Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Food Reviewed: Zazu's Kitchen, BRISTOL

I haven't done one of these in ages. Have been reasonably good at being abstemious this term but R and I couldn't resist being frivolous and going out for a V-Day dinner. [Promise this is the end the internet will be hearing about Valentine's Day for another year, I'm so slow on/off the bandwagon.] Food is, after all, one of our fundamental bonds so what could be more romantic than going to a wonderful restaurant and eating so much that you need to be rolled home? Seriously, rolled, I tells ye. I went out looking vair beautiful (obv) in a waisted skirt with a vintage waist belt. ERROR. Wore my belt home as a necklace and had to half unzip the skirt - thank god for long coats! It was a totally dignified look, R totally didn't laugh at me a lot...

The sight of our romantic indulgence/greed was Zazu's Kitchen in Stokes Croft. A slight aside - Stokes Croft is amazing at the mo, we had drinks at The Canteen while we were waiting for our reservation and it really is one of my favourite bar-things in Bristol. Anyway, Zazu's Kitchen had been on our radar for a while after multiple recommendations and this seemed the perfect opportunity to try it out. Oh boy, it lived up to our expectations and THEN SOME. It was sooooooo good. It is love.

(Picture c/o ZK's FB. Also check out the gorgeous photos over at That Kate)

The restaurant/cafe (their primary business is breakfast and lunch, they normally only do evenings on Thursday and Friday) is beautiful. It is tiny - approx 18/20 covers for V-Day - and they have done amazing things with very little space. They have an open kitchen but, since a) the staff seem sweet and b) they're not serving huge numbers, it doesn't come off as invasive or aggressive as I think it can in bigger restaurants. There is art everywhere and lovely glass jars of food and books! I love books, as we all know, and they'll win me over to pretty much anything. The lights were just the right amount of dim and the waiter/maitre'd was charming.

Most importantly, the food was amazing. Amazing. Here is what we had:
R - Trio of Beef: Beef Tartare, Salt Beef and stewed Ox Cheek. I wasn't brave enough to try the steak tartare but apparently it was excellent and the ox cheek was perfect - meltingly soft and succulent with a really dark, rich flavour.
Moi - Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Butter and a Parmesan crisp thing. This was killer! A bit of a risk too since I don't generally like gnocchi, I normally find it too doughy and stodgy. This wasn't either of those things though and the squash was so lovely and sweet and sage is such a great herb... and I am totally drooling thinking about it.
R - Rabbit Ballotine with Puy Lentils and Red Cabbage. Neither of us were really sure what a ballotine was but it turns out that they're delicious. This was the most beautifully flavoured and least grobbily (sometimes a risk, I find) rabbit I've tasted in ages.
Moi - Steak with Roasted Garlic Mash and some kind of red kale. There is not enough steak in my life! So good and so good for the old anaemia. This was a wonderful cooked, wonderful piece of cow. Everything you could want from a steak and the mash was fab. Mmm... garlic breath = romance.
R - Dark Chocolate Delice with Vanilla Ice Cream and Salted Caramel sauce. Don't really know what a delice is, my amateur description - a solid mousse on a cheesecakeish base. This was nice but I was gone by this point so I barely managed to sample it!
Moi - I was out the race...

Their V-Day special was any three courses and a glass of prosecco for £25 which, I think, is pretty good value. Obviously it isn't cheap but for dinner this is a special occasion kind of a place. Also, apparently they do a brule-ed porridge for breakfast! I find this mega exciting. Will be going to investigate.

So, in conclusion, I love you Zazu's Kitchen. You are great. Fact.

Chuck x


  1. I've been driven past here many a time and always thought it looked amazing, now I know! I def want to try the brule-ed porridge!

  2. Holy nom. I have never been more hungry in my life than after reading the descriptions of that DEE-licious food (that may or may not actually be accurate). I'm quite honestly jealous.

  3. Bruleed porridge sounds like a total win - time to invest in a blowtorch methinks. Your V day meal sounds delish! I was taken to a tapas restaurant and similarly had to be rolled out the door on my way home, was just so very full.

  4. Can't wait to try it! Will definitely take photos. Yey for being rolled home - the perfect way to end an evening.