Restaurant Openings

Zuma Japanese Restaurant Is Now Open in Boston

Here's a look inside the lively new sushi bar and robata grill at the Four Seasons One Dalton.


bar at Zuma Boston

Zuma begins shaking up drinks in Boston tonight at 5 p.m. / Interior photos by James Shearer

The tables are set, the robata grill is lit, and the ice spheres are ready for your Old Fashioned order: Zuma opens tonight inside Boston’s newest skyscraper. Located on the second floor of the new Four Seasons One Dalton tower, the highly anticipated, high-end Japanese restaurant adds sushi and more izakaya-inspired fare to the Back Bay nightlife scene.

Zuma Boston is the 12th location of the internationally acclaimed brand, which is based in London. Founded by chef Rainer Becker in 2002, Zuma is inspired by the type of food and drink found at Japanese pubs, albeit appropriately elevated for its digs in New England’s tallest luxury residential tower. The spacious but intimate restaurant has three open kitchens: the brand’s first hot line ever visible to guests, plus its customary stone sushi and robata counters. The latter anchors the main dining room with an energetic charcoal grill and nine counter seats.

The luxe interior design, envisioned by Noriyoshi Muramatsu of Tokyo firm Studio Glitt, features warm woods imported from Thailand to comprise the live-edge bars and a floating DJ booth; the wood also dampens sound in the room with strategic use on the walls and ceilings. Other rich details include bamboo lanterns, accent walls made of decorative Japanese rice paper, and plush, jewel-toned furniture. There is a 30-seat lounge area around a rectangular bar, and a semi-private dining area in the back of the restaurant, too.

Chef Helmy Saadon is at the helm in Boston. Formerly a sous chef at Zuma locations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and executive chef at the New York City location, Saadon has worked with Zuma’s corporate executive chef, Oliver Lange, to add some new menu items that showcase the local seafood available here, such as roasted Boston lobster with shiso ponzu butter. The menu is designed to be shared, with signature dishes like maguro no tataki (seared tuna with chili daikon and ponzu sauce); barley-miso-marinated chicken that is oven-roasted on cedar; Japanese sweet potato with sesame and teriyaki sauce; and fresh nigiri, sashimi, and maki rolls. Zuma Boston has an exclusive dessert menu, with options like Cherry Blossom mousse with white chocolate, matcha, and cherry-almond sorbet.

The bar program is designed to pair with this contemporary take on Japanese food. That means a 70-variety-strong sake list, including the exclusive Zuma Ginjo from Japan’s Akitabare Sake Brewing Company; and Japanese beers alongside local favorites like Peeper from Maine Beer Co. Among the cocktails is a lychee and rose petal martini; a Japanese old fashioned with Suntory Toki; and the Shojo spritzer, with strawberry and basil-infused Aperol and Prosecco.

Zuma is only the latest izakaya-inspired hotspot to shake things up in Boston. Chef Tony Messina just earned the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northeast for his take on the style at Uni. At Momi Nonmi in Inman Square (one of our picks for Boston’s best restaurants), chef Chris Chung riffs on the concept with gluten-free tempura and a stellar sake selection. Hojoko, younger to Tim Cushman’s acclaimed O Ya, just introduced a new Tokyo-style record lounge. Another skyline-altering building, Downtown Crossing’s Millennium Tower, is home to Pabu, chefs Michael Mina and Ken Tominaga’s izakaya. And there’s room for more: Mystique, opening next month at Encore Boston Harbor, is joining the fray with its own robata grill specials and more.

“Boston’s already thriving food scene is what drew us the city,” Zuma’s Becker said in a press release. “We are proud to have Zuma join this diverse culinary community and welcome Bostonians in to experience the vibrancy and energy that lives within the four walls of our restaurant.”

Zuma Boston opens Tuesday, May 28, at 5 p.m. for drinks, with dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. It’s dinner-only for now, until 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday nights and 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; it’s closed on Sundays. Lunch and brunch will be added to the mix later this summer or early this fall. Stay in the loop on Instagram via @ZumaBostonofficial.

One Dalton St., Four Seasons Hotel (second floor), Back Bay, Boston, 857-449-2500, zumarestaurant.com.

Sliced yellowtail with green chili relish, ponzu, and pickled garlic at Zuma Boston

Sliced yellowtail with green chili relish, ponzu, and pickled garlic at Zuma Boston. / Food and drink photos courtesy of Zuma Restaurants

The Zuma old fashioned.

The Zuma old fashioned. / Food and drink photos courtesy of Zuma Restaurants

Grilled Chilean sea bass with green chili-ginger dressing at Zuma Boston

Grilled Chilean sea bass with green chili-ginger dressing at Zuma Boston. / Food and drink photos courtesy of Zuma Restaurants

Interior photos by James Shearer

Zuma Boston

Interior photos by James Shearer

Interior photos by James Shearer