Thursday, 14 June 2012

Zucca Review

Bermondsey is one of those up-and-coming areas in London, and this is the first time I'd been - from what I saw, it was mostly roadworks and the Shard but I hear there are nicer bits. Bermondsey Street, where everything foodie in Bermondsey is, apparently, is home of Jose Pizzaro's two places, Jose and Pizzaro, amongst other cool restaurants. It is also home of Zucca, an Italian which has been open for a couple of years now.

 I went there on Bermondsey Street this week with a Twitter acquaintance, @pepper_tree, with mixed trepidation. It had praise heaped on it by some when I mentioned I was going, but when I tweeted about it the night before going, it was slammed, with many saying that it had 'gone downhill'. I tried to keep a neutral mindset.

As we walked in, I was instantly struck by how noisy it was. When we sat down, I noticed the decor. It was weird. My companion remarked that it was like the reception area of a huge office, which was apt - it was a decent-sized room (which included an open kitchen) with some orange blocks on the walls. For its size, it had fairly high ceilings. That's probably why it's so noisy, but perhaps that's just the lack of insulation. It was almost communal dining, with the next table placed about two feet away, maybe less. It was a strange juxtaposition with the formality of the starched white tablecloths and napkin-folding, but as many as they can cram in, eh?

Onto the food: We were served good bread and (Zucca brand, which you can buy if you so wish) olive oil and a selection of ctudites (including humorously oversized strips of cucumber and more fennel than we knew what to do with). Onto the starter, which was a pile of deep-fried vegetables, mostly sweet potato and a couple of bits of courgette, which contrasted well with the salty batter. 

Onto main course, we had the infamous veal chop, served with spinach and lemon, which amply fed both of us - tender, salty, and so juicy. It was the definite highlight, and I can see why it is raved about. Thing is, even for one person, it's very er, meat-focussed. I mean, I need a little something more with a main course for £16, and unless you're on the dukan diet, you probably will too. It's a bit of a swizz, declaring something to be a 'main' and then charging extra for a side of pasta or vegetables. Luckily this main course got away with it for being so good. The pasta (chitarra, clams, peas & tomato), was a bit weird. The spaghetti wasn't al dente, it was crunchy, and the peas had that once-frozen pucker. The clams, however, were cooked and seasoned well. The side order of broccoli was cooked really well and the chilli speckled through the dish was a welcome accompaniment.

Pudding for @pepper_tree was salted caramel ice cream, which was not, as it seems to be more times than, lacking that salty kick. I had the affogato - vanilla ice cream drowned in espresso - and I couldn't help thinking that it would work better with one scoop, as by the second scoop, I was flagging from too much cold coffee. The first scoop, however, it was lovely.

It was an enjoyable meal: good company and some high points (That. Veal.), but overall, I was a little underwhelmed by Zucca. Perhaps it's better in a big group, so you can contribute more to the noise factor.


Zucca on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Oh the Italians are funny aren't they? I am actually quite fond of the way they keep the meat meaty and don't dilute it with two veg. Similarly I quite like a decent plate of vegetables rather an afterthought of pea wiped across a plate just to frame a hunk of protein. On the pasta front, I like my pasta al dente but even I would be a little teary if I could hear the snap of my spaghetti.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Foodies100 Index of UK Food Blogs
Morphy Richards