At Zuaya on Kensington High Street, Spanish twin founders Alberto and Arian Zandi are dedicated to dishes with distinct flavour combinations, inspired by exotic corners of the world. A vibrant dining destination that creatively celebrates the vivacious nature of Latin American dining places to eat in London, from the decadent interiors to contemporary and stand-out dishes, here you’ll find a prism of colour and an experience that does not fear the unusual.
Opening back in 2018, the Zandi brothers sourced their team from some of the most credible restaurants globally to ensure Zuaya would deliver brilliant food and drinks alongside a fun, lively and undeniably distinctive atmosphere. A culinary tour of Latin America, the kitchen takes diners from the ceviche of Peru and the street food of Mexico to the stews of Brazil, playfully combined with European and Asian touches.
A concept designed for sharing includes unlikely flavours that can be found across the menu. On our visit, this included their ‘Blue Cheese, Cheesecake’ which the chef explained has been ‘created to bring a new texture and flavour to a traditional dessert’.
Love it or hate it, this beautifully presented slice is distinctly different with the blue cheese offering a silky and delicate texture, against a strong and vivid flavour – representing everything Zuaya is about.
Winding back to savoury dishes, and the Grilled Iberian Pork with Butternut Squash is a particularly strong option that works well alongside a glass of Argentinian red wine, whilst Lamb Tacos (a joint favourite of my guest and I) is succulent and packed full of the restaurant’s signature Latin-American flavours. Asian touches also make way in the form of the popular bao buns, filled with wagyu beef short rib. Each of the soft and fluffy buns are filled generously with rich meat: worth £7.50 a pop.
Mixing up another popular ingredient present on many menus across the city is burrata ‘Zuaya style’, served on top of tasty Peruvian corn cake. Larger dishes also designed for sharing from the sea and land include slices of pink Argentinian Sirloin with Chimichurri and tender Grilled Octopus with Baked Sweet Potato: (a variation of which can also be found next door at their sister restaurant Como Garden).
A glamorous two-storey restaurant in London, Zuaya has been designed as a tropical paradise with vibrant foliage, luxe furniture and quirky curiosities. This includes a carefully curated drinks list that does a good job of competing against the food menu.
Created by Head Sommelier, Jaume Farreros Torren (previously of Hakkasan), cocktails include tropical classics such as sours, caipirinhas, mojitos and piña coladas alongside imaginative signatures such as the Pisco Sour inspired by ‘London to Lima’. Each use all-natural ingredients and exotic fruits, tied in suitably with Latin American flavours.
A trendy South American hotspot on Kensington High Street, Zuaya attracts a young, glamorous crowd, keen to sample its quirky food and drinks that look great on the table and even better on Instagram. Up on the ground floor, a green marble bar allows diners to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail, this is complemented with an al fresco terrace where we sat on a Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, downstairs Zuaya comes alive as a botanical oasis. A sensory show: velvet curtained private booths sit alongside a statement moss-covered living wall, art deco lighting and vintage chandeliers.