I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Bermondsey Street is my favourite street in the whole of London. As you wander down from London Bridge there are countless brilliant places to eat and drink and the buildings are just beautiful, it always fills me with a sense of excitement and opportunity.
If you can manage to walk right to the end without succumbing to temptation along the way, there’s an absolutely fantastic italian restaurant called Zucca waiting to delight. It’s a bright, modern dining room, relatively formal but buzzing with conversation. Suitable for a date, a catch up with friends, a business lunch or dinner with the parents. The menu is simple and full of fresh, seasonal produce, all expertly cooked to create some of the best Italian food I have ever eaten.
It’s very popular, so booking ahead is usually essential but I recently popped in at around 2:30pm on a weekday and managed to bag a table at the end of lunch. It was such a treat.
After munching on the excellent bread selection and ordering a glass of crisp white wine, I started with a small portion of homemade pasta and hare ragout. This was pappardelle that I can only dream of making it home, rich with egg and silky but with that elusive bite that I just don’t seem to be able to achieve myself. The ragout was luxurious, deep and supremely satisfying. I also managed to steal a couple of mouthfuls of the porcini taglierini, which was equally good.
Unusually for me I chose fish for my main course. I always think of pasta as being quite filling and I was in the mood for dessert (when aren’t I?!), so the lemon sole seemed like a nice, light option and it was delicious. The delicate, sweet, flakes of fish were just what I fancied and with firm new potatoes and a buttery, lemon sauce it was a comforting but fresh.
Mr E was delighted with his squid and polenta. “Exceptionally tender and very nice”. What more do you need?
All of the puddings were tempting but I went for the fig and almond tart upon the recommendation of our lovely waitress. Figs, frangipane, pastry and ice cream; how could I say no? It was an elegant dish, not too sweet, full of flavour and along with the obligatory flat white, it was an a superb end to a very enjoyable meal.
My lunch at Zucca was a real pleasure; faultless cooking, friendly service and a menu full of familiar, inviting dishes. If only every Friday afternoon could be spent there.
taglierini with porcini
pappardelle with hare ragout
lemon sole with new season mushrooms, salsify and cress
squid nero with roast polenta
fig and almond tart
I love Italian food, I love Bermondsey Street and I love Zucca.