Interview with Erkan Toslak, ZUMA Bangkok

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Elegant and fun sum up what ZUMA restaurant is all about. With 16 branches spanning across Asia to Europe, this informal Japanese restaurant shows no sign of slowing down.

Bangkok’s Zuma restaurant, at the St. Regis Hotel, is a hot dining spot where crowds head to for a Saturday night brunch. (Yes, brunch at night). 

Destination Thailand News talks to Erkan Toslak who has been with the ZUMA family for 9 years all the way from Istanbul, Dubai, Hong Kong, and now Bangkok, about what he likes about Thailand and what is so unique about ZUMA.

 japanese wagyu tataki, truffle ponzu
Japanese wagyu tataki, truffle ponzu

 

What do you like most about Bangkok?

Bangkok reminds me a lot of Istanbul, where I am from, and living here almost gives me a nostalgic feeling. Beneath the façade of high-rise buildings, heavy traffic congestion, intense heat and nightlife, Bangkok is a city that is rich in culture, arts and tradition. 

 

What is your favorite drink and food at Zuma?

That is a difficult question because I really love everything in our menus. I usually choose my food and drinks depending on my mood and the occasion but if I really must decide, my go-to would be the Zuma classics. 

Sliced Yellowtail with green chili relish, ponzu and pickled garlic. The dish is fresh and light with a strong personality – just beautiful. When we talk about drinks, the offer is endless. Rubabu is super classic, crisp and perfect in this weather; Semei Sour is our smokey twist on a whisky sour with a Japanese touch; my personal favourite is Rikka & Tonic, which is Zuma’s unique evergreen twist on a gin tonic comprising of gin, grapefruit, bitters and yuzu tonic.

 

What is unique about Zuma Bangkok?

Zuma, in general, is a unique place. There are not many other restaurants like us in the world, every location has the same main elements but with different details and characteristics that create an incomparable experience. Every single element is important to us, details are key, starting with great food and drinks.  Many other components play equally crucial parts in the equation like signature design features, the right lighting and music, as well as unsurpassed service. These are just some of the ingredients in Zuma’s magical recipes and remain as important to us today as they did when Zuma was first conceived in London in 2002. 

zuma sashimi platter
zuma sashimi platter

Where is your favorite holiday spot in Thailand?

I have not had much of a chance to explore Thailand just yet. So far, I have visited Khao Yai and Phuket. Phuket is where Zuma’s winter pop-ups are hosted at the Anantara Layan Hotel Resort. My trip to Khao Yai was relaxing and I found it to be a great getaway outside of Bangkok metropolis.

 

Want to learn more? Head to https://zumarestaurant.com/locations/bangkok/