In a sleek interior with a sophisticated Sydney vibe, Italian cooking that helps mark the transformation of Bermondsey into a gastro-destination.
A couple of pumpkins on the open kitchen counter reference the restaurant’s name and provide a touch of warmth to Zucca’s super-sleek interior. Gentle refurbishment has seen hard surfaces softened and, with light streaming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows, the room has a sophisticated Sydney vibe. Eat at the bar and you’ll look awkwardly conspicuous to the roomful of people behind; it’s best to book a table in advance. Our meal was mostly good. Own-made breads were followed by burrata with broad beans in a garlicky dressing, and clean-tasting spider crab served prettily in its shell. The own-made pasta is superb and a sweetly earthy sauce of lentils, walnuts and basil was entirely successful; cod with chickpeas was dull by comparison. Service was initially brisk but ran out of steam through dessert; we were there a good 30 minutes longer than we needed to be. The wine list has many admirable bottles but, despite a proliferation of maps, is generally unhelpful and starts at an elitist £26 a bottle – that’s how much Bermondsey has changed in the past decade. Zucca’s owners plan an offshoot for the site next door: Farina will focus on pizza and ice-cream.