9 Duke Street, London W1U 3EG
Argentinean Restaurant Zoilo opened its doors to the public for a soft opening on Wed lunchtime. I visited (anonymously) to gain a first look at the new Marylebone venue from the team behind Casa Malevo (Diego Jacquet and restaurateur Alberto Abbate). Here’s what to expect.
The venue is elegantly simple and understated in design. Seating is split into three zones, a ground floor area dominated by the bar and bar-side seating; a basement area where one can dine in front of an open kitchen; and an intimate private room which seats eight.
All the dishes were extremely well presented and equally as tasty. “Empanadas Salteña” is a single medium sized parcel on a small plate minimally decorated with herbs. Each variant ordered separately. (As someone who grew up on British Cuisine I immediately think of ‘Cornish Pasties’ due to their appearence). We ordered the “Chicken Grilled Peppers” version which was extremely ‘moreish’. The pasty was nice and delicate, the chicken was nicely soft with the consistency of a good pulled pork. The flavour was heavy in cumin but not excessive.
My favourite dish was the “Morcilla & Criolla” (blood pudding) on toast. Unlike my previous experiences with black pudding with their ‘pork-sausage-like-consistency’ this example was so soft that it oozed out of the ends when I tried to cut it in half. The contents were extremely creamy in texture and fantastically rich.
We ordered the small “Alfjores de Maizena” and “Milk Cake & Passion Fruit Sorbet”. Personally I’m more of a savoury dessert kinda guy… if at all. However, my sweet toothed friend loved his Milk Cake and Passion Fruit Sorbet. I tried a spoonful and found it very nice, albeit a bit of a sugar rush.
I had a martini which was pretty good.. Hardcore cocktail fans beware, surprisingly the house pour spirits are Bombay Sapphire Gin and Absolut Vokda, but they do have a decent range on the backbar. For those of you who like your wine, they seem to be very proud of their Argentinean Wines, my wine-loving dining companion was suitable pleased with the bottlings on offer.
WHAT DID I THINK?
Without a doubt this was an awesome food experience presented well and great service. The cost of six small dishes, two desserts a bottle of wine and a cocktail would have been a touch over £120 (prior to the soft opening discount). With their location in Marylebone (nr the junction of Wigmore Street and Duke Street, I expect they could be very popular with the nearby ladies-who-lunch Selfridges shoppers and the nearby hedge fund industry during the day. If you’re a fan of Argentinean cuisine, take note, their soft opening evening slots were completely booked out so get there before the crowds!
I HAVE NOT taken any freebies/incentives from the venue.
I DID NOT pre-announce my visit
I DID NOT introduce myself to the venue staff as someone who would be reviewing