This is the second venture from Diego Jacquet and Alberto Abbate who currently own CASA MALEVO on Connaught Street, W1. Zoilo will showcase traditional cooking from the different regions across the vast landmass of Argentina, from Diego’s native Patagonia all the way north to Salta, via the Pampas and Mendoza. Diego has devised a menu of authentic Cocina Argentina, inspired by the Asado, the traditional Argentine sharing ceremony that is a fundamental expression of Argentina’s sense of national identity.
ZOILO Picture Gallery
All In London Review
Brimming with bold flavours, Zoilo is good fun
We’re headed to the basement, which bears more than a passing resemblance to another recently opened Marylebone tapas joint, Donostia. A bar overlooks the kitchen so we can watch everyone’s dinner being prepared.
There is a choice of three empanadas salteñas, spinach, chicken and beef; we opt for spinach with pine nuts, raisins and onions, a good filling but the pastry is very doughy and a little too thick. A fillet of mackerel escabeche comes with a rich mayonnaise that isn’t strictly necessary for the marinated fish. There is a simple yet very satisfying dish of artichoke, pickled mushrooms, Parmesan shavings and chipa, delicious little cheese buns.
The best dishes by far are the meaty ones. Grilled sweetbreads are soft and juicy, served with fresh-tasting diced red pepper, onion, tomato and watercress. The rib eye steak is big on flavour thanks to a coating of chimichurri and black peppercorns, and its velvety texture is a delight. Morcilla y criolla on toast pairs a rich plump blood sausage with sweet roasted red peppers.
For dessert we try the classic crème brûlée, given oomph with dulce de leche and banana ice cream, and the alfajores de maizena, powdery shortbread biscuits made with cornflour, filled with dulce de leche and coated in desiccated coconut.
Brimming with bold flavours, Zoilo is good fun, particularly if you’re lucky enough to watch the chefs at work. Six tapas and two desserts comes to around £50, minus wine. (On our visit Zoilo had only been open two days and there had been a problem sourcing a licence for alcohol, but rather than deprive customers of booze, carafes of white and red wine were offered free of charge).
Reviewed by Leila
Published on Nov 14, 2012
A little goes a long way
Argentinian gastronomy may be best known in Europe for its steaks, but Zoilo’s menu exemplifies the variety food on offer in this vast Latin country. The best seats are at the basement bar facing the chefs, so you can watch them preparing ceviche, chimichurri burgers and mackerel escabeche.
Aug 24, 2014