Sunday, 13 January 2013

A Little Slice of Italy in South London

Finally after a long time of almost trying to eat at Zucca, we finally made it through its doors for an incredible night of food and drink.
Living in north London, Bermondsey is a bit of a pain to get to, we have tried once or twice on the spur of the moment without a reservation but it was always fully booked and since then it’s never been an area I’ve gone down to, especially nowadays as I’m trying to sample all my local restaurants in my northern cum eastern part of London.
The thing I love about proper Italian food is its seasonality and simplicity in cooking and flavours that come from paying respect to the ingredients, which is a far cry from, what most people think of when it comes to Italian food.
Zuuca is definitely a place that pays respect to the ingredients and does just enough to let them sing their harmonious tune.
The restaurant is very modern and chic in design with full length windows that allow passers by to gaze in, and by the look on their faces as they walk past you know they are jealous.
I’m not normally a lover of pasta outside of Italy, but apart from the River Café and Locando Locatelli, I’ve always shied away from pasta in restaurants, as normally it is pretty dreadful.

But something was telling me it would be ok here, so a starter of the pappardelle with a rabbit ragu and an ox tongue was ordered.
Mains were the famous Veal Chop and also the Guinea Fowl with a lush plate of polenta as well.
The pappardelle was at first glance the smallest portion I had ever seen, but after the veal chop it actually turned to be a good size.
The pasta was perfectly al dente as it should be and not to thick either, the rabbit ragu was not over cooked, which has been a problem other times I have had it.
The ox tongue although looked pitiful was actually a really good slice of tongue well flavoured, firm but still yielding a little. I do love a slice of tongue, shame it’s becoming something more difficult to get hold of these days. A big shame.

I’d heard and read so much about the veal chop, that I’d already made my mind up before I went that night as to what I was going to have.
I don’t normally eat veal, not that I have anything against it, it’s just not seen that often on menus these days, thanks to the many protests against it.

The chop I have to say was awesome, a really good cut of meat, well seasoned, nicely charred and the taste was wow. It’s not a small piece of meat either, so if you want it, bring an appetite with you.
I had a side of cabbage, but would have preferred the polenta that went with the guinea fowl. I love polenta and this was as good as I ever had, smooth and creamy.

I was so interested in my chop that I didn’t actually get to try this dish, but I was reliably informed that it was as good as everything that went before it.
The couple on the table next to us were less impressed with the food and kept grumbling between themselves, this is the thing with Italian food, it doesn’t rely on heavy sauces or mounds of butter or spices to give it flavour and give you that wow factor. It’s just great ingredients and cooking these simply and cleanly.
I’m kicking myself now that I never got to try Zucca until now, but it is definitely going to be high on my list now of places to keep returning to. Yes it was a £100 well spent.

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