends to this venue!

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Food fiend platinum reviewer 26 October 2011

This is the kind of place i envisage is what the makers of the Lion King musical would dream up! Very VERY OTT inside plus an escalator leading into a huge african themed room. An escalator i tell you!!! We had gone there as a small group – and were told, if we were more than 15m late, the table would be taken given they were so busy. I did wonder about this as when we were finally seated, there were a lot of empty tables! I was told later it is often on Groupon so i did think it couldnt be that good if they have to advertise for custom. Food itself wasnt as bad as id expected as id read the reviews on the web only an hour before i came. I had lamb samoosas (not sure why its a moo rather than a mo) with harissa spiced mayo. My main was the spit roast of the day – quite a nice beef spit roast accompanied by fries and a south african style mayo laded coleslaw. My friends had a mix of seared tuna, tagliatelle with lobster, and ostrich steaks – all of which was relatively nice. My spit roast wasnt medium rare as they insisted, but cooked to the max so a tad dry. Unfortunately i was also sick with a dodgy stomach the next day – i dont want to blame the food but im pretty sure it was that. This isnt a restaurant so to speak – its essentially a club trying to sell food and masquerade as a club. Its not a place for foodies. Its a shame as Camden always had that kooky feel to it, whereas this place just seems to be another Tiger Tiger and completely sleazy and souless. I do think it would work well if you are with a big group who want the whole food, club thing all in one but keep in mind its full of TOWIE types by the end, plus a packed dancefloor. If you're idea of a good night is this, plus checking out ladies in bikinis serving shots, then this is good for you!

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 2.0

Lila G. 17 April 2011

Shaka Zulu is such a disappointing dining experience that I felt the need to review it at 9am on a Sunday (the morning after I dined here with my girlfriend). I bought the Groupon voucher which entitled me chose from the limited ‘Taste of Africa’ menu. For starters, we both chose the deep Fried soft shell crab…mistake! This dish was so horrendously greasy (think KFC if they did crab) that you couldn't even taste the crab meat. For our mains we had one trout and one beef. The trout which was surprisingly OK, however, the beef came as a lone slab of meat on a vacant plate, served with a small bucket of chips. We didn't have an option to order any greens (or any sides) as a supplement. Presentation was poor and so was the taste. Nice! For desert we had the coconut creme brûlée and passionfruit with didn't sit well together at all, a complete messy mush of food.   The decor of this place looks like a Vegas themed restaurant gone wrong, it does have character but it lacks any originality ( please visit the female toilets for the 'watering hole experience). The service was also poor, we waited 30 mins for our mains and they didn't clear our greasy starters until I flagged the waiter. I hope that you stay behind after dinner for their ‘club’ which looked like a scene from ‘The only way it Essex’ , chavtastic!! 

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 0.0

Nicola Q. 17 January 2011

Roger Payne, who spent a reported 5m on this place should be ashamed of himself. The decor is fantastic, it doesn't even feel like you are slap bang in the middle of London, but I am embarrassed to be South African and associated with the kind of place that is an empty shell because of the staff they have running it. Spending that kind of money and not training your staff – professional hospitality suicide. They are exceptionally rude, so much so that when you complain they stand and laugh in a huddle, led by the manager I might add!! Prices are abhorrent for the level of service they provide. Go see it – but don't eat in it.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Rudy B. 08 December 2010

This venue is beautiful. The food is very good and exotic; however, the customer service is terrible. The staff lack customer serice, restaurant and any bartending training. Their organization, response to customer requests and knowledge of the restaurant is awful. The security is rude and ineffective as there was a huge fight that was out of control on the dance floor for about 8 mins. We waited over an hour to be seated for dinner. There were no procedures to deal with a back log of customers. Drinks took extreme long, about 15 mins on average to make and we received the wrong drinks on our first order. There did not seem to be a clear chain of command to escalate issues or complaints. Due to the long wait and poor service, we were promised complimentary champagne this took 20 mins to be delivered and when it was it was sparkling wine. The food was good. However, the dining experience was marred by party revellers from the other side of the floor coming over to the restaurant and walking around, placing their empty glasses on the table while we were eating and in two separate instances, revellers vomiting under tables in the restaurant area. When we complained, the response from the staff was to hand one of the persons a large napkin and then he continue with his duties. In addition, there was a huge fight on the dance floor. The bouncers took about 8 minutes before they showed up to clear the fight and trouble makers. This took a further 15mins to resolve and the music was turned off. They then started rudely ushering people out of the venue before closing time. They did this in the worst, most impolite and forceful fashion! One group refused to leave because they had just bought drinks from the bar that was still open. The bouncers were rude, loud and threatening to the group. There was a nervous stand off between the two groups as the patrons would not back down and leave the drinks that they had bought. It was not closing time for the venue as advertised and the group wanted their money back or be allowed to have their drinks. In the end the manager of the venue came over ushered the security away and allowed the group to consume their drinks. This was the 2nd time I had been to this venue and the last time for me until I here really good reviews. It is not at all like Gilgamesh which I adore!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Sheila S. 21 September 2010

Overall I had a great experience at Shaka Zulu and have already encouraged many friends and family members to find a special night to experience South Africa right in Camden. After hearing all the recent buzz about the new restaurant, I figured it would be a nice change from my usual spots, where South African cuisine is rare. I am extremely glad I did and so were the friends that I brought along! Upon arrival you are greeted by the warm, though not overly obnoxious staff. Then you take a moment to look around and realize that all of the statues, decor and the atmosphere in general are truly unique. The beautifully crafted carvings and attention to detail in each mask and warrior scene could be viewed as over the top, but personally I enjoyed them very much. The waitstaff were all very friendly and accommodating, our waiter was very knowledgeable about the wine and the South African cuisine as well. My friends and I decided to share a few dishes. Because so many of the options were unfamiliar to us, the waiter was very helpful in narrowing down items to best satisfy our interests. We ultimately decided on the roast cod, pan fried kingklip, the Cape Malay chicken curry and took a heavily debated risk with the ostrich rump. Each dish was very unique and created a great balance in our meal. I enjoyed each but would have to say the chicken and cod are tied for my favorites. We were then of course swayed into ordering the creme brulee, already proving to be a guest favorite as the table next to us raved about it. Hands down the best I have ever tried! The coconut daiquiri was very fun, and I genuinely appreciated the creativity that went into the delicious Madagascan Margarita! The live music was an added bonus to the overall experience and we even got a bit of dancing in by the end of the night. Overall I had a great time at Shaka Zulu and already have plans for a night there next week!

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Special offers

Christmas menu at £60 per person

From: 24 November 2017

To: 22 December 2017

Max: 50

3 courses & champagne cocktail £24.50

From: 15 August 2017

To: 15 September 2018

Max: 0

Shaka Zulu is included in the following SquareMeal lists