Zenzero relaunched a few months ago with an authentic Italian menu and a sleek restaurant redesign. Situated on Camps Bay’s Main Road, directly opposite the ocean with its open-air, open-plan layout, Zenzero is an exceptional place to dine this summer.
Cocktails and a view
Upon entering we were immediately seated, with the seaside location begging for a couple of cocktails, which we ordered immediately. Having indulged a little too much the night before, a Bloody Mary was on the cards. Not officially on the menu, the bar still politely obliged, providing perfectly executed comfort in the form of tomato vodka hair-of-the-dog. Any bartender that can whip up a classic on a whim is a true treasure.
Authentic Italian antipasti
Having had time to take in the gorgeous surroundings, our attentions were immediately drawn to the enticing menu. The antipasti alone are varied, yet unique, and all sound incredibly delicious. I ordered the gnocchi, an unusual antipasti option for me, especially on a hot day. I assume my hangover had something to do with it. If one could ever be grateful for a hangover, this would be it. The gnocchi were the softest, lightest clouds in the mouth, and the fresh tomato and basil sauce was refreshingly silky. Other starters that made an appearance at our table included beef carpaccio, juicy white wine mussels, and indulgent bolognese arancini.
Zenzero is the place for exceptional seafood
Besides focaccia, and salads, the mains consist of a plethora of pastas, seafood dishes, and meats. I don’t know what it is about being situated in view of the ocean that makes me crave seafood, but this was no different. And so I opted for the Kingklip Panzanelle with prawns and peppers in a citrus chilli sauce. The fish and prawns were perfectly cooked, and I thoroughly enjoyed the dish, however, for my palate the sauce did have a certain heavy-handed sweetness to it. Being able to taste other dishes at my table, I can attest to the brilliance of the Seared Tuna, as well as the Pasta Carbonara made the traditional way, and therefore the right way. NO CREAM! I’m not a massive red meat fan, but the Sirloin was executed well, and the cut very tender.
Don’t skip dessert
When it comes to dessert be sure to order as many different varieties as your table can handle, because Zenzero does dessert right. In our case, we ordered one each of the Creme Fraiche Panna Cotta, Frozen Nougat, White Chocolate Cheesecake, and Affogato. My personal favourite was the Panna Cotta, which seemed to barely hold its voluptuous shape. Fresh strawberries and balsamic vinegar were the perfect pared back additions. I adored the olive oil sponge in the frozen nougat, and the lightly speckled vanilla ice cream in the affogato. While the cheesecake was surprisingly subtle in sweetness.
Final thoughts and open hours
Zenzero is by no means a cheap and cheerful dining option. The food is pricey, but rightfully so. Unlike many other restaurants situated on the Camps Bay strip, Zenzero does not rest on the laurels of its seaside location. The food is nothing short of exceptional, and the service is attentive without being hovering. Antipasti range in price from R65 to R135, mains from R95 to R280, and desserts from R65 to R90. Portions are large and satisfying, and the restaurant itself offers an elegant but serene escape to truly enjoy a memorable meal.
Zenzero is open daily from 11am to 11pm and have a New Years Eve set menu on offer that may interest you. To find out more, peruse their menu, or book at table, visit http://www.zenzerorestaurant.co.za/home
Images: Natasha Silva