Another night, another evening spent sampling the cuisine on Bradford Road. Now, I’m not one for advocating spending evenings in Batley but Zucchini’s is a noteworthy exception. Connected to the Frontier, or the Batley Variety Club for you more experienced readers, Zucchini has firmly established itself as the go-to eatery “daaarn” Batley. It’s not hard to understand why.
Through the hustle and bustle of the locals and regulars emerges a friendly face of owner Igor Vulic. You may be thinking, “Italian restaurant.. Igor? This can’t be a good start!” but surprisingly the man has inherited mediterranean genes. A friendly hello and a catch up is always on the agenda before heading us over to the bar to moisten our pallet with a couple of swifties.
During this time, it’s most worthwhile taking in the environment. I’d recommend avoiding looking out the windows, nobody likes the Batley Strip (except my mother, go on Mandy!). A much needed refurb has been carried out and spruced up the restaurant, making it an eloquent eatery. Certain evenings have different themes on but on this particular evening, we were treated to a local and talented pianist who sported the bowler hat better than my model counterpart could ever do…
We were guided over to our table, the waiter Fabrizio courteously taking the ladies drinks and using that Italian stallion charm upon seating us. Personally, I struggle with menus. Too much choice, just tell me what I’m eating and I’ll do it! Unfortunately on a Tuesday, there are no set options unlike Monday, Wednesday and Sunday where you may be treated to four courses for a tenner or discounted pizza and pasta. Stereotypical Italians…! I allowed the party to order before pulling Fabrizio to the side and advising me on what to get, to which he ordered the venison off the special board.
As a starter, we got a sharing pizza bread. Now, as a food blogging virgin, I regrettably didn’t take a photo of this so let your imaginations run wild kids… Dough, tomato puree, rocket, shaved parmesan AND … AND oils! Not massage oils, the ones you get from certain foods, presumably olives this time. A sturdy start. Thin, soft with a certain crisp and a good blend of toppings.
The mains arrived shortly after our table was cleared. Three plates were put down leaving my spot naked of food. Everyone else’s were aesthetically pleasing and starting to make my wait untenable. I’m just really impatient with food, it was literally out thirty seconds later. Now I’ve been to Zucchini a fair few times but I honestly came away after eating this saying it’s arguably the tastiest meal I’ve had there. I feel like using the word pulchritude would be fitting. An ugly word (which could relate to the thought of black pudding mash potato) but that is defined as unrivalled beauty.
Again, as I’m new to this blogging thing and the whole idea of taking photos of all my food seems irritating and alien to me, I only managed to get a photo a third of the way through but I think that the imagery still underlines the flavours that appeared. Rare, moist, perfectly cooked venison. Caramelised, tangy red onion. A sweet, fruity red wine sauce. Thick, creamy black pudding (?) mash and sautéed spinach. Of course I had to dabble on the duck that was had and the fillet steak across the table which both were cooked astoundingly well and consistent.
I’m not a pudding man personally and opted out of one, however I’ve got a pic of the chocolate fudge cake which is really soft and, you guessed it, chocolatey. I usually drown myself with an espresso or if I’m fancying it, a Affogato, which blends ice cream and an espresso in one cup. A guilty pleasure I must say.
With the bill paid, we get a chorus of farewells from the staff before retiring for the night. It is worth noting that if it’s your birthday, don’t mention it to the staff unless you want to be embarrassingly lauded round the restaurant (all for a bit of fun of course & if you’re overage, there is a good chance you’ll receive a flaming sambuca for your troubles!). Pierino does a very good job of single handedly bringing the restaurant together to join in in the celebrations and is a great example of how staff should treat their customers.
Overall, I don’t have a bad word to say about Zucchini. The food is excellent and the specials board is constantly changing to adapt to consumer needs. The service is friendly, humorous and surprisingly Italian! For an affordable and fun evening out, whether it be for families or a date night, this warm Italian is certainly worth a dabble.
All details can be found on their website below: