It’s easy to miss Zaman, a restaurant situated in the basement of the Old Qubec Street in the heart of the city’s cosmopolitan hub. The restaurant was named after the former chef, Mahmud Zaman, rebranded to cater to the Sportsman Casino’s global clientèle, located one floor above the restaurant.
The multi-award-winner Head Chef Mahmud Zaman has left to join the Palm Beach restaurant and Casino but the new menus he introduced showcases his innovative style in cuisines from Europe, North America, and across Asia.
Mahmud had introduced halal meat and a wide spread of vegetarian options for the Casino and retail customers, keeping in mind the clients from the Middle East and India. Right now the restaurant is meant for people aged 18 and above, but plans are to go retail with top quality food at reasonable prices.
The Tofu gets a twist as Vegan Chicken Strips, wok fried with chilli, ginger, spring onion, and Chinese peppercorn, served with Thai jasmine rice. The Chef’s twist to the European vegetarian Tortellini, with feta cheese and spinach, served with a tomato and cream sauce is really outstanding.
Mahmud introduced a brand new menu that boasts an interesting vegan spread across all of the cuisines on offer.
The quality of the food is what you might expect at a five-star restaurant, and the prices are stunningly reasonable. For example, the restaurant serves the most affordable Wagyu Ribeye Beef Steak, priced at a surprising £24.
Another tantalising treat are the grilled King prawns, served with lemon butter, fresh red and green chilli, garlic, and coriander is a spectacular blend of flavours from the European section, priced at only £9.
The slow-roasted aubergine with mozzarella, plum tomato and basil served with a light chilli flavoured tomato sauce and pesto is another signature Zaman dish. Chargrilled tender lamb chops cooked with Harrisa chillies and served with spicy Lebanese potatoes batata harra are innovative and brings out the Chef’s inventiveness.
New taste sensations don’t preclude some classic dishes too. If you’re feeling like a time-honoured dish then how about the crispy shredded aromatic duck, served with pancakes, cucumber, spring onions and plum sauce.
For after your main meal, the dessert menu offers old favourites like sticky toffee pudding. Intriguingly, the Chef has experimented with the ice creams providing an eclectic mix of flavours alongside more traditional ones. Trying some Metcha green tea, sour cream, coconut, cinnamon, fresh strawberry, or original Swiss chocolate flavoured ice-creams is a highly recommended way to finish off your meal.
Mahmud had said that he changes the menu every six months. Vegan chicken, Tortellini, the Mediterranean food spread are all new. The menu has been put together whilst keeping in mind the people that visit the casino. The exotic tastes on offer aim to enliven your spirit and complement your evening, whatever you’re doing.
Many patrons of the Sportsman Casino and the Zaman International restaurant are from the Middle East, so the casino has been relatively quiet during Ramadan.
The restaurant lives in the basement of the Sportsman Casino along with a bar and a variety of slot machines. Upstairs on the ground floor, there are roulette, tcp and blackjack tables, along with four other different games. There are 20 progressive electronic roulette machines as well.
There’s plenty to recommend Zaman International, an interesting menu at very fair prices in a central London location, and there’s always the casino is you fancy trying your luck. Why not give it a spin?
Smita is a multi-cultural freelance journalist, writer, and filmmaker based out of the US, London, Hong Kong, and India. Global Indian Stories is her brain-child. Created to chronicle diaspora stories written by Indians of all age groups, from different walks of life across the globe, Smita makes sure that the platform remains inclusive and positive.