Shaka Zulu is an African themed restaurant, bar and club that makes up the party nucleus that is Camden Town Stables. Although multi-purpose venues are currently popular in London, it is not always well executed, so I went down to see if Shaka Zulu could perfect the art.
Though underground, the venue is made up of two floors; a large bar space is the first thing you encounter, with an incredibly spacious dining and clubbing area making up the bottom floor. The entire venue is decorated with a strong African-inspired look. Large sculptures, tapestries and ornaments permeate the venue and the colour scheme is dominated by dark brown and a striking orange – the perfect combination that creates a timeless and vibrant feel.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
As the venue offers so much in terms of the type of night you can enjoy, there is not one particular demographic. During the course of the night the focus shifts from after-work drinkers, to diners, and eventually to late night party goers. There is however one theme that is present throughout, the lively atmosphere. The great music had people at the bar dancing, people en-route to the loos had a skip in their step and even those sat down with their meals couldn’t stop their shoulders from bopping to the beat. The dance floor filled up, as Shaka Zulu progressed into a nightclub, and the DJ played a strong mix of house, commercial music and hip-hop.
The Food and Drinks
Shaka Zulu has Africa running through its veins and this is reflected in the menu. Though there are some dishes that are common in any discerning London restaurant menu, other dishes are very rare indeed. The standout options included the starter of Crocodile Cigars (£14) and the main courses of Ostrich (£25.50) and Zebra Fillet (£25). If you can’t decide on a single dish, the King Shaka Game Board gives you a sample of everything from the Braai menu.
The cocktail list is just as difficult to decide on, but after long deliberation we opted for a dry Chase Vodka Martini, Apple Crumble (a Shaka Zulu Signature) and a New Fashioned, all of which were spot on. The list is cleverly constructed in a way that pleases both cocktail drinkers who like to experiment and those that prefer to stick with the classics. The bartenders know their stuff, so ordering off menu isn’t an issue at all.
Shaka Zulu delivers on all fronts. The sheer size of the venue allows guests to enjoy the different aspects it offers, be it drinks, dinner or clubbing, without getting in the way of one another. The food and drinks are genuinely great and the menu offers a chance to enjoy rare creations that are prepared deliciously. A highly recommended haunt for any occasion.