Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentine's in Camden- Shaka Zulu Restaurant

Not everyone is into Valentine's, but personally I think it's healthy to set aside time for each other and have regular "date nights", whatever time of the year it is. 
This month's date night just so happened to be around Valentine's day, so we made more of a "thing" of it than usual.
One of my favourite spots in London has to be Camden. It's really unique and has its own special vibe unlike anywhere else in the city. It's always bustling, busy and full of interesting nick nacks and people. If I could live anywhere at all in London, I'd definitely choose here- it would be impossible to get bored of the place!
So last weekend we headed there to spend the day mooching around before going for dinner. After navigating our way through all the narrow streets and stalls, stopping to buy little bits and bobs that took our fancy, we went on to the restaurant.
 We'd booked in to Shaka Zulu, an African restaurant right in the heart of Camden Market.
 The decor in here is seriously impressive- every inch of the cavernous space is given over to African wood carvings.
During the meal we were entertained by a contortionist in a zebra leotard(!) and an Albino Python, which I kept my distance from!

The menu is very typically South African, and given that Matt's from Africa, a lot of dishes familiar to me from family meals were available.
So what did we have?  For starters we shared a plate of Biltong (dried cured meats- think beef jerky), then I opted for Bobotie, which is a curried casserole impossible to describe without making it sound weird, which it isn't, I promise! 
For dessert we shared Melktert and cinnamon ice cream.
I won't go into full- on review mode but suffice to say this is a restaurant relying heavily on it's impressive decor, the food certainly doesn't match up and is at London prices.
Apparently when it was built, £5.5 million was spent on the interior design- and it is a truly fantastic place with a brilliant atmosphere, but they really need to put some of the effort back into the menu in my opinion. Matt ordered pork spit roast, which when it came turned out to be two rather dry pork loin steaks- not great!
We had a great time though, and the food wasn't bad, it just didn't match up to the place itself!
The wine was great though!

I'm always interested to hear people's restaurant recommendations- have you been anywhere amazing recently?

1 comment:

  1. It looks incredible but such a shame about the food. It sounds as though they rely on people being too occupied with the surroundings!