10 February 2016

Shaka Zulu, Camden Stables

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. I HAVE WRITTEN A BLOG POST. And it's a good'un, I can assure you. Even if I am a lil bit biased. Here's the low down on Shaka Zulu, a South-African themed restaurant in Camden.

Having been in a south-west and zone 3 bubble for the best part of a month, heading to Camden was a (welcome) shock to the system. Camden is brilliantly vibrant, grungy and bright - pretty much the opposite of where I'm living. I forgot how much I like it there.

Heading up towards the Stables, I knew we'd be in for a treat - especially since we'd ogled the venue and menu beforehand. Very exciting,

The thing about Shaka Zulu is that even though you may never have heard of it... you can't miss it. It's bold, and assuming. And maybe even a little intimidating.

I don't think I can describe quite how large this statue was. It positively towers over the entrance.

You go down the escalators (yes, there are escalators here) to be met with a variety of exotic animals and tribal statues. It's only then you get a sense of the enormity of the venue. It's huge. Lots of little areas and booths, but still with an open feel, i.e. you can check out everyone else's food before you decide on what you're going to pick,

Here are some snaps, if bars and printed fabric with elephants on is your thing...

But what you're all dying to know is about the food, right?

Shaka Zulu is known for it's exotic meats - zebra, ostrich, alligator, venison... It's all available here. The a la carte menu is quite steep, but I highly recommend the Warrior Menu - a 3 course set menu - which is far more affordable.

To my delight we were sat in a booth - lots of space to spread your belongings and get really comfy. Top marks.

We were sat across from a Bajan mother and daughter, celebrating the mother's 50th... she looked incredible (and was a huge fan of the entertainment).

Unfortunately they thought that my friend and I were mother and daughter, with me as the mother... not my finest moment, as there's only a year between my friend and I.

But I washed the embarrassment down with some alcohol. An apple crumble cocktail, to be precise.

Mine's on the left - my friend has a tequila based cocktail (right)

And after a while (the service isn't the best, unfortunately), out came our starter.

We had a platter of lamb samosas, garlic flatbread, venison & wild boar terrine and poached salmon - as well as a really nicely dressed salad (which sounds like a weird thing to say, but it had a great dressing and wasn't an afterthought, like most salads. We actually ate it).

I had some salmon, which was tasty, and some garlic flatbread, the latter of which was really chewy. We weren't sure if it was meant to be that chewy, so I left mine. It felt too much like hard work. My friend took one for the team, brave enough to sample the terrine (good) and samosas, which she really liked.

Look at that steak! Yum.

I asked for mine (the rare breed beef sirloin) to be medium-well, which is apparently a TERRIBLE way to enjoy steak, but I found it tender and juicy, complemented well with the Bearnaise sauce.

My friend had the ostrich fillet medium-rare and loved it, When I asked her to describe it compared to steak, she said it was a bit more tender. Which I guess is a good thing, no?

We both opted for chips as a side, and we can confirm the chips were proper chips. Very good. Pillowy, lightly salted and the right amount of crunch.

The wine absolutely made the meal. I'm usually a white gal, as red is too heavy for me. But this wine was so, so good. Light and delicious and very drinkable (important when discussing drinks). It was a Shiraz, and you can just about make out the label (Hutton Ridge) so I might just have to google stockists and buy it up.

After being serenaded by the singer's unique version of Adele (he called it his "response") with the killer chorus "Stay there on the other side, At least then I can keep my pride" etc etc, out came dessert.

SO pretty. 

The dark chocolate tart with honeycomb was delicious, but incredibly rich, even for such a small portion. On the other hand, the melktert (milk tart?) was light, with a yummy dusting of cinnamon, and the coconut pannacotta was taaasty with the strawberry topping and spot of syrup.

It didn't last long!

After checking out the humongous club below (down some more escalators, natch), we wished the mother & daughter well, and slowly ambled back towards the northern line. Full (her of food, myself of the red wine... because she had to drive) and content.

Go for the juicy steak, cocktails & club. 

*This meal was complimentary in exchange for review, but all opinions are my own

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