There were a few added perks to attending culinary school, winning a prize at the annual raffle was one of them (well for my mum, but she gifted me the prize – thank you!). I picked a 3 course meal at Zucca in south London and took along my classmate Chand.
It was difficult to get a booking for a Friday night and when we did arrive we got a middle table in a kind of office-like setting. It felt a bit airport loungey with everything being greyscale.
The restaurant doesn’t publish a menu online, changing the dishes and bringing in specials regularly. We started with a nice homemade bread basket, served with peppery olive oil.
The courses started strongly, with a lovely summery, fresh ricotta ravioli with fresh green vegetables. Followed by my personal favourite, squid bruschetta, with shaved fennel and squid braised in its own ink, so flavourful though disappointingly the ink black bread had too much of a burnt edge.
We then tried the veal steak with spinach, which was quite succulent and an impressive piece of meat but not massively spectacular in preparation. We also had the special, pork ragu pappardelle, another perfect pasta dish, I could have eaten a larger portion!
The desserts were less memorable, a vanilla panna cotta and a chocolate fondant. The best things about these dishes were their accompaniments, lovely sweet loquat and a light milk ice cream.
There was a little bit of confusion with what we were allowed to order and we were encouraged to make a swift exit after teas and coffees (a two hour slot which I’m finding everywhere now) but otherwise the staff were lovely and gave a great wine recommendation.
The venue was a bit corporate but the food was delicious. Zucca is a welcome departure from most Italian-inspired restaurants in London.