Zerruco, the house of Mediterranean food at The Ashok Hotel

Mezze Platter Zerruco

Zerruco

An afternoon of celebrating food, over interesting conversations with fellow food bloggers, in the plush set up of Zerruco at The Ashok Hotel. Could I ask for a better Sunday afternoon?

Well, I’d heard many a good things about this Mediterranean restaurant and it was always on my cards. So, when I was invited for a meet-up organized by LimeTray at Zerruco, I felt it would be a perfect afternoon for meeting some fellow foodies and of course, relishing some great food.

Zerucco, is a beautiful fine dine restaurant, decked up like a midtown warehouse, with beautiful lamps and an equally impressive alfresco area with stunning Mediterranean lamps. The wooden panels, moody lighting and metallic panels on the wall behind the bar, create a perfect set up for all occasions – casual, formal or a gig night. One can also enjoy Sufi nights, fun dance nights or just some simple fun drinks night.

As we stepped inside, the friendly stewards guided us to our tables. As, soon we took out places, drinks starting puring in. We hit it off with some wonderful drinks like Bourbon Berry, The Passion Zerruco, Sangria Rosso and Sangria Bianco. Of all the drinks, my favourite were Passion Zerruco and Bourbon Berry. I feel Vodka, Pineapple and cardamom have become a hot combination, as I have seen this mix on many other menus nowadays. However, no one has quite achieved the blend, Zerruco has managed. This was impactful yet refreshing.

Bourbon Berry had a great balance of Whiskey, Raspberry, Lemon and Cointreau. The fruity tangy mix of raspberry, lemon and Cointreau (an orange flavoured liqueur also know as Triple Sec) was aptly balanced with a decent amount of strong whiskey. We couldn’t have asked for a better start, as the fruity composition felt perfect for the weather.

And then there were Sangrias in Red and White Wines. Ya! Really spoilt for choice!

Amongst the salads, I loved the Beetroot Goat’s Cheese Salad with Caramelised Walnut and Crouton. A fresh summer salad, with tender beetroot, fresh cheese, rocket leaves and some crunchy sweet walnuts. It was a perfect little salad with an amazing fusion of flavours and texture.

There was Chicken Cajun Salad and Smoked Salmon Tartar as starters. The presentation of both the dishes was brilliant and portions were very generous. The chicken salad was better as it had the freshness of veggies, well contrasted against the coated chicken, which was subtly seasoned and cooked.

And then arrived the mammoth Non-Veg Mezze Platter. The platter had Prawns, Grilled Aubergine, Chicken Roulade, Herb Mutton Seekh and Grilled Fish. There was also Chickpea Salad served with Hummus, Beetroot Hummus, Tzatziki, Baba Ganoush, Ezme Dips and Spicy Lavash With Sesame.

As soon as the platter arrived on our table, the place was enveloped in the aroma of Mediterranean cuisine. The freshness of the dips and the beautifully cooked meat made me drool. I liked the tenderness of the mutton seekh, the smokiness of the fish, the freshness of the prawn and the delicious filling in the chicken roulade. But the dips were real stars! I was particularly impressed by the ‘ezme’ dip made with sundried tomatoes, onions, peppers and walnuts. This dip is made in many different ways by using tomatoes, but I really liked what the Chef at Zerruco had concocted.

We had barely recovered from the lusciousness of the mezze platter, when we were served Chef’s special pizza (Mushroom and Spinach Pizza), Margarita pizza (pizza shaped like a fish), Verdure Grigliate (tomato, mozzarella, zucchini, green apple, cherry tomato stuffed in a calzone) and Mushroom Ravioli.

The beautifully grilled pizzas looked very inviting. Flavourful herbs like oregano, rosemary along with olive oil and cheese were used optimally. The base was crunchy and the mushrooms and spinach were beautifully seasoned. I loved the fact that they weren’t camouflaged by strong flavours. The integrity of the toppings was maintained and one could clearly taste each and every condiment gone on top of the pizza.

However, the real star was Mushroom Ravioli. Beautiful pasta stuffed with finely chopped mushroom filling served with delectable white sauce and cherry tomatoes. A delicate pasta dish, which looked as pretty as it tasted.

This was followed by Chicken Souvlaki and Kibbey Musakal. The chicken in souvlaki was tender and juicy though it reminded me more of Afghani chicken tikka than a souvlaki. The Kibbey Musakal had a variety of meat served on a bed of rice.

Chicken Souvlaki - Zerruco
Chicken Souvlaki – Zerruco

After such an onslaught of food, we were ready to throw in the towel, when the desserts arrived – Banoffee Pie, Halzelnut Mousse and Baklava. And they looked heavenly and of course, irresistible!

So, we didn’t resist and dug in. They were beautifully plated. I almost lost myself in the deliciousness of the sinful Hazelnut mousse. The dark, strong and rich flavour of chocolate was as good as it gets. The gooeiness of that one spoon full of mousse was delish. It was served with hazelnuts, coated in caramel garnished on top of the whipped cream.

The Banoffee pie also tasted great. Each layer – the pastry, caramel (toffee), bananas and cream – was well defined.

Though the Baklava looked great, I wish they could’ve punched more flavours in it. It lacked the richness of honey and nuts and the delicious slightly salty filo pastry, that holds together the filling of honey, nuts and spices like cinnamon, cardamom etc.

By the time the food fiesta got over, it had already grown dark. The lovely outdoor seating was lit up and felt like a perfect setting for an aloof romantic dinner. It had been a great gourmet fiesta, where everyone from Zerruco, including the Chef and lovely staff, had made sure that we enjoyed our time to the fullest.

After a few selfies and a photo session, we reluctantly took leave from each other, but not without our share of wonderful foodie experiences and a mouthful of flavours – things I always cherish about a heart meal!

Zerruco - Hotel Ashok Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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