Review: Zucca

Published: 16 April 2014

Understated and fresh, Zucca is undeniably one of London’s best Italian restaurants, Romy van den Broeke finds out why.

I hate to rehash the cliche, but sometimes less is more. And that is what head chef and proprietor, Sam Harris of Zucca, has got bang on. Steering clear of fussy dishes and complicated flavours, Harris takes a humble approach to cooking but still manages to excite our complex palates. 

The restaurant is in upcoming food hub, Bermondsey, and the white, concrete and stainless steel interior is aesthetically as simple as the food. 

The menu is brief and changes daily. Some dishes do stay put, take the ‘Zucca’ fritti for example. The vegetables change with the seasons, but on our visit they were hefty strips of squash deep-fried in an impossibly light tempura batter and served with an flavoursome sprig of crispy sage. 

To accompany the best type of fritti we’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting my guest and I ordered a plate of wafer thin strips of seabass carpaccio served simply with a squeeze of fresh lemon and red chilli. To continue our raw fish affair, we ordered the tuna crudo with rocket and chilli which was more substantial and tasty. 

Feeling decidedly angelic after such a healthy starter, my guest and I decided to make up for it by ordering three main courses. Luckily, our insatiable appetites meant every last drop was eaten. The pappardelle with venison ragu was divine; thin, silky ribbons of pappardelle coated from tip to toe in a thick rich venison ragu. 

The grilled monkfish was our fish choice, which came served with coco beans, lentils and trompettes. A simple dish that showed the monkfish at it’s best. Despite getting fuller we were no less determined to tuck into our braised ox cheek with trevisano (a type of chicory), borettane (a style of onions) and pumpkin.

All finished off with two glasses of sweet wine and two affogatos. Bellissimo.

184 Bermondsey St, SE1 3TQ
020 7378 6809

www.zuccalondon.com

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