In aid of the birthday of one of the girls in the office, we popped across the road to Zuma at The Galleria for lunch the other day. I’ve had the pleasure of eating previously at Zuma Dubai, so ever since the Abu Dhabi branch opened its doors in March (2014), I’ve been chomping at the bit to try it out and see if it’s still as good as I remembered.
As we had limited time over the lunch period (unfortunately we did have to get back to the office for the afternoon!) we all opted to go for the ebisu lunch menu, which incorporated four sections from which you could choose different options for each course. The meal started with miso soup which was delicious, and shortly afterwards the first plates arrived. I’m afraid at this point I got so excited about eating I forgot to take a picture, but I had the chicken skewers with baby leek and let me tell you – they were truly delectable. And whilst four courses may sound a little over the top for lunch time, the portions were taster sized, so as not to be excessive.
Next up was the vegetable tempura… I love a good veggie, but they’re even better when they’re covered in batter and deep fried I’m sure you’ll agree… at least, when battered and fried correctly anyway, and well done these were – no hint of stodginess in sight and beautifully crisp and light with a tasty ginger sauce on the side.
Finally, the pièce de résistance and the thing I’d rabbited on and on about since my visit to Zuma Dubai – the miso marinated black cod wrapped in hoba leaf. I wondered how it could possibly live up to the expectations of my memory but it did… Since it was a lunch menu and the portions are smaller than the individual dishes on the main menu, it didn’t arrive presented in the hoba leaf which was part of the spectacle as I recall, but it still didn’t disappoint… I don’t know how else to describe it other than quite simply the best piece of fish I have eaten. Normally I’m not much of a fish fan to be honest, but this, I could quite happily eat nothing else but this for the rest of my life. It really is so good, you just have to try it. It’s a dish that doesn’t need any pomp or ceremony, but with the excitement and anticipation that comes in waiting for it to arrive, I can’t help but feel it should be delivered with a drumroll.
The restaurant itself was surprisingly busy for any restaurant in Abu Dhabi on a Tuesday lunchtime, although not so for my experience of the perennially busy Zuma, and with good reason. There’s action aplenty if you want it with seating overlooking the kitchen and prep areas too. The restaurant was an interesting mix of people with everyone from business people to smart looking families with small children. Don’t miss out, I urge you to get down there immediately and don’t forget to try the miso marinated black cod! I’m already looking forward to making another trip down there to work my way through the rest of the menu.
The ebisu lunch menu offers four courses for Dhs140 per person – it’s a veritable bargain I tell you – although the à la carte options will set you back a fair bit more depending on how many dishes you want to try and your ability to self control!