Zerruco by Zilli is creating a buzz in town for the right reasons

Zerruco by Zilli at Hotel Ashok, which is creating quite a buzz in town, is a classic Mediterranean restaurant, serving some masterful dishes prepared by celebrity chef Aldo Zilli. Co-branded with Chef Zilli, who has served the world’s most famous celebs at his London restaurant, it has some of his signature dishes on the menu. A fun loving person, Zilli is very interactive with his guests too.

The ambience of Zerruco, a complete fine-dining restaurant, has a positive vibe to it, although I would have liked a bit of Mediterranean touch to it. But at Zerruco, it’s the food that does the talking. To start with, nothing can beat the classic minestrone, prepared by the deft hands of an Italian chef. Beans and baby pasta added value to its texture, while the hot veggies gave it a nice flavour.

Salade di giorno, a selection of the chef’s special veggies of the day, was very ordinary, lacking in the freshness of a nice Mediterranean salad. However, the tonno marinato, another salad with marinated Tuna, rocket and other herbs as dressing, was delicious. Although not presently on the menu, it had all the flavours which deserve to be incorporated in the menu.

As antipasto came calamari fritti and fried aubergine. Calamari was not cooked to perfection, and had a very unbalanced coating. I am sure Chef Zilli can do a much better version of it. On the other hand, aubergine with tomato sauce was exceptional. It was soft and just melted in the mouth. Fresh mozzarella gave it a smooth texture.

The selection of dishes is good; in the coming months its pizzas will surely come to be regarded as among the best in town. As I was eating, four other tables around me were trying out the pizzas. I tasted one with anchovies and it was bursting with flavours. I also tasted a lobster linguine but it failed to have any impact on my taste buds — under-seasoned and dry with hardly any lobster in it. For mains, trying a specialty from Chef Zilli’s hometown — abbruzo saffron broth with seafood —seemed like a perfect choice. The combination of saffron and seafood had a divine aroma. Grilled lamb rack was again a delicacy to cherish.

The national dessert of Italy, popularly known as tiramisu, was prepared to perfection and had a great aftertaste, leaving me with fond memories of dining at Zerruco by Zilli.

Meal for two: Rs. 3500

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