Zuma New York is a spectacle born from a multi million dollar renovation to the Madison Avenue space it now inhabits. The Zuma restaurant group owns and operates this fine dining chain in major cities worldwide. Each location has a high polished design and a consistency in core dishes and high quality. The restaurant has a modern cathedral type of feel to it with high ceilings and is embedded with geometric shapes, glass, metal, and wood throughout. Ornamental columns of interwoven material allowing light through them on the street side is juxtaposed by crow’s nest glass vintages on from the airy private dining rooms on the second floor which hover above the open chef’s stations. The Zuma brunch, like the restaurant itself, will not leave a diner wanting.
Executive Chef Oliver Lange toured me through his restaurant and the kitchen to show me more of what made New York’s Zuma something special. As he showed me around the expansive and immaculate Zuma kitchen, where I saw chefs preparing everything from pecan dessert dough—immediately invoking instincts to lick the mixing bowl—to chefs chopping copious amounts of fresh vegetables, to the special chocolate soufflé sitting in tins looking smooth and smelling delectable in its rawest form, he explained that all of the ingredients were as fresh and as local as possible.
After having my appetite properly fluffed I returned to my seat to begin my journey through the nine course Omakase Gochiso brunch. Do note, this meal requires a bit of time.
It all starts with one of the signature cocktails. The wasabi mule was refreshing and the wasabi used was authentic and freshly ground so it did indeed complement the freshness of the ginger in it.
It was then that I knew I was officially in for the full Zuma experience. Out came colossal bowls of ice that were being used as trays for the smaller cool dish combinations. Of the first three cool dishes, the seared salmon submerged in a Ponzu style sauce with Shiso leaf was the most exciting.
Then there were the mains of steak and salmon that came out perfectly prepared with distinctive spices that made them undeniably Zuma.
Last but not least, the desserts. This course was comprised of a chilled Zuma bowl of fresh seasonal fruit, sesame panna cotta, and a mandarin mouse with a meringue chip. There’s more! There were also scoops of homemade raspberry and mango sorbet on a block of ice for an additional treat. That’s not it! After the meal, dessert included, Chef Lang sent over two house-made truffles a pistachio coated passion fruit dark chocolate truffle—Chef Lang’s favorite—and a coconut coated white chocolate and lychee truffle.
I asked Chef Lange what his favorite things to eat with coffee and champagne are. For coffee, the dark chocolate truffle from the dessert course and, with champagne the oysters that he served on the colossal bowl of ice in the first course. There is no shortage of tastes, bites, morsels, or any other additional indulgences if one partakes in the Zuma Omakase brunch.
Photos courtesy of Zuma.