A word that has recently entered my vocabulary is the much ubiquitous, staycation. Pandemics and petrol shortages have made this more relevant than ever. And so for those of us who feel like getting away and escaping the mundane, without having to travel too far, there is no better place than Zuaya.
Nestled on a lovely little cobbled-stoned side-street off Kensington High Street, this hidden exotic Latin American restaurant is an oasis away from the hustle of one of central London’s busiest thoroughfares.
Whether you are visiting to enjoy their innovative cocktails at the bar or to indulge in a culinary journey of Latin American cuisine which taps into flavours from Brazil, Peru, Mexico and Spain, then prepare yourselves for an epicurean journey of senses, sounds, and tastes.
The verdant decor combined with Latin American vibes will perhaps transport you to your favourite bar on the Avenida Mem de Sá in Rio!
Whether you choose to sit indoors or outdoors on the terrace, the perfect evening starts with a cocktail from the bar. Here the drinks pay homage to the natural ingredients, fruits and flavours of Latin America with classic caipirinhas, mojitos, and piña coladas as well as their own signature cocktails. This is sure to get you into a Latin American mood and prepare your palate for the epicurean journey of flavours that lies ahead.
Zuaya, in the very traditional Latin American way, is based on sharing dishes, tapas style. To share is to care! The menu is divided into eight sections: snacks, ceviche, tiraditos & tartars, salads, tacos, robata grills, stews, and desserts.
We began with crispy, fried Venezuelan cheese bread sticks which most of us might just call the more familiar mozzarella sticks with added flavour and Latin inspired chutney. We followed with a delicious lamb taco that were succulent and full of flavour. The showstopper was the wagyu beef short rib bao which melted in the mouth and was devoured with great relish. A tuna tiradito with yuzo and mango had too much sauce for my liking but was fresh and flavourful. Whilst the grilled octopus with baked sweet potato was another showstopper and cooked to perfection.
From the robata grill we enjoyed Madagascan tiger prawns with sweet potato panko passion fruit and yellow aji which was sublime and on our next visit we will try the much recommended aged Peruvian rib-eye or the whole wild turbot.
To finish, we chose the Dulce de Leche with guava milk ice cream, ricotta and yoghurt - a perfect way to end the evening on a sweet note.
Service was very Latin inspired with friendly staff who genuinely seemed pleased to engage and extoll the virtues of this small piece of Latin America in the heart of Kensington.
35B Kensington High St