Can the institution continue its critically acclaimed consistency at its brunch?
Brunches come and go in Dubai. Only the strongest brunches survive and become Saturday afternoon staples. One of the best examples of culinary staying power is the FACT Award winning Zuma and its recently relaunched Baikingu Brunch, which is available in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. After we visited Zuma Dubai, we can confirm this is an institution you’ll want to dig your chopsticks into again and again.
Zuma is the brainchild of restauranteur Rainer Becker. In 2002, he launched Zuma, and in 2004, he launched Roka. Both of the OG restaurants are located in London, and the brand later expanded to cities including Hong Kong, Miami and New York, and earned fans from critics to celebrities. In 2008, it launched in Dubai and became a dining destination.
Located in DIFC, Zuma Dubai includes a ground floor restaurant and first floor bar. The décor boasts high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, and round as well as square tables. As the brunch is so popular, the tables are packed close together. Plus, the space feels like a hotel lobby – albeit a luxury one.
Zuma Dubai prides itself on elevating an izakaya experience, which is traditionally an informal Japanese bar serving snacks and drinks. In Japanese, baikingu translates to buffet – while buffets are normally casual affairs, here it remains relaxed yet refined. The result: a beautifully presented buffet with a sushi, robata and dessert counter, and a robata live cooking station that will make your mouth water.
At Zuma Dubai’s Baikingu Brunch, you can still sample Zuma’s Greatest Hits. The menu includes signature dishes, and starters and mains are served to the table. The starters include Miso Soup with Tofu, Shrimp Tempura and Steamed Soybeans. The Chicken Tempura with lemon dressing is a spicy start. The Crispy Fried Squid with green chilli and lime has a soft, springy texture, and was the best version of the dish we have tasted.
The mains include a Barley Miso Cord Fed Baby Chicken, Grilled Chilean Seabass and Roasted Lobster. The Spicy Beef Tenderloin is tender-tastic, and soaks up the sesame and sweet soy flavours. Don’t leave without trying the world-famous Miso Marinated Black Cod. There are few dishes in the world, which have articles dedicated to them. Taking three-day to prepare, it is worth the hype – the fish is wrapped in hoba leaf and soft like silk.
Diners don’t come to Zuma Dubai for its desserts, but the Insta-worthy dessert counter caters for those with a sweet and healthy tooth. While there are cakes, ice creams and sorbets, there is also a range of exotic fruits.
Zuma Dubai’s Baikingu Brunch isn’t cheap, but worth it for the high-quality food and drinks. If you’re new to sake, ask the knowledgeable sommelier for recommendations. The premium package is value for money – free flowing Bollinger Champagne, anyone? The packages start from AED 595 and go up to AED 795. Plus, it is one of the few fine dining brunches that welcome children.
Zuma Dubai is home to excellent service, and the attention to detail is amazing. Despite being busy, glasses are topped up, plates arrive promptly and napkins are folded when we leave the table. Given the restaurant’s global reputation, the staff are never snobbish, instead all smiles.
Long live Zuma Dubai.
GO: Visit https://zumarestaurant.com for more information.