Zuma launch the Champagne Gogo menu
Zuma opened in 2002 and it still is one of the trendiest restaurants in Knightsbridge. The Champagne Gogo menu I’m here to sample takes its name from the Japanese word for afternoon, Gogo, and Zuma pitches it as a high-end alcoholic take on afternoon tea. There’s six cocktails to choose from and two mochis.
The cocktails range from good to excellent. A Hokkaido Blossom was made from Tanqueray, Lillet blanc, plum sake, lemon, orange blossom and champagne and was great; quite sweet but well balanced. The Sugi Zai (Ketel One vodka infused with cedar wood, lemon juice, cherry brandy, yuzu juice and champagne) showed the mixologist’s understanding of his craft: the cedar wood infusion in the vodka lasting only an hour, but adding an enormous amount of depth to the cocktail, tasting refined and elegant.
The Nashi Royal was similar but starts with a base of pear sake and includes the addition of ginger syrup, adding a subtle warmth and spice to the drink. An Ama Mizu Spritz (watermelon, Aperol, lemon and prosecco) is a little more ordinary but the Zuma Spritz (Kamm and Sons, plum sake and prosecco) tastes great, the distinctive taste of the 45-botanical spirit really lifting the whole drink.
The mochis are rather less consistent than the drinks. They are made of ice cream encircled by a coating of gelatinous sticky rice formed into a paste. The first having a cherry-flavoured coating with a white chocolate centre and the second a mango ice cream surround by a guava shell. In theory. The ice cream, particularly the mango, was nice, but try as I might I couldn’t find much in the coatings beyond a general gelatinous texture.
Save for some initial confusion about the time of my booking, the service here is excellent: attentive, informative and – in the case of our mixologist Marco – very knowledgeable about the subject matter. The cocktails start at £10.50 rising to £14 at the upper end. These prices are perhaps not that unusual for London, and certainly around Knightsbridge, but even this felt like it sat above a price point in line with what we had received.
The room is a pleasant place to sit and have a drink and the bar staff are friendly and helpful, so if it fits your budget then the Champagne Gogo at Zuma is worth a visit.★★★★★Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Matthew Pull
To book a table at Zuma, 5 Raphael Street London SW7 1DL, call 020 7584 1010 or visit their website here. The Champagne Gogo menu is available from 10th July until the end of summer, 7 days a week from 3pm-5:30pm.