London never ceases to surprise me. Every now and then I still find parts of London that are a complete revelation to me. Recently I discovered this stretch of the river just down the hill from St Pauls and in the shadow of the Millenium Bridge. Unless you had business in any of those ugly commercial buildings in the part of the City, you would never know that there are a few very nice eateries and bars along here.
One of these restaurants is Zorita’s Kitchen. It is not so much a restaurant as a wine bar, deli, organic farm shop and a casual dining room hybrid. Zorita’s is part of The Hacienda’s Company who own vineyards and organic farms in the Duero Valley in Spain.
What makes me instantly like this place is that the Hacienda Zorita organic farm is committed to the preservation of rare and endangered species like rare breed like the sheep like curly haired Mangalita pigs. The meat from these animals costs 10 times that of the iberico pig and are used to make lomo but not the ones we were tasting that day.
Zorita’s occupy a stunning location overlooking the Thames and across the bridge from the Tate Modern and of course with spectacular river views. (Tip- a great place for lunch if you are off to see a show at the Tate Modern).
The “restaurant” is dominated by a semi circular table in the middle of the room which is where they do wine tastings. One wall is lined with a selection of their own organic wines, other Spanish wines and organic produce from their farm like this organic olive oil and cheese.
Dotted around the room in a casual fashion are rustic zinc topped tables in keeping with the rustic style of the food and what they term “farm cooking”.
Zorita’s Kitchen has a menu that is a showcase of the all the best produce from the region. There are a lot of choices of their special cheeses and cured meats. In addition to that there are a few hot dishes and a menu for Tostas, hot toasted bread with a variety of toppings.
We kicked off with 2 platters, one of cured meat and one of cheese. My favourite was the delicate lomo followed by the meltingly soft and piquant chorizo.
Then followed a bowl of warming beans and chorizo.
The most delicious dish was this combination of ingredients which came in the form of a ripe figs, jamon and goats cheese, dressed with a balsamic vinegar glaze. Fresh flavours, perfectly balanced.
Just to make sure we had a sample of every section of the menu, we also had a Tosta Hacienda Zorita which is toasted bread topped with tomato, garlic, olive oil, torta de dehesa soft ewe’s cheese and jamon.
For pudding, we had the specially flown in Torta de Santiago, an almond cake which is a specialty of the region and difficult to reproduce with the required authenticity outside of the region. We also had a crema catalan ice cream and a glass of Pedro Ximinez to finish off the meal with a flourish. The chef Pedro had a little chat with us on the menu and it was clear that all the staff were passionate about the produce that they were working with. It reminds me of In Parma that I review recently.
Besides the wine tasting and dining room on the ground floor, the 1st floor houses their new member’s lounge for their Wine Club, tasting rooms and also the offices for their parent company’s wine business.
Zorita’s Kitchen are about to revamp their menu with a little help from Michelin starred chef Victor Guttierrez who will bring the soul of the Duero Valley to London.
Broken Wharf House,
2 Broken Wharf,
London EC4V 3DT
Tel: 020 7429 3253
Thanks to Zorita’s Kitchen for hosting our delicious lunch.