London Export Zuma Gets it Right in Midtown Manhattan

Chef Rainer Becker has opened Zuma’s ninth international location in Midtown East
Credit: Zuma

The nearly tiger-sized tiger prawn at Zuma in Midtown.

Many restaurants claim to offer a dining “experience” and, sadly, don’t quite deliver on their promise. Zuma, however, gets it right.

The award-winning restaurant from London officially opened its highly anticipated location in Midtown Manhattan last week, marking the ninth outpost in its international collection. Founded by chef Rainer Becker, Zuma’s informal izakaya-style of dining incorporates food from three different “kitchens” including a sushi bar and robata grill.

Let me break it down for you like this: the spicy beef was one of the top three tenderest steaks I have ever had. We were hoping to complement it with sweet potatoes and zucchini skewers, which did ultimately redefine the entire concept of a vegetable side, but we had our greens after the meat. We learned that, while you can order in a certain order, everything will land on the table when it’s ready. Highlights of our meal included spicy lobster miso that you drink rather than spooned; a caterpillar roll of prawn tempura, avocado, and freshwater eel; chicken wing skewers; and a tiger prawn that was actually tiger-like in size, split down the middle and served the way a whole lobster might be.

It’ll cost you, but between the impressive architecture on both floors (there are even booths designed to look like private huts), the delectable flavors of the food, and the unpredictable nature of when exactly it’s all going to appear, an experience, right in the middle of midtown east, is definitely what you’ll get. 

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