The bright dining area with Story I by Mila Furstova, a £4,500 art work, on display may be surprising for Stoke Croft but wait until you taste the food. It is shockingly elegant and delicious.
Of course, if you’ve already eaten at the Runcible Spoon you may be a little less taken aback at one more of the area’s restaurants providing good, local and seasonal offerings.
What stood out for me was the chips. I still keep thinking about the perfectly seasoned, hand-cut chips which were ordered as an aside. (A side as an aside, get it? I’m being silly.)
They were even better than the posh chips with parmesan and truffle oil at Jamie’s on Park Street.
I had a whole mackerel which was almost beautifully cooked. It was nice but slightly, and I mean barely, overdone. However, the raspberry and lemon sauce was just right with the salad and samphire and the fried new potatoes also very good. The dish was of exceptional value at £7.95 and it was equally to, if not better than, the one at Jamie’s for £13.
The restaurant provides no menus. The dishes and specials of the day are written on a blackboard. The orders are taken at the front which was interesting as we were seated at the back.
A few rattles, a broken cup and the general cooking noises seemed loud to my ears which were mindful of the fact that my five month old daughter was sleeping but she didn’t seem to mind.
Many people passed water glasses over her pram as they helped themselves through the free dispenser.
I’d like to go back for a rooibos espresso and cake sit for a while. Zazu’s Kitchen is friendly and warm and feels very inviting. If you’ve passed by outside you’ll definitely be surprised at how much more spacious it is.
Not huge, but there are six or seven tables at the back and some space at the front for the cafe. Our party of six was lucky to book on a Saturday as it got very busy.
I recommend the chips. I hope to have more recommendations in the near future. This restaurant is a much more authentic choice to Jamie’s and I keep picking on it because the meal was almost identical but much cheaper and tastier.
For further details on the background of Zazu’s, see Bristol Culture.
Zazu’s Kitchen, 45 Jamaica Street, Stokes Croft. 0117 923 2233.