Since writing this review, Zazu’s Kitchen has moved to:
225 Gloucester Road, Bishopton, Bristol, BS7 8NR
Tel: 0117 944 5500
Clifton village has been enjoying a few new restaurants recently, and Zazu’s Kitchen is one of them. Relocating from Stokes Croft, this wholesome restaurant is a far cry from the pretentious restaurants that can grace the village, but still has class and style.
We arrived unannounced on a Thursday night and were lucky to get a table. On arrival, the friendly waitress pointed out that it was bring your own, so two of us popped off to the wine shop up the road, while the others settled in. And settle in we did – you could almost be in someone’s country kitchen – the windows all steamed up, the mish mash of wooden chairs, benches and tables, and rugs – give it a homely feel.
Corkage of £3.50 is charged per bottle, which is nothing really, and the menu is surprisingly cheap – £13.50 for two courses or £18 for three. We went earlier in the year, and the menu we had really reflects that, as Zazu’s prides itself on using seasonal, local, organic produce where possible.
I chose the hot smoked salmon tagliatelle to start, which was deliciously fresh and clearly homemade. Served with a creamy pink peppercorn sauce, the whole thing was melt in the mouth. I also tasted a bit of the Jerusalem artichoke soup, which was strong and earthy.
For mains I chose the pork belly which was soft and rich, complete with crisp crackling and served with pomme anna, cider jus and a sprout ragu that was delicious – classic flavour combinations that work, but that were also delivered to perfection.
Other mains we tried included slow braised beef cheek with a white risotto and juniper jus, which was rich and beefy, yet light at the same time because of the risotto. The vegetarian option was original too – butternut squash and goats cheese strozapretti (like dumplings), served in a borlotti bean broth – again classic flavour combinations, but this time with imagination.
Pudding stole the show though with the rich and sticky ginger tart with Clementine icecream and pomegranate syrup – chewy and sticky – the perfect pud. I chose the dark chocolate and honeycomb delice with armagnac prunes, which was delicious, but I nearly broke my spoon trying to break through the chocolate! (my ONLY complaint of the evening).
The service during the evening was seamless – the restaurant was turning people away soon after we arrived – but the one and only waitress glided around the restaurant with no sign of panic, and we didn’t have to ask for anything – apart from our second bottle of wine to be opened!
Verdict? Zazu’s Kitchen offers some seriously sophisticated food in a relaxed and cosy environment, and affordable prices. If you haven’t been already, what are you waiting for?