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Food, Reviews

Zenzero relaunch

Zenzero in Camps Bay recently relaunched, featuring a brand-spanking new interior that exudes luxury and boasts one of the most beautiful views you will find in the Mother City while dining.

Undoubtedly one of Cape Town’s most popular beachside dining spots, Zenzero’s refurbishment included a plush new interior that’s soft, cool and easy on the eyes, bringing calm natural colours and wooden touches together with comfy seating and a serene ambiance.

Conceptualised by Soda Design in collaboration with Kove Collection MD, Paul Kovensky, Zenzero’s new look is filled with stone, dark wood and greenery, making it a slice of nature in the city.

Of all the stunning new elements – one being the custom-designed light fixtures that are dazzlingly gorgeous – the bookshelf-lined walls are what caught my eye first. There must be thousands of books tucked away on the bookshelves, and all I wanted to do was browse and read and stay for hours and hours. This lovely touch, I feel, really makes the venue feel more homey, relaxing and welcoming.

What’s more, you’ll be happy to hear that Kove Collection Group Head Chef Amber Deetlefs and her team have extended the menu, and it now features a range of new Italian breakfast, lunch and dinner options – all of which are authentic. 

Jeanne and I were so excited to get stuck into the menu, and we really struggled to make any kind of decision – including what to drink! (Yes, the menu is that full of amazing choices, it really was nearly impossible).

Cheers!

Now, you know I am always on the hunt for the best cocktails in Cape Town, and our trip to Zenzero was nothing different. When it came to figuring out what I would be sipping on during our visit, I didn’t hesitate to flip the menu straight to the cocktail page. I mean, pages. God, there were so many!

First up, both Jeanne and I tried the Tanqueray No Ten Mojito. Oh. Em. Gee, a mojito with gin! God, I love gin so much. So, so, so very much. The Tanqueray No Ten Mojito included: Tanqueray No Ten gin, lime wedges, sugar and fresh mint leaves and topped with white Grapetiser. What I liked about this mojito was it was a lot sweet than the original kind, making it more enjoyable.

The second cocktail I tried was the Mango and Litchi Collins, which is also a gin cocktail. It included: Tanqueray gin, mango puree, litchi juice, lime and soda water. Completely different to the Tanqueray No Ten Mojito, the Mango and Litchi Collins had much fresher and cleaner taste, making it perfect to sip on in summer.

The second cocktail Jeanne tried, because she couldn’t resist, was the Black Cherry and Vanilla Sours, which included: bourbon, black cherry syrup, vanilla syrup and lemon juice. This beautiful cocktail was probably the most eye-catching when it came to presentation, as it was topped off with a slither of lemon skin stamped with “Zenzero” and placed on top of the cocktails’ foam – so cute!

In addition to the cocktails, Jeanne enjoyed some delicious fresh juice and coffee.

Starters

Starters are always a hard one for me, mainly because there are so many amazing little dishes that I am dying to try and have a fear of missing out on.

Jeanne and I stewed over our starter decision for a good 20 minutes – thank god for delicious cocktails to sip on in the meanwhile – and, once we finally made up our minds, we placed our order.

I decided to go with one of my absolute favourite starters in the whole wide world, a Panzanella salad. Anything to do with burrata (or buffalo mozzarella) is my absolute kryptonite, and I simply couldn’t help myself. When it was set down in front of me, I think I just looked at it for a good five-minutes because the presentation so gorgeous.

When I broke into the burrata’s mozzarella shell, it oozed with it’s incredibly creamy stracciatella which drenched the croutons, tomatoes and pesto. God, every mouthful was absolutely orgasmic. That is really the only way I can possibly describe it. The homemade croutons were crunchy, the tomatoes almost tart and the pesto so fresh bringing the whole dish together. I just loved it, I really did.

Jeanne had the Razor Clams (with chilli, fennel, thyme, bread crumbs and parmesan) to start, as it was something she had never had before, and she is always keen to try something new.

When they came, I was really intrigued when our waiter put the plate down in front of her. I don’t know what I expected, really, but I was hoping so bad she would let me taste a bite, too, because they looked so interesting.

Presented in their shells – so cute – was a beautiful muddle of razor clam goodness. Only what I can describe as soft, tender, succulent (almost prawn like in texture) meat, Jeanne’s eye lit up when she took her first bite. I think her words were along the lines of: “Oh wow, I have never had anything like this. Yum. Wow. It’s so soft and delicious. Wow. Yum”. Which basically says it all!

Main course

Jeanne and I decided to stay on the seafood bandwagon since we were staring at the gorgeous beach, loving the salty breeze and just generally enjoying being at the seaside so we ordered the seafood platter for two. Included in this freaking delicious platter was: local fish (sea bass), calamari, prawns, langoustine, crayfish, lemon, parsley and olive oil.

I had never tried langoustines or crayfish before, so I was really excited to dig into this dish, and Jeanne – who loves seafood in general – was telling me how wonderful they were and how it was the best choice on the menu, so I was really excited to get stuck in.

The seafood was probably the freshest I have ever eaten, and every single piece of seafood was cooked to perfection – which is incredible considering there was lots of different types on the plate.

Each and every mouthful was scrumptious. The crayfish was tender, the sea bass moist, and the calamari was so soft. I just cannot rave enough about this platter and all I can say is that we will be back for more!

Dessert

As you know by now, Jeanne and I have very different tastes in dessert. The sweeter the better for me, and Jeanne likes muted tones if she even decides to have dessert.

Even at Zenzero did I have to coax her into having dessert, because I knew she would regret it if she didn’t. I mean, it’s dessert.

I chose to have the Chocolate Pots de Crème, which was like a chocolate mousse with cream and included fresh cream, chocolate and oat crumble. It was rich, creamy and intense – everything it should be, and I was enjoying it so much I don’t think I spoke a single word until I was done.

I helped Jeanne choose a dessert – because I know by now what she would enjoy – and told her to give the Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta a try. It included fresh strawberries and balsamic vinegar. Well, all I can tell you is that she ate every single bite and probably would have licked the plate if I allowed her to. It was a total hit! The creaminess of the Panna Cotta mixed with the sweetness of the strawberries and the crunchiness of the crumb, flip. It was a masterpiece. A work of edible art, and Jeanne said she would eat it again and again!

Final thoughts

I have a very short list of meals that have truly knocked my socks off. One being a tiny hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant that served the most amazing Napolitano I have ever had the pleasure of tasting and I must say that this meal from Zenzero made that list.

From the drinks to dessert, everything was absolute perfection, and I will be dreaming about this meal, talking about this experience and thinking about every bite for the foreseeable future without a doubt.

Take a look at their menu, here. And do yourself a favour, make a booking!

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