Sunday, May 25, 2008

ZUCCHINI'S

4.5 out of 5 stars

Zucchini's has transferred from the main thoroughfare of Timog Avenue to the quieter corner lot on Scout Tuazon. I have never been to the new restaurant, and being that the last time I've eaten there was when it was still in Timog, I was raring to try out their new location with my foodie friend Noni.

Upon entering, you're greeted with a big wooden wine rack centerpiece. Passing through this is a cozy but elegant room which can seat 40 people comfortably. On the far end wall are comfy banquet sofas, with themed artworks for sale hanging above them. There is also a separate air conditioned room for smokers in the opposite end. And unlike some other establishments, their ionzers work perfectly, so you don't smell the smoke even if the room is enclosed. We were unfortunate to eat here when there was a hurricane, so when we used the latter room post-mealtime, parts of it were dripping water.

Noni and I started with an appetizer, then he got a pasta for himself while I had lamb as main. We were nibbling on our freebie dinner rolls, while raving about their cutlery, oil/vinegar dispensers and pepper mill. Imagine, a pepper mill that can carry a year's supply of peppercorn, it's that big! Or how about an oil dispenser that carries balsamic vinegar at the same time? Table pieces like these can certainly carry a conversation, but of course Noni and I also caught up with a lot of things since we haven't met up in a while.

Bread Rolls

























Oil and Vinegar Dispenser-in-One! HUGE Pepper Mill

We started with a Smoked Salmon and Mascarpone Terrine with cranberry-Port wine vinaigrette and apple-pecan salad (375 PhP). Terrine is basically a forced meatloaf cooked in a terracotta dish called terrine, where it is heated, pressed then cooled, with the end result forming a coat of jelly on top. In so many words, it is an extravagant cold meatloaf, usually popular with most high-end restaurants. To be honest, I wasn't fond of terrine in almost all of the times I've tried it. I remember my last terrine disaster was in Red, where I got a lobster terrine, and it tasted so fishy and was surprisingly sour. But this time, Noni just asked me salmon or carpaccio, and I answered salmon not knowing it'd be in a terrine since I didn't bother checking. If I knew otherwise, I wouldn't have ordered it. Thank God Noni didn't tell me, because when the appetizer with salad came to us, it was very, very delicious! The lettuce, apple-pecan as well as the terrine were all separated, with the vinaigrette tying them together as it was drizzled all over the plate. Each of them separately, as well as together, tasted so good. And the different ingredients bounced off one another perfectly. The salmon tasted even creamier with the mascarpone; the apples' sweetness was toned down with its creamy white sauce and pecans; the salad could stand on its own as it was encircled by peppers, olives and cherry tomatoes; and the cranberry-wine sauce gave the salmon a new taste to travel apart from being savory and creamy. Moreover, it was presented so beautifully. My only complaint was that I wish they gave a more generous slice of the terrine, haha!
Smoked Salmon and Mascarpone Terrine

Noni got the Tagliatelle Lobster and Gorgonzola (575 PhP). It's sauteed Pacific lobster in tomato basil cream sauce and gorgonzola cheese. Tagliatelle has the dimensions of a fettuccine, though I think it is a little thinner and thicker. The sauce was so rich, even if it looked delicate. I liked the fact that they loaded it with gorgonzola, so much so that I couldn't even taste the tomato component anymore! At least they weren't skimping on the ingredients. And the lobster...? I mean, how could I say anything wrong with lobster? This pasta is a winner....and I think it could even fit for two!
Tagliatelle Lobster and Gorgonzola

I got the Australian Lamb Chops (990 PhP), with a siding of mashed potatoes as well as the Minted Red Wine sauce and Bearnaise sauce. Bearnaise is basically egg yolk and butter reduced with vinegar. So I was thinking that was probably better than the Minted Red Wine Sauce because it was fattier than the latter. But the waiter's recommendation was correct. The Minted Red Wine Sauce paired better with the Lamb Chops. I was apprehensive about mixing mint with red wine, but it turns out that the mint flavor was very mild and was only there to round off the aftertaste of the lamb. My lamb was succulent and was grilled perfectly. It wasn't so tender, though, that it fell off the bone. By far, the best lamb I've EVER tasted was in Aresi, Subic (review to come). But still, this one tied for a good second or third, along with the likes of Gourmand. My dish also had a generous helping of vegetables and mashed potatoes. I was so full that I didn't even get to eat any of the sidings. I certainly took pictures of it, though, since the presentation was excellent and very creative. There was even a potato slice that was branded with a "Zucchini's" in the center of the plate containing the mashed potatoes.
Australian Lamb Chops

Noni and I were so full that we didn't even bother with dessert. We just sat back and talked some more as our friend Marco followed for some cigarettes and green iced tea at a neighboring bakery. What a great way to eat through summer.... No stress, delicious food, intense conversations and adventurous foodie friends to dine with!

If you're ever in the Tomas Morato area, this is certainly one of the top food destinations to eat in. In all the years it has remained open, it has consistently served good food and the staff is very accommodating. No wonder it has kept a solid reputation among food lovers, to the point that most do not even write about it because it is painfully obvious that it's a great restaurant. So why am I writing about this? It's to urge the handful of you out there who haven't tried it yet to come here already! Haha!

Zucchini's
#20 Scout Tuason cor. Scout Castor
Quezon City, Metro Manila
(02) 376-5896

Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm

11 comments:

Sakai said...

love this place...

Anonymous said...

that pepper mill is obscene.

Anonymous said...

zucchini's is home for many Doctors around the metropolis. i always see famous Doctors of different specialties everytime i visit the place.I even met our family Doctor one time,he always comes back for apple and pumpkin soup and the certified angus beef ribeye,

Anonymous said...

i heard this restaurant is quite expensive, it is for some but for me you get what you paid for. they dont really advertise but you will know them by word-of-mouth

TM™ said...

i miss this.

Food Dude said...

It's my first time to see your blog...pretty cool. I didnt know that there where that many great "hidden" places to eat.

Have you ever tried GREENS, they serve vegan food...really great!!! Another great place in that area is "Obra" ground floor President Tower, Timog Ave. cor. Sct. Ybardolaza. Its a small hole in the wall that is easy to miss. They have great SALPICAO and seafood carbonara with caviar for around 150 bucks!!! Sulit!!!

Graey eats manila said...

sakai: me too!
anonymous 1: haha!
anonymous 2: really? my parents are doctors,too, perhaps they frequent the place a lot also!
anonymous: someone gace a really bad feedback about it through text before, and the price was also part and parcel of the ranting. I agree with you though that I would pay for quality ingredients. You can tell
Nons: tara, let's go back! ;)
food dude: Yup, greens is delicious! And the prices reasonable. There is a growing need for vegan restos...considering greens is already one of the high end ones (and it really isn't at all compared to non-vegan ones, maybe investors should think of exploring that concept
And sure, I'll try Obra....carbonara with caviar?? how neat!

agentj said...

Because of this post, I'll date someone next week at Zucchini's! Hehehe :) But I don't know where Scout Tuazon is hahaha!

graey eats said...

agentj: I'm as bad with directions as the next clueless person :/ I Couldn't help you with that either. I would only go as far as recommending the food, hahaha!

Anonymous said...

over-rated, i would say. interior is superficial; staff badly needs service training; seems like the place is for those keeping themselves from the public eye

graey eats said...

anonymous: sad you feel that way. But good thing there are lots of other restos in that area to help alleviate that feeling.

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