Restaurateur Rainer Becker’s Sumptuous Japanese Dishes Brought to Life
The artfully handcrafted sushi, robata grill dishes and desserts of German chef Rainer Becker’s contemporary Japanese cuisine restaurant Zuma are celebrated in still life photographer Thomas Brown’s stop-frame animation. Based on the award-winning London eatery’s informal Japanese “izakaya” style of dining, in which dishes are continuously and steadily brought to the table throughout the meal, Brown’s short opens with the red laser projections used to precisely set each table and features Head Chef Li Ong’s delicately prepared chow. “He is the ultimate professional,” says Brown of Ong, “incredibly passionate and with expert skills. It was an honor to watch these dishes being crafted––Li made it look effortless.” Becker’s first Zuma restaurant arrived to critical acclaim in Knightsbridge in 2002 after its mastermind had spent six years perfecting his art in Tokyo. “I immersed myself in the whole culinary culture of Japan from street food yakatori to kaiseki. I could identify with the subtlety of flavor, the importance of texture, the rules of the cooking techniques and presentation,” explains Becker. Stylishly decorated with marble pillars, unyielding wooden surfaces and natural stonework by leading Japanese interior designer Nori Muramatsu, and based around an open floor plan and exposed kitchen to evoke an “authentic” Japanese restaurant, Zuma offers 40 different varieties of sake, including Biwa No Choju––exclusively brewed from the waters of Lake Biwa in Japan’s Shiga prefecture. Frequented by numerous celebrities and high-profile guests including Kate Moss, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the culinary destination has expanded over the past decade into Hong Kong, Istanbul, Dubai, Miami and Bangkok.
Maguro No Tataki (Seared Tuna with Chilli Daikon and Garlic Chips)
Serves four (six slices per portion)
For the ponzu sauce
The ponzu sauce can be kept refrigerated for up to three months and used on grilled fish, meat or vegetables.
For an exclusive interview with Zuma founder Rainer Becker and to download GIFs from Thomas Brown's animation check out the NOWNESS Facebook page here.