zuma – A Culinary Tour of Japan
Chef Perry cares about the smallest details, and its these details that he has brought with him to Hong Kong after working for five years at zuma in London. From the big picture of sending out beautiful dishes with artistic touches, to the smallest details of separate workstations for customers with specific dietary needs, zuma takes care of its customers. The chefs at the restaurant accommodate any need – gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, vegan, vegetarian, and allergies – even including shellfish allergies.
We sampled an all gluten-free menu covering most special requests received at zuma. Chef Perry says that with some notice, he can make anything in his kitchen. Our experience also gave us a new appreciation for the amount of effort it takes to make changes to the standard dishes at zuma and truly how
hard these chefs work to accommodate special requests. For instance, to make sauces gluten-free, it can take 30 minutes for the chef to mix up the ingredients for just one dish.
With 24 hours notice, your dining dreams can come true at zuma and the chefs are pleased to make it happen. If you go to the Sunday buffet, many of the items are already dairy and gluten-free, but for extra attention, call ahead. This will ensure the chefs have time to make a special board of gluten- free, dairy-free, or grain-free dishes to satisfy you. Chef Perry also recommends ordering dishes from the grill if you happen to stop by without warning, all of which can be made without sauces or with sauces served on the side.
For customers interested in healthier dishes, Chef Perry has incorporated many new practices into the normal menu. For starters, the normal soy sauce is 50% reduced sodium and most dishes since his arrival have also seen a general reduction in sodium and sugar. The restaurant uses no MSG and individual attention is given to each supplier to obtain the highest quality food to meet the restaurant’s high standards.
For those concerned with the source of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, you can eat with confidence. All of the seafood is from high quality certified fisheries. Beef comes from Australia or Japan depending on the cut, and has been through a certification process. If a customer wants a leaner cut of meat, the filet can be requested instead of sirloin on the spot. Chef Perry also cares a great deal about the produce at the restaurant and is pleased that he is now closer to the ingredients he loves using. Local and organic produce is always used when standards can be met.
OPTIONS FOR A RESTRICTED DIET
White Miso Soup
Most sushi rolls and nigiri
with Plum Sauce
Edamame with Sea Salt
Tiger Prawn with
Grilled Maitake Mushrooms
Not only are the dishes beautiful and flavourful, but many of the dishes were healthy as well. We sampled the tiger prawn with yuzu, scallops in a light plum sauce, soft-shelled crab rolls and more…all gluten-free with reduced salt and limited sugar. The sides of vegetables included maitake mushrooms and broccolini, widely known for their health benefits. The restaurant has even searched high and low for the best gluten-free soy sauce, discovering a local Japanese supplier of a sauce that isn’t even made with soybeans. This soy sauce look-a-like is actually made from the perilla plant and is therefore soy-free, gluten-free and grain-free.
Gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free diners can enjoy many of the dishes zuma has to offer. And, in a big surprise, the signature miso cod dish is naturally gluten-free! You can order it from the menu without any special requests. This is available only at the zuma in Hong Kong and gets its flavour after cooking down the white miso to a darker color. Aside from the miso cod, the white miso soup is the only other naturally gluten-free miso dish.
For the first time in almost seven years, I had the opportunity to try a soft-shelled crab roll. Normally this roll is dredged in tempura batter made predominantly of wheat. This time, however, the chefs made it with potato starch, fried in a potato-starch-only basket, and served whilst the delicate crab was still warm and crispy. For those who aren’t gluten-free,
t is still a wonderful option that won’t leave you feeling as heavy as the tempura version, so you can eat some of the other delicious dishes at your table!
We also highly recommend the maitake mushrooms. To the Japanese, the ‘dancing mushroom’ is high in protein, B vitamins and is known for glucose stabilizing, immune-boosting qualities. Chef Perry delicately flavours the deep, earthy mushrooms and provides a squeeze of lime to add an endnote to these frond-shaped delights.
Ending our tour of healthy options at zuma, we finished our meal with the Almond Tofu and Japanese Morello Cherries with Mandarin Sorbet. This unbelievable dessert is not on the menu and is by request only. It is sure to impress the table!
Food is fuel, and zuma provides some of the best tasting fuel for health-conscious customers in Hong Kong. With the ability to be flexible and accommodate everyone’s needs from vegan to gluten- free, you can be assured that you and your guests will have a worry-free meal and great memories to share.
To make your reservation at zuma and to speak with staff about special requests and dietary restrictions, call 3657-6388.