Zucca, Bermondsey, London
An Italian restaurant on Bermondsey Street opened by the folks at Maltings Cafe.
Solid unassuming food and very inexpensive (£30 for the stuff below plus a glass of wine).
Fairly light batter, a crispy foil to soft sweet butternut squash. A few leaves of sage that while welcome, could have done more to make their presence felt.
I liked how the succulent king prawns were carried by the tomato sauce, even if the sauce seemed a touch too concentrated at times, but the linguine with it was slightly too soft, I would have preferred a bit of textural backbone.
Grilled bass was soft and silky, very moist. An ok side of gently tangy artichoke (with a few very fibrous pieces).
Pleasant ice creams - a dense creamy vanilla, a similarly textured pistachio dotted with bits of the nut, and a very soft salty caramel.
I enjoyed the food at Maltings Cafe more, but will probably be back to try other things on their menu over time, since they just opened.
At a Zucca for the first time last night. I think that it’s a great neighbourhood Italian, and their prices make it noteworthy, but there is still work to be done.
Bread – the Focaccia was the stand out for me. Deliciously salty.
Seabass carpaccio – this was strangely lacking in flavor, though it was deliciously smooth and silky. Good portion to share.
Zucca fritti – a plate of fried pumpkin (squash?) – we ordered because of their name and I think that this is a good dish to share between four, so that you can take a couple of bites. The fried basil was awesome.
Gorgenzola pasta – really really tasty. Lots of flavor and pasta was nicely cooked.
Veal pasta – again – lots of flavors and looking at the ragu you can see why, there is a lot going on there. My one comment is that this dish needed some more seasoning, luckily they put salt on the table.
We had a good experience for lunch at Zucca on Friday. For antipasto, I had roasted beetroot with buffalo mozzarella - very simple and delicious, and very good value at £4 for half a ball of creamy cheese. Mr GG was very pleased with his carpaccio of bream and our friend had the fried pumpkin, which she enjoyed. Great bread to accompany. For main I had halibut with samphire and potatoes - the fish was ever so slightly overcooked, which was a shame, but dish as a whole was subtle and tasty, with a very light broth. The two others both had papardelle with sausage, which I didn't get to try so can't comment on the texture of the pasta.
We had two puddings - a chocolate cake (which I didn't get to try as the others scarfed it down too fast) and a rhubarb tart, which I found disappointing. The pastry was a bit tough and it just wasn't that exciting. Came with some very nice cream and Mr GG managed to eat most of it!
Two bottles of very nice primitivo from Puglia and the bill came to £85 for three, without a tip, which we found very reasonable. So not perfect, but very enjoyable and we'll be back. I want to try Maltings now.
My experience at Zucca was not dissimilar.Very impressed by their prices (and their wine list).Pasta sauce was indeed over-reduced and the garlic perhaps wasn't fully cooked.Bread was wonderful and veal chop succulent,cooked to perfection.
I liked Maltings Cafe' more,but the familiar faces spotted in the kitchen tell me
that Zucca is a place to watch.