Saturday 7 August 2010


The problem with a really great, affordable restaurant opening is that it's difficult to get a table on a Friday night on a whim. Even though I called up to book Zucca on the Tuesday previous, 9pm was the only table for two available. I don't know about you, but that's pretty late to be having dinner, especially when there are post work beers involved. We turned up tipsy to a crowded and nicely noisy restaurant.

It's easy to order at Zucca as there aren't many menu options - perfect for the indecisive of us. We went all out with starters, pasta, mains and dessert. Flagging a waiter down, he apologetically told us we couldn't order for the moment as the kitchen was inundated. We got right stuck into a bottle of delicious Barolo, decanted into a huge vase-like contraption. Gorgeous salty foccacia kept the hunger pangs at bay. 20 minutes later, chilli-flecked, oil drizzled sea bass carpaccio arrived and it was was generous with thin slivers fanned over the plate.

I can never resist clams when they are on the menu, and these didn't disappoint. At around £4 for the dish, these were stupidly good value. We slurped up the buttery, winey sauce using empty shells.

There were only two pasta options; pappardelle with peas, lemon and Parmesan had rather too much pea and not enough pasta. What there was of the noodle was toothsome and well made.

Taglierini with courgettes and brown shrimp was subtly flavoured and utterly gorgeous. Again, I wished for more of the pasta which might be testament for how good what we had of it was. I'm an absolute pasta fiend though, and my companion thought it adequate.

I was disappointed to find that they had run out of the lamb main course, but as it was such a balmy night it was probably a good idea I had the grilled prawns with a rocket salad. It was messy business extracting the meat from the shells and I got good and properly in there with my hands. The veal chop, huge and with a strip of glistening fat, was tender and well cooked to pink.

Almond and cherry tart was moist and not overly sweet. Cannoli stuffed with cream and served with raspberries was crumbly and light, the tart fruit cutting through the richness of the cream. We finished late in the evening, by now a bit more than tipsy. We left with smiles on our faces, but not without illiciting some gasps of horror; we tried to open the front door which was a bit stuck and I bent over to see if there was a latch to turn just as my friend yanked it open smashing it into my head. Peals of laughter could be heard all the way down Bermondsey Street as we waddled off to the train station. I woke up the next day with both an internal and external headache.


184 Bermondsey Street,
London SE1 3TQ

Tel: 020 7378 6809

Zucca on Urbanspoon

My photos are all really odd. It was dark, I was drunk. For some better ones, have a look here, here and here.


PlumLeaf 李葉 said...

lol lol lol! Oh Lizzie! Your poor poor head!

Food good then - still managed to remember enough to blog! ;0)

Hope the head gets better!

Unknown said...

nah, the dark drunk photos are far better

English Mum said...

Fabulous! Sounds like the perfect meal to me. Sorry about the head, though x

Greedy Diva said...

That seabass looks grrrreat. I had some similar slivers on the raw seafood plate at Bocca Di Lupo on Friday night - sensational (although we also had to have a late 9.30pm booking). Bocca is wonderful, but Zucca seems to be cheaper. Mind your head!

gastrogeek said...

ouch. I think your photos came out quite well, considering the circumstances!

Gin and Crumpets said...

Classic exit from a restaurant. Food looks gorgeous.

Jonathan said...

Ouch. Sounds like a smashing evening.

Hollow Legs said...

PlumLeaf - Thankfully the food was so good I remembered it!

Gary - Awh, thanks. I will endeavor to take more drunk weird photos.

English Mum - It was pretty damn near. Head has recovered!

Greedy Diva - I would really like to visit Bocca, but if there's something cheaper and equal I'll always go for that. So saying, I should give it a go.

Gastrogeek - there was some heavy post production work...

Gin & Crumpets - typical, eh? It was delicious.

Jonathan - smashing, it was. In more ways than one.

Dan said...

Jealous Lizzie. Really want to try Zucca. Nice work drunkenly bashing your head on the door - love it :) Hasn't been a good night unless you wake up bruised.

Su-Lin said...

Ooooh, I definitely have to try to get here one day. Loved their sister (brother?) place - Maltings Cafe.

May said...

Looks great. Been meaning to try Zucca for a while now, but maybe give it a while for the crowds to subside.

Chuck said...

I went to Zucca a month or two ago, really enjoyed it. Had yummy rabbit, not sure if it is still on the menu. Glad you had a good evening - sorry about your head!

Fabhat said...

Haven't tried Zucca yet, but am addicted to the Maltings cafe for delicious lunch and coffees - and very reasonably priced.