Restaurant in London
South African Restaurant, Bar and Club
As Saturday night crept upon us, I teamed up with my fellow food lover and restaurant explorer to head north of the river and all the way up to streets of Camden, where we would be dining for the evening at the much sought after Shaka Zulu.
Making our decent below ground level, we were soon transported from the busy, vibrant streets of London to the authentic and definitely not so subtle, diverse heart of South Africa. Blown away by the sheer size of the two-floored venue, it went without saying that the room had been done out, at great cost, in homage to the Zulus and Shaka, their early 19th century king. Carved wooden murals were splashed on every inch of the walls whilst gigantic spear-wielding warriors are strewn about throughout.
As our host showed us past the Champagne and Oyster bar on the mezzanine level, to the more intimate cocktail lounge, we perched ourselves at a gigantic, round table overlooking the lavish restaurant below. Surprised at how quiet the place was, our waitress was able to guide us through the cocktail menu before I settled for a Cherry Lane, which is a fruity concoction of raspberry vodka and brut whilst my companion went for the more exotic and sour Prosecutor Passion which she put away within seconds before asking for another!
Guided (for sheer fear of getting lost) down the huge escalator flowing into the bottom floor, home to the extravagant braii restaurant, we were seated on another huge round table with stunning views of the gigantic statues ready to enjoy a South African feast with all the trimmings. Right on cue, our waiter brought over their house champagne, which still happened to be none other than a bottle of Laurent Perrier Brut, which occupied our glass flutes throughout the night.
Stuck for choice from an intriguing themed menu I finally settled for the spicy grilled tiger prawns whilst my companion went for the ostrich. Beautifully displayed, our dishes arrived fairly promptly but I would challenge this on a busier night due to the perfect presentation. I was told the texture of the ostrich was perfect and bursting with flavours and whilst I am known for being a huge critic on 'spicy' food, was pleasantly surprised to see they had got it just right with the delicate and light prawns.
After a gloriously indulgent main course where our taste buds were sent into sensation and meals fully consumed, we had to opt out of dessert in favour for one last glass of bubbles and chin wag about the gorgeous African themed cave. Thank god, we were guided back out through the maze of the curated murals to the real world due to the sheer fear of getting too consumed in the idyllic African surroundings!
Jenifer Howard is a London based freelance writer
Photographs courtesy of Shaka Zulu
|Reviewer's Rating||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Need to book||Advisable|
|Restaurant good for||Couples, Bar scene, Small groups, Meeting up with friends|
|Cost per head||Medium|
|Dress Code||Smart Casual|
|Dining Options||Lunch, Dinner|
This isn't a place for the light hearted with its low lighting, huge statues and meaty menu. Wrecking havoc on your bearings, you are swept into the Zulu world and taken on a journey far away from the streets of London.
Starters from £8.95; Oysters from £14.95; Seafood ranges from £10 to £50; Mains from £17; steak and game meats from £23.50. Wine starts from mid £20s for a bottle.
Last updated on 18-06-2015