Shaka Zulu is a South African restaurant / bar/nightclub in the heart of Camden Lock (opposite the bridge and stationed amongst the stables).
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, Shaka Zulu did not ask me to do a review, this is purely my thoughts and feeling about my night.
All pictures were taken from my phone which is a SAMSUNG GALAXY S4
Mid day out of the blue I received a Whatsapp message from my close friend Jacqui (my sister from another mister) inviting me to Shaka Zulu located in Camden for a celebration drink, food and party (in that order).
“Why not, sounds fun!!” And with that thought I looked at my clock ,which read 18:30 and rushed around while hearing Jacquis words “be ready for 8:30” echo in my brain over and over again like a buzzing alarm.
I already knew what I would wear from the words “yes, I’m coming” fell out my mouth. Unexpected events or celebrations call for the DEFAULT outfit (once perfected you can’t go wrong) it entails the following; slick back hair, subtle makeup with a nude lip,statement necklace, a silk blouse, decorative or well fitting skinny’s and lets not forget the sexy statement shoe.
With this default OUTFIT you will always look chic, sophisticated, sexy and photo ready for any pop up invitation lurking to surprise you.
So, the three musketeers (me, Jacqui and mark) meet up at black horse station at 21:00 (to be honest I knew that 8:30 was a farrrr reach) and we proceed to walk down those long ass steel steps in HEELS as the escalators were not working, we were arguing about whether Nandos is South African or portuguese food. The conversation lasted about 5 minutes as me and Jacqui slowly took sidestep by sidestep down the steep metal stairs, again i must remind you it was in our HEELS so you can imagine how slow we were taking (Poor mark). We then sat on the Victoria line train (stationary) for a further half an hour due to someone jumping in front of a train at another station (May their souls rest in peace)
Euston station was our exit and then we had one more stop to CAMDEN via Northline line, pretty quick and easy if you minus all the delays that happen. Now I’ve been to CAMDEN loads of times before (normally for the fake bags or the street foods) but I’ve never eaten in a restaurant, danced in a club or even pub crawled up CAMDEN, so this was a hole new experience for me that i was a bit wary of.
You know the saying “you had me at hello” well Shaka Zulu had me at first sight; the outside was so decorative with its wood carvings, fancy sign and red carpet. I walked through the door and stood on the escalators and as I descend the narrow staircase I noticed the walls were infused with more decorative wood carvings.(so creative)
The reception, lounge and bar are all connected in an open plan area and the restaurant, second bar, and dance floor are all connected down stairs again in an open plan style. There was so much to look at, the environment was so inspiring and i instantly felt secure and excited by my surroundings and present experience, the statues, the furniture and of course the walls all played a part of my experience (I felt as if I was in magical hidden cave somewhere secret).
The creative director obviously had a great vision to take the customers into the magical history and world of South Africa, this isn’t just ordinary dining, food, table and chairs it’s an experience. I like being in places that take you on a journey and i feel more accomplished when i visit a place that has a theme or history behind it, this ticked all the boxes for me and i give a definate 5 out of 5 for environment, atmosphere and aesthetics.
The two drinks that i had were; a malibu and coke with lime and a summer skinny cocktail called “Spiced Raspberry”
The ingredients; Smooth and frothy raspberry martini infused with CHILIES and freshly pressed pineapple juice. You can’t imagine the taste until you’ve tasted it (and NO,the words chilies didn’t put me off), I’ll try my best to explain the taste. For me i found it to be surprisingly refreshing, i could hardly taste the alcohol and it had a spicy kick that hit the back of my throat (that would be the chillies) with each sip i felt compelled to take sip after sip after sip which meant my drink didn’t last long at all lol. Jacqui and Mark both had a taste and they didn’t like it (but if you like trying new things especially with food and drink i definitely dare you to try this drink).
This is the menu on the night, no confusion and no flipping through pages, clear and quick to order. All we had to decide was what our main meal was as the starters and the dessert came as a shared platter for the table.
This was the platter for the starters, it consisted of Smoked Snoek pate, Ham Hock & Wildebeest Terrine with Papaya salsa, Springbok Carpaccio and Home-made Fresh Focaccia Breads.
I know it sounds like WHAT? but i assure you that the starters were A-MAZ-ING i definitely prefer having a shared platter of all starters instead of picking one starter from the menu, i like trying new things so if i had to pick from the starters before even tasting any of these mouth watering appetizers, i would of gone for the boring option of homemade bread. Which meant; i would of believed that i didn’t like pate, terrine and springbok carpaccio, i still don’t know what i ate or the name of each item of food on the shared platter but i do know, that i LIKED IT.
Mark and i had the Pan-fried Dukka Crusted Salmon with Wilted Greens & Tomato & Coriander Reduction may i add that there peri peri skinny fries are the best i’ve ever tasted (recommended side order).
Jacqui had the Spit Roast of the day(which was Lamb) Chakalaka (second photo)
Mark and i were over the moon with our choice, i love salmon anyway and this was a delight .The fish was well presented, fresh and succulent (I can taste it now, just thinking about, mmmmm). I recommend this main for definite especially if you love fish like me, you will not be disappointed.
This was the dessert platter it consisted of; Amarula Panna Cotta, Dark Chocolate Tart and Melktert it looked so appealing and as soon as the platter hit the table we all dived in!! Again this was another opportunity for me to taste food i haven’t tried before and if i had to chose one from the menu before tasting any of the desserts,I would have chosen the Dark Chocolate Tart because you can’t go wrong with chocolate.
How ever the platter allowed me to taste all the desserts in cute bite size versions,My favourite was the Melktert which i believe is the middle dessert in the square cups, oooooooh it was soooooo nice, to me it tasted similar to creme brulee when cooked to perfection (which i love).
The Dark chocolate tart was a refreshing yet peculiar delight, i recommend to eat the 3 layers together instead of tasting just the corner of the chocolate tart ( like most of my friends did) the chocolate tart on it’s own is very potent and can taste bitter if you’re not a lover of dark chocolate but if you eat the 3 layers together; the strawberry, cream and the dark chocolate you will notice that the strawberries sweetness compensated for the bitter taste of the dark chocolate and it complemented each other really well.
My overall experience of the dining ,serving ,food ,drink and ambiance is a 5 out of 5, i would definitely come here again for a celebration of my own or a romantic meal. I would and will recommended it to others as a great experience.
Now i must apologise about not posting any pictures or video clips of my time on the dance floor as i planned, but what can i say apart from “i forgot, sorry”. It was a good mix of popular music from house, hip hop & rnb,soft bashment and your obvious garage tunes. And the crowd was a good mix of different backgrounds and ages, if lounging is more your thing then upstairs had plenty of sitting areas for you to enjoy the music and your company. My one complaint was that the bar downstairs near the dance floor was not open (which was confusing) so we had to keep going upstairs for our drinks which meant waiting in the queue.
Loved the atmosphere and the music i do wish the bar near the dance floor was open but it wasn’t a real biggie as i could understand that it might have caused more problems, with the bar being so close to the dance floor. I personally would of loved more RnB but thats just my personal preference so i give the clubbing a 3 out of 5.
Also i must add that i was shocked to see that the majority of the men dressed better than the girls (what is happening) i know we all love a glittery tight dresses but these should be left for autumn winter months especially if it is in a dark hue like emerald green or ox blood red. I too love sparkly things and often refer myself to a magpie, so im not saying don’t wear it, im suggestion to wear a more summer colour for example a mint green sequin,lemon colour or pale blue, after all summer is all about movement and being free.
I highly recommend the full experience going for something to eat and then parting on the dance floor after this is perfect for a christmas party, leaving do, birthday celebration etc.