Filled with towering statues and tribal prints, Shaka Zulu, has created an immersive dining experience that makes you feels like you have skipped the 12 hour plane journey and landed bang in the middle of the Rainbow Nation.
The cocktails are great and even boasts a Rum Blazer which was voted ‘CNN Top Twelve Unusual Cocktails in the World’ thusly awarded as you get a mini pyrotechnic show at your table as they prepare it for you, be warned though, it may look pretty but it kicks harder than a mule. If you can bear to share a cocktail, you definitely should because they are served in creative vessels like a (ceramic) hyena’s head which holds Mandela’s Guests; raspberry vodka shaken with raspberry liqueur, rhubarb jam, lychee puree, balanced with fresh lemon, apple and cardamom syrup.
Shaka Zulu is named after a great warrior and Zulu King, which makes sense as you look around at the walls of tribe warriors lining the walls, there is even an adorable Young Warriors Menu for kids. There is an emphasis on exotic meats here like Crocodile Cigars, Springbok Carpaccio and Ostrich. If you want to get in the spirit but aren’t feeling too daring then the Zebra Steak is a way in, tasting like a blend of the best of red and white meat.
If the idea of chomping down on wildebeest isn’t your idea of a great time then I wouldn’t look to the vegetarian options as it appeared that not much thought was put into those dishes. The Halloumi skewers are just cubes of halloumi, red pepper and onion served on a bed of sour onion. It apparently comes served with a ‘ginger and soya glaze’ but it was so runny it appeared to just be soya sauce. As a starter the Smoked Corn Soup is delicious though but isn’t on the main menu so make sure to ask if you want it, there is also a special menu for celiacs.
The Selection of Home-Made Ice Creams is perfect for adults and children alike as it is 6 ice creams cones served in miniature form. The Passion Fruit Crème Brulee is nice but nothing to write home about.
Later in the evening performers dressed in traditional tribe outfits go round the restaurant dancing and beating on drums getting everyone in the party mood, just try and resist getting into the rhythm! Shaka Zulu gets full marks for entertainment and great décor, throughout the night I saw more than a few people taking snaps of the great interior. Unfortunately sometimes the food fell a bit flat but is a great place to go for cocktails and if, like me, it is the nearest to South Africa you’ll be getting this year it is definitely somewhere worth checking out.