Monday, October 18, 2010

zucca is pukka

i’m not quite sure how i’ve ended up always answering my phone at work with “[my name] speaking”. It was as if saying “hello” is for wimps. None of that for me. I can’t remember if that was a slavedriver’s inc policy – but if it was, it certainly wasn’t uniformly practiced. And now i’m so used to doing it, i’ve stopped questioning it’s oddness. Till today.

This woman rang me, and i answered in the usual way. And then she asked me who i was. I just said!!

Random rant. I just want to write about zucca. Because it’s pukka. I couldn’t’ help that. i love it when things rhyme. Or sort of. In my randomest of moments, i write haikus. You know, Japanese styled poems which have 5-7-5 syllables. There was a certain ex-friend that used to be the unfortunate recipient of the products of my poetic inspiration. Maybe we’re not friends anymore because i wrote him too many haikus. I do get carried away.  But it’s fun. Beats thinking about how to take security over shares. Then again i also like alliteration. Random ranting.

Zucca. Modern Italian restaurant on Bermondsey street. You’d think that the closest tube station to Bermondsey Street is Bermondsey – it’s not. London bridge is closer, and it’s not even that close to Bermondsey. But i digress. The food at Zucca, is again, pukka. I met A&C for Sunday lunch there and we had a brilliant time. You can’t beat hanging out with old college mates, especially not when they make you laugh till your sides hurt like A&C do.

I was late, as usual, and A&C had decided that we would order a couple of starters to share. We got the carpaccio of seabass, prosciutto with figs, buffalo mozzarella with grilled vegetables. The carpaccio could have been a little colder, but it was tasty and struck the right balance with its citrusy marinade. Prosciutto with figs, as ever a classic. A fresh fig is a delight. All we got in Singapore were the dried variants, and i never knew why the bible made such a big deal of them, until i ate my first fresh fig. It’s the perfect thing to eat with salty, fatty cured meat. They gave us a little grief when we asked for butter for the bread, but understandably so because they are very proud of their olive oil.

The usual indecision reigned over main choices, but i finally decided on the slow-cooked duck with polenta. I always fear I’m playing Russian roulette when i order polenta – it can go so horribly wrong and you end up with a plate of grey gloop. But this was nothing like that. C wasn’t entirely a fan of polenta, but a mouthful of this one and she smiled in approval. The duck, slow cooked to fallen-apart goodness was beyond tender in stewy deliciousness. A ordered veal chops which were excellent. C’s grilled squid was unbelievably tender – squid being another thing that could go so wrong – you either cook it for 30 seconds, or more than an hour. Anything in between just yields chewy rubber. The squid was grilled with chilli and came with a large rocket salad. I’m definitely getting that the next time.

I hinted at the suggestion that we skip desert when A&C looked at me in horror at the mere thought of that. So pudding it was, apple cake with an abundance of cream. Pudding also came with A&Cs hilarious recollection of how you can’t get crème fraiche in crete.
Altogether, lunch was a delightful affair, and i will most certainly be returning soon. And sooner still for lunch with A&C - let's not leave it too long.

Alas, i am incorrible and i couldn’t resist. Haiku for the day:

I do like zucca
 it's really rather pukka
they don’t serve yucca

184 bermondsey street
se1 3tq


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