I had a fantastic birthday weekend ladies and gents. As mentioned in my last post, I was really up for celebrating this year and after weeks of indecision and copious emails between me and my mates, I decided to settle on a night out at one of London’s swankiest venues – Shaka Zulu Bar & Restaurant. Quick back story: Although Shaka Zulu opened a few years ago, I only visited for the first time a few weeks ago while on a photo shoot for work…Talk about love at first sight.
For those who aren’t familiar with the eatery, it’s South African themed and split over two floors with a mezzanine bar/lounge area upstairs and restaurant and dance-floor area downstairs. Every inch of the floor space is ornately decorated. You’ll find 20ft bronze warrior statues, life sized statues of animals and walls comprised of carved wood murals – it’s absolutely breathtaking.
The menu is also quite the eye opener featuring familiar dishes alongside adventurous options such as a South African game menu featuring ostrich, zebra and buffalo (more on this later).
I went along on my actual birthday with Rich and some of my closest friends in tow. It’s been so long since we’ve all been together that needless to say there was a lot of riotous laughter and good times.
What I also loved about the venue is once you finish eating you can dance off the pounds by shaking your thing on the dancefloor courtesy of the house DJ who comes on at 10pm. The music started off as generic club stuff (i.e. dance music) but got better as the night progressed and a few old school hip hop and R&B tracks were mixed with Drake, RiRi, Jay Z and the likes of.
Shaka Zulu is ‘almost’ the perfect birthday venue but there is one thing that lets it down and that is the food (which is quite a big thing some might say). My friends and I were too hungry to experiment so we all settled for traditional meals, and while I wouldn’t say it was unpleasant, there certainly wasn’t a wow factor to match the exquisiteness of the venue or justify the fairly steep menu prices. While scrolling through the comments section on some restaurant related forums I noticed that quite a few people feel the same way we did. So if I was to give any advice to the owners, I would say really, really, really work on making the same indelible impact on our culinary senses as our visual. That said, I will definitely be going back with my mind set firmly on the zebra.