Japanese, Sushi·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Zuma

Gold Award

It’s been a feature of the Knightsbridge landscape for more than a decade, but ultra-trendy Zuma seems as fresh as the day it opened: “the consistently excellent food doesn't seem to have faltered over the years”, drools one fan. Prospective diners have to negotiate the doormen and by-pass the perma-posse of beautiful people hanging round the grotto-like bar before reaching the ‘industrial-Zen’ dining room. 

Serious foodies and singletons head for the sushi counters surrounding the open-plan kitchen, but most people elect to sit in the comfortable, bustling main room, where the music is just the right side of loud, the lighting is kind, and the famous (and infamous) can be seen and admired. 

This may be a social destination, but it would be nothing without the food, and the kitchen sends out wave upon wave of “amazing” food. Clusters of small plates are ferried out when they’re ready and the idea is to share all those different taste sensations. Crispy squid with chilli and lime is a deserved menu favourite, while the steamed spinach topped with sesame sauce (which has been on the menu since Zuma’s opening night) is beguilingly simple. There’s also expertly cut and exquisitely garnished sashimi, as well as spot-on nigiri and maki. 

Elsewhere, the house version of black cod (cutely wrapped in a hoba leaf) is a supremely flaky and soft delight, while the crispy shrimp tempura with shiso and citrus mayonnaise is the kind of dish you’ll want to return for again and again. East/west crossover desserts include the pecan pie and kokuto caramel sundae, but the melting cherry-blossom flourless chocolate cake is the pudding that has our heart, not least because of its impossibly glam chocolate coating, complete with Zuma branding. 

Given the clientele, the wine list is unsurprisingly pricey, and it’s backed by premium sakés and some really sexy cocktails, while the green tea is spot-on for those not indulging. “You can’t go wrong with the food here” concludes one fan. 

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Japanese, Sushi
Cool, Fun, Glamorous, Lively
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Counter dining, Gluten-free options, Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
Birthdays, Celeb spotting, Celebrations, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About Zuma

Zuma was a sensation when it first opened in 2002 and while some of the buzz has died down in the almost 20 years since it launched, it’s still one of the foremost party restaurants in the capital.

The excitement builds before you’ve even crossed the threshold thanks to an unpromising location on a Knightsbridge backstreet which whispers rather than shouts 'insider secret'. Once inside, a bar to the right of the entrance creates an immediate sense of buzz and, if you’re not in the mood for a full meal, serves some knockout Asian-accented cocktails as well as providing access to the restaurant's carefully curated wine list. Should you feel peckish, you can also eat here too, either up at the bar or one of the leather sofas.

The dining room proper stretches out behind. Larger groups sit at tables and chairs while solo diners, couples and curious foodies might be seated at the long, U-shaped counter which wraps around the open kitchen and gives a bird’s eye view of the chefs at work as they meticulously slice sashimi or craft exquisite morsels of sushi.

Zuma’s success, however, has always relied upon the combination of traditional Japanese culinary techniques grafted on to a western sensibility. As well as the expertly prepared raw fish, the long, long menu deals in beguilingly delicious signature dishes. Small plates include warm aubergine with sweet miso; seabass with yuzu, truffle oil and salmon roe; and crispy fried squid with green chilli lime. Meat dishes are just as good: chicken wings with saké, sea salt and lime, and rib-eye steak with wafu sauce and garlic crisps, are never likely to leave the menu.

The downside to all the good-time vibes is that when it’s at full tilt, eating here can feel like dining in the middle of a very loud party, and if being surrounded by the international super-rich is not your idea of a good time (or budget), then walk on by. But almost everyone who enters into the upbeat spirt of the place leaves vowing to return.  


Can I book a table?

Yes, booking can be done online or over the phone.

Helpful? 0

Are vegetarian options?

Yes, the menu includes multiple vegetarian options on the menu.

Helpful? 0

Is there a dress code?

Yes, the restaurant asks for it's diners to come in smart-casual attire.

Helpful? 0

Are there gluten-free options on the menu?

Yes there are gluten-free options on the menu.

Helpful? 0


5 Raphael Street, Knightsbridge, London, SW7 1DL

020 7584 1010


Opening Times

Mon 12:00-15:00
Tue 12:00-15:00
Wed 12:00-15:00
Thu 12:00-15:00
Fri 12:00-15:00
Sat 12:00-15:30
Sun 12:00-15:30
Mon 18:00-23:00
Tue 18:00-23:00
Wed 18:00-23:00
Thu 18:00-23:00
Fri 18:00-23:00
Sat 18:00-23:00
Sun 18:00-22:30


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43 Reviews 

John D

12 February 2020  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4
Favourite modern Japanese restaurant

One of my favourite modern Japanese restaurant and leader for a long time. The food is delivering constant very quality dishes. Buzzing atmosphere and the wide list of sake and cocktails.

Petros K

06 August 2019  
Food, ambience.

Rob H

06 August 2019  
Brilliant atmosphere and amazing food..expensive but delicious. Wine choices are superb.

Lynda S

02 July 2019  
Consistently excellent food which doesn't seem to have faltered over the years. Great ambience and bar area also.


28 June 2019  
Excellent atmosphere, great food but super expensive!Staff is hit and miss, depends on your luck!

Emilia G

29 March 2019  
Great food, great ambiance, great service.

Elizabeth B

22 October 2018  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
Can’t beat the food & service here. The lobster, beef, corn all unbelievably good. Even the salads are amazing. Can be a little loud so not good for deep conversations but everything is just so so so good . Definite fave.

Clare L

01 August 2018  
Beautifully presented top quality.

Alison H

31 July 2018  
Amazing food with fabulous service and a very buzzy setting.

Petros K

27 June 2018  
Food, ambience.
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