Restaurant review: Shaka Zulu invades Camden Town

Shaka, King of the Zulus, has invaded Camden Town with an almighty force of culinary cuisine. The great African tyrant and military strategist has replaced assegais and bloodthirst with biltong, koeksisters and rooibos tea. Yum!

Shaka Zulu, the high-end restaurant-bar cum nightclub, opened in August 2010 and is a massive 750 seater. The decor is an unabashedly awe-inspiring, magnificent marvel for the eyes. Optic opulence is occasioned by beautiful handmade mosaics, tribal masks and hand carved traditional scenes from the Zulu nation, which complement the delicate detail designed onto carved walls and ceiling panels. The iconic ‘Warrior Wall’ where Shaka Zulu, stands amongst a group of warriors sculpted into jaw dropping 60ft high statues, contrives a cultural condescence unique to the London dining scene.

The restaurant’s most impressive feature is its spectacular size, which, unfortunately, is also its Achilles heel. There is nothing that kills an atmosphere more than an empty restaurant – a flaw that the folks at Shaka Zulu seem to have compensated by seating patrons in tacitly demarcated sections, which certainly injects some life into a restaurant that would appear otherwise empty.

The menu offers a range of South-African inspired food, from bobotie and bredie to the more exotic ostrich egg and zebra loin. The cocktails are delish and the complementary biltong as a starter is a treat. The koeksister dessert seems to have been ‘toned down,’ possibly to accommodate a European palate but the coconut crème caramel & passion fruit dessert is superb. The prices are ‘high-end’ and possible not quite congruent with the quality of the food, which is good but not sensational.

The waiters are friendly, the vibe is Africaney and best of all: LivingSocial is offering a great deal at the moment – £20/head for a cocktail, starter, main and dessert, which is totally worth it – so keep a look out!