Zucca was named "best Italian Restaurant" by the National Restaurant Awards in 2015, and it has consistently gotten positive reviews from many critics. A few months ago, I went for dinner to determine if it was worth the hype.
I have to admit I'm not the biggest fan of Italian food, mainly because there are so many of them in London, and most are not quite up to par. In addition to that, I think many Italian recipes can be easily replicated at home, so I'm more reluctant to trekking out to the streets of London for it.
Regardless, after walking past Zucca many times, and seeing the happy faces that come out of it, I decided to finally pay the restaurant a visit.
The menu changes daily depending on what the restaurant receives on the day for their ingredients to ensure everything is as fresh as possible... That's all nice and all, but for someone who ALWAYS likes to check the menu & decide what they want to eat before visiting a restaurant, it's a bit of a pain.
I don't usually care for the bread basket at a restaurant, but Zucca had some of the best focaccia I've ever tasted, so it definitely deserved a photo feature.
For starters, we opted for the squid & ragu pasta to share. Technically speaking, the pasta noodles were cooked to perfection, but it didn't inspire my taste buds in the way I had hoped it would. My date described it as "just ok". The squid on the other hand, had a pungent sea flavour which I appreciated, and was definitely a highlight in the meal.
The mains were perhaps the most disappointing. Both mains were cooked well, but lacklustre. The vegetables outshone the fish, says quite a lot. I wanted the flavours to dance in my mouth but was once again let down.
The dessert was perhaps the saving grace to the whole meal. The chocolate fondant & coconut ice cream was gooey and moreish in all the right ways. The pairing of the coconut ice cream with the fondant was a match made in heaven, it cleansed the palate and prevented the dish from being too sweet all at the same time.
The food were cooked well when you looked at the technical aspect of it. The meat/fish were not over cooked etc. However, in terms of flavours, I expected so much more. For now, I will be returning to my own kitchen if I'm ever itching for some Italian cuisine.