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Shaka Zulu (Bar, Restaurant, Club)

Picture of Shaka Zulu in Camden, London

Stables Market, Chalk Farm, Camden, London, NW1 8AB
Cuisine: African
Tel: 020 3376 9911 | Email to Shaka Zulu | | Transport: Camden Town | Write review

Shaka Zulu Review

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Best for: sinning; meat; soul music; underground cocktails; Camden getaways; and more sinning.

Great: if you’re waiter is an ebullient chap called Tebeho.

Africa, the continent upon which life itself began. Evolution sneezed and behold, out popped a glob of man. It wasn’t long before we were eating diamonds, defending gross exploitation, and tooting out our own theme tunes on vuvuzelas.

Despite all this progress, Africa has always remained a place where we can fulfill our primal urges, it is of course the continent of meat. Africa’s got more game than an entire team of NBA Allstars highly trained in skills of ‘bringing it’. In Africa, if it moves, shout at it. If it stops moving and speaks: friend. If it doesn’t stop moving and cant speak: shoot it, skin it and eat it, preferably in that order.

Meat and man were not born in Africa by coincidence and it is also no fluke that man was born to sin. How else do you explain the existence of alcohol, orifices, and Cornish clotted cream. I am a man; it is my destiny to sin; and yet, I was born in Market Harborough (which, I believe, is not on the African continent) so in order to embrace the fullness of sin - all seven deadly notions of it - I must traverse to Africa. Only, Africa isn’t within zones 1-3 on my Oyster card, so if Mohammed wont go to the mountain, Christian must go to Camden (so to speak).

As far as I can tell, there are only three types of people who WONT enjoy a night of sinning at Camden’s little Africa: new born babies (it would be totally lost on them), vegetarians, and those menaces of society, escalaphobes. The initial encounter with the seven deadly sins is sloth, because there’s no better way to avoid burning calories than by utilising an escalator, and what self-respecting restaurant representing Africa’s meat portfolio would be complete without two - read it: TWO! - escalators?

The reason: two underground, sprawling-as-the-Sahara floors that would make Alice weep into her Wonderland and Pan say pants to her Labyrinth. The layout is as expansive as it is expensive; the attention to detail might be lost on the stuffy gathering of business gents loosening ties and sipping bottled beer near the bar, but not me. A mirrorball in the distance represents the ancient Zulu sun god, Disco; a two-storey bronze Zulu statue keeps guard over a gathering of dolled-up young ladies, protected by a wall of birthday balloons; and the full-sized elephant head on the wall has its beady eye on the foliage in your starter; but that’s OK, there’s plenty of it, too much of it; somewhere under all that green stuff is a delightfully piquant Cape Malay red mullet in 12 spices.

Lust is a sin; ergo, a Smokey Desire is a lecherous, manly, sniff of drink; a cognac and whiskey cocktail that is too grrrrrr for an innocent lady - she should sip daintily on the Orkney Dig instead - and is the liquid equivalent of meat; best consumed with a mound of fresh biltong because it tastes better when you have something’s tail in your mouth.

The sins that follow are easy to spot. Greed is a fairly obvious one. I want it all, so bring me the whole herd and I’ll just carve off what doesn’t try to maul me to death. In this novel game of animal bingo - the real winner is the person who can order meat for dessert - it’s best to order from the braai so it comes out sizzling.

Pride is the hubris of being sat at a round table where you are perfectly placed to make fun of those around you, because you look important.

Envy: easily achieved by allowing your guest to order the roast ostrich with parsnip/walnut cream and pickled beetroot, washed down with the Springfield Estate Life From Stone Sauvignon Blanc. Curse them!

Gluttony: although not needed, and following the Dom Pedro liquid dessert, the barrel of diesel digestiv known as the Rum Blazer must be procured for its alluring, showy potency (75% proof). Three parts paraffin, one part fruit, it will put hairs on your palms and isn’t even on the menu, it’s that special.

And finally, wrath will rear its ugly head when observing that nobody is dancing to Stevie Wonder’s hit, Superstitious, following the arrival of the live 10pm soul train. Yes, there’s some definite chin bobbing, some active head nodding, and the occasional errant finger being pointed in the air, but that’s about it. The shame of it!

Shaka Zulu might seem like a rainforest cafe for adults but because it’s located in Camden and not central london it avoids tourist gimmickry (no piped sound effects here) and, aside from the similar Gilgamesh venue just upstairs, is entirely unique.

Shaka Zulu is Noah’s Ark, several months after being cast adrift on a sea of sins. Noah and his wife have ceased talking to one another. He’s avoiding her, filling his time by fastening millions of seashells to the walls, whilst she systematically slaughters all the animals and feeds them to Noah to get back at him. Secretly, he’s loving it. Naughty Noah.
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Customer Reviews for Shaka Zulu

Average (based on 6 votes): 6 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Shaka Zulu.

“Top notch restaurant in Camden. I went here with a group of my friends, and had a really fun night with them here.The food was definitely exotic and a little pricey, but its worth well worth it.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Ms Alexandra, London (4 years 2 months 21 days ago)

“Had a wonderful time at Shaka Zulu. The food was really delicious and unusual...I love trying new things. The staff were very helpful when explaining the menu and the atmosphere was great. Decor of the place is insane but we all love it I will definitely be going back and bringing my friends. Definitey would recommended this restaurant.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Pola, london (4 years 8 months 6 days ago)

“We went to Shaka Zulu for my friends birthday , we've had an amazing night, the food there is great, service is very good and helpfull . Decor of the place is just amazing , we cant wait go there again. We all love this place is the best place in north London.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Ms sylvia slow, london (4 years 8 months 8 days ago)

Show all user reviews for Shaka Zulu

“This bar and restaurant is a African carbon copy of the Oriental Gilgamesh upstairs, only they've gone even further with Shaka Zulu. The decor is quite remarkable. Some serious money has been spent here. The selection of food on offer is amazing (probably not all is season so it's not cheap) and the wine list is enjoyable too. The service, though, is woeful, and really let's down what could be a very very enjoyable experience. Overall, great, but could be greater.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Gustav Hoenig, Hamburg (6 years 4 months 17 days ago)

“The venue has got to be one of the most impressive bars and restaurants in London. They have really gone to town with huge sculptures and intricate carvings and features that have that 'wow factor. The drinks and food are very good, but the service really needs to be improved. We were only a small group and we had to keep waiting for drinks and the venue was only just half full. Certainly worth a visit, and hopefully when they sort the service out this will be one of the top destination venues in London.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Rohat, London (6 years 4 months 21 days ago)

“I have been here 3 times and every single time I enjoyed it because of huge space so nobody can hear your conversation, music is relaxing, not too loud,food is delicious, coctails are excellent, service also good and an interior just fantastic, I was impressed when I saw it for the first time. My friends enjoyed dining here too. I would highly recommend to anyone to visit this restaurant.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Ms Dalia Geniene, London (6 years 5 months 15 days ago)

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Shaka Zulu Opening Hours

Monday: 5:00pm - 2:00am Friday: 12:00pm - 2:00am
Tuesday: 5:00pm - 2:00am Saturday: 12:00pm - 2:00am
Wednesday: 5:00pm - 2:00am Sunday: 12:00pm - 2:00am
Thursday: 5:00pm - 2:00am    

Additional Information

Shaka Zulu Food & Drinks

Shaka Zulu Food Menu

Food downloads

Braai Menu
This a la carte menu features unique dishes from South Africa.
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Spirit of Africa Menu
This price fixe menu provides diners with a choice of starter, main and dessert to offer an overall feel for the South African cuisine.
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Essence of Africa Menu
This price fixe menu provides diners with a starter, main and dessert to offer an overall feel for the South African cuisine.
Download
Light Lunch Bar Menu
This menu is for diners looking for a light or quick afternoon meal.
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Shaka Zulu Drinks Menu

Drink downloads

The Champagne Bar Menu
This menu features bar food as well as unique cocktails and champaign drinks.
Download

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Venue ID: 20966

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