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Zuma: Swanky, Contemporary Japanese Cuisine

Zuma may be the most beautiful restaurant in the city (it’s certainly the most beautiful one that comes to my mind). Noriyoshi Muramatsu of Studio Glitt designed a modern Japanese, 2-story location that both captures the style and elegance of Zuma worldwide, yet embraces unique elements seen only in New York. The first floor features the dining room and sushi lounge, while the upstairs has a beautiful lounge with a DJ spinning every evening. I got a tour of all of the private rooms that all feature unique, yet gorgeous Japanese decor – perfect for corporate events, family gatherings and one room even has a projector so you can watch a football game, while indulging in their delicious izakaya inspired menu.

We did Zuma’s version of Omakase, which was basically an extravagant 14-course tasting menu:

For cocktails we got the Yamatochi Cooler and Lychee Rose Petal Martini.

Yamatochi Cooler: avion blanco, mint, ginger, elderflower, lychee, lime

Lychee Rose Petal Martini: ketel one vodka, lychee, dillon’s rose, lemon

The food was extraordinary. Here’s a rundown of the meal:

Rock Shrimp Tempura, Steamed Baby Spinach with Sesame Dressing and Yellowtail Sashimi

Close up on the Steamed Baby Spinach: one of my favorite sides of the night. For now on, I am coating my spinach in sesame dressing and sesame seeds.

Sea Bass Sashimi, Beef Tataki with Truffle and Soft Shell Crab

Close up on the Beef Tataki: This was wrapped around pickled daikon and fresh shaved black truffle.

Close up on the Soft Shell Crab: Loved this dish! The crab was of course fried, but not too fried because I could taste the juicy, delicious crab!

Sushi/Sashimi Platter: Salmon, Yellowtail, Tuna, Sea Bass and Mackerel

Spicy Hamachi Maki

Tuna Tartare with Seaweed Rice Chips

Tiger Prawns

Miso Black Cod: This was soooo soooo soooo good, but there was a bone in it, which I get happens, but really made not want to eat it.

Grilled Asparagus

Spicy Beef Tenderloin

Miso Soup: this came out after the meal, which I found a bit odd. I was already so full and only could make room for dessert.

Exotic Fruit, Vanilla Ice Cream, Strawberry Sorbet, Chocolate Fondant and Chawanmushi (Egg Custard)

This was incredible. Beautiful presentation - we ate all of the “dessert” and I had the fruit for breakfast the next morning.

Overall, Zuma gets an 8/10. It’s atmosphere, ambiance and food was exceptional. The two setbacks: bones in the fish and the fact that the miso soup came after the entrees. I love miso soup, but not when I can barely breath from fullness (a good fullness!). I can definitely put those setbacks behind me and can’t wait to go back. I also can’t stop thinking about all of the soft shell crab, sushi and sashimi, which were definitely the major highlights!


261 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10016

(212) 544-9862


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