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Sunday, October 11, 2015

GAWA Day #26A: Dubai Dinner at Zuma

Zuma is #88 on the Best 100 Restaurant list.  On this trip I've been to:
You would think with that name the cuisine would be Mediterranean or Arabic, especially when you consider that the  restaurant was founded by Rainer Becker, with Arjun Waney and Divia Lavani.    First opening in Knightsbridge (London), success led to Hong Kong, Istanbul, Dubai, Miami and Abu Dhabi, although my server insists they have, now, nine.  To my surprise, this is high-end izakaya-style Japanese dining.  

Becker is a German chef who lived in Tokyo 6 years and Waney was born in India, went to UC Berkeley, founded Pier 1 (home furnishings) and now is into restaurants.  To the left is Divia, whose father is a Hong Kong telecom tycoon and her mother is from Hawaii.

Zumba Dubai is a $16 roundtrip cab ride from the Sheraton Dubai Creek.  When you walk from air-conditioned comfort into the heat, your glasses instantly fog up. The Islamic weekend begins at noon on Thursday, with Friday a holy day.  Thus, Saturday is like a Sunday.  This was a Saturday in Dubai and Zuma was packed:


The restaurant is classy and efficient and expensive.  I started with a hot sake, Kirin Beer and sparkling water, which cost as much as the beer.  I should learn to say no to water, but they kind of make you feel guilty if you do.  The first course included a wagyu sushi with Ossetra caviar and a fabulous foie gras:


That glob you see on the shiso leaf is some concoction of ume and other Japanese tastes.  My second course was a combination ribeye steak and sweet corn.  I saw dozens of ears barbecued in front of me, and the final step was a blowtorching of the segments:


All the above, with tax, service charge and whatever cost $227.  Compared to the other Best 100 Restaurants of the World, Zuma deserves the ranking.  I now go on a two-day diet, which begins with a City Tour of Dubai.

I will have a part two today, for the tour of Dubai was astonishing.

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