Zucca, as the name suggests is an Italian restaurant. This is not a pizza – red sauce pasta kind of place and neither is it high-end Italian. Zucca, in my view sits slightly below the expensive Italian restaurants that for some reason, seem to thrive in Mayfair. Zucca is in Bermondsey which is almost down at Canary Wharf. I did not realise quite how far it was when we made the booking.
Joining us for dinner was our friend the Doctor Businesswoman, who also ate with us at Le Gavroche. She had just returned from India the previous evening. She said that she would fetch us and we could all go to Zucca together. At the appointed hour she turned up in her little Red [well Maroon actually] car and armed with directions scribbled by her on the back of an envelope we made our way to Zucca.
The restaurant was quite full when we entered; we had been warned when the booking was reconfirmed, that we would have to surrender the table in 2 hours. The rectangular restaurant had a glass fronted window running down its entire length so it was bright and gave a feeling of space. Tables were close to each other, no carpeting so there was more than a buzz in the restaurant. Not the place for a romantic meal.
Zucca does not have a fixed menu. Apparently the menu changes every day and you can request the day’s menu by sending an email. I did, and promptly got the menu. The cuisine is traditional Italian and built around 4 components, the Anti Pasti, Pasta, Mains and Dessert. The breads and ice creams are `home made’.
|The home made bread.|
We ordered 3 Antipasti, all of which were excellent. A delicious Fried Pumpkin Fritter was what came first. I had not thought you could make a `pakoda’ of `Bhopla’ but here it was. Then came, San Daniele, Yellow Beans & Almonds. San Daniele is a cured ham, very similar to Parma Ham, except that it comes from a different region of Italy. The ham is thinly sliced and came plated with some salad and Almonds. It was a fairly standard dish, and being ham, there was really nothing that the restaurant had done to enhance it. No need for a photograph either. The third starter was interesting. It was Cresia Di Polenta, Ciauscolo & Lardo. Cressia Di Polenta turned out to be, simply, a `Makkai Ki Roti’. Polenta is corn flour widely eaten in Italy. They made a flatbread, grilled it and brushed Olive Oil. It was very similar to `Makkai Ki Roti’. Ciauscolo is a type of salami and Lardo is cured Pork Back Fat. Eating the three together was a good combination.
|The excellent Pumpkin fritters|
|Cresia Di Polenta, Ciauscolo & Lardo|
For the main course, the Doctor Businesswoman ordered Roast Cod, Courgette, Peas & Mint. Looked good and she pronounced it as scrumptious. HRH the Queen of Kutch ordered a Tagliatelle, Summer Vegetables & Watercress which was also really nice. I went traditional and boring with Corda, Pork & Fennel Ragu, Ricotta. Corda of being a pasta shaped like a rope. This too was very good. All the food was hot and very well seasoned.
|Corda, Pork & Fennel Ragu, Ricotta|
|Roast Cod, Courgette, Peas & Mint. [Sorry about the slightly blurred photo]|
|Tagliatelle, Summer Vegetables & Watercress|
It was a most enjoyable evening with interesting conversation and good food. Zucca is well worth visiting. The food is reasonably priced and of a high standard. Just remember to make a reservation as the restaurant is very popular.