Sunday, July 31, 2011

Zucchini Bros.

Pasta with prawns, asparagus & peas in lemon butter

I first visited Zucchini Bros. with CP, in December last year. I had always heard good things about it but my not having a car means that the promptness of my trying a new restaurant and the frequency to which I return to a restaurant is somewhat restricted if it is not located in the city centre. I rely heavily on the goodwill of my 'vehicular-ly' blessed, fellow nosh-hound friends, such as S and CP, when it comes to sniffing out exciting new prospects outside the city.

Ravioli in tomato sauce - I didn't taste this so I can't comment

You will notice the stark difference in the photos from the first visit with CP in December, and the second visit with S, which was only a few weeks ago. This is the thing that I find most annoying about trying to review a place during the winter - if we dine at night, most restaurants are usually too dark for me  to get any decent photos. So, my apologies as usual.

Garlic bread

I may be jumping the gun a little here but I have a feeling that this is going to be my favourite place here for Italian food, even though I haven't tried any of their pizzas yet. The pasta with prawns, asparagus and peas in lemon butter that I had in December was absolutely delicious - bright, subtle and delightfully light and refreshing, which isn't how you would normally describe pasta dishes. CP had the ravioli with tomato sauce, which she said was tasty and just the right portion. We also had the lemony meringue and hot apple cake for dessert - CP wasn't impressed with the former, but I really liked my hot apple cake.

Mussels with tomato, mushrooms, garlic and white wine on conchiglie

It took a few months, but I finally managed to revisit Zucchini Bros. with S a few weeks ago. It was a rainy Wednesday night but by the time we left, the place was completely full (usually a good indicator). We started with the nicest, tastiest, fluffiest garlic bread that I've had in a long while. It had just the right texture - slightly crispy crust, but otherwise soft and fluffy - and had a generous spreading of lovely melted garlicky butter. MMMMMMM!

Chilli, tomato and mint pesto with red pepper and pine nuts on capelli

Our pastas weren't quite as exciting as the garlic bread or the pasta with prawns, asparagus and peas in lemon butter that I had in December, but they were decent. S had the mussels with tomato, mushroom, garlic and white wine on conchiglie, which was tasty, but according to S, wasn't quite developed/complex enough, flavour-wise. I had the chilli, tomato and mint pesto with red pepper and pine nuts on capelli (with chicken) and thought that it was interesting, but the combination of ingredients resulted in a sort of a (for lack of a better word), 'smooshy' pasta dish, which wasn't texturally ideal. The flavour was pretty good, but I have to concur with S's verdict on her dish, in that it too wasn't quite complex enough to sustain one's initial enthusiasm throughout the meal.

Hot apple cake with caramel sauce and hokey pokey ice cream

Nevertheless, we enjoyed our meal enough that we stayed for dessert and S, influenced by my positive comments about the hot apple cake, decided that we should stick with the tried and true. And it was better than I remembered. The cake was warm and moist, the caramel sauce was seductively rich (not a fan of caramel usually) and the hokey pokey ice cream (which neither of us normally like) was like soft, cool, mild, pleasant interludes between bites of rich, sweet, comforting caramel slathered hot apple cake. Bellisima!

Will be trying their pizzas next. Stay tuned.

292 Highgate

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