Zoilo, Cocina Argentina recently celebrated its 5th birthday with a meeting of two incredible chefs, so we just had to accept the invitation to pop along to help with the celebrations.
Zoilo joined forces with Michelin-starred Peruvian restaurant Lima and cooked up a four-course Argentine and Peruvian feast. The evening saw Zoilo’s chef patron, Diego Jacquet, and Lima’s Robert Ortiz team up to cook two courses each.
The Bearded one and I took our seats at the bar and contemplated the culinary delights on their way. The restaurant was warm and cosy, with the bar walls lined with a superb choice of both red and white wines and four special plates proudly displaying their rosettes. It had only taken a year for Zoilo to receive its first Rosette.
The food started to arrive: empanada, black pudding croquettes, with squid and tomato jam and Cornish crab. The black pudding was cooked to perfection resulting in delightful taste and texture. The Cornish crab was so delicious, our neighbours at the bar went to extreme measures to devour every morsel. These are regular dishes on the Zoilo menu and I can understand why.
The Lamb sweetbreads by Diego Jacquet were next. Their unique flavours and textures are not for everyone, but our plates were cleaned. Their richness was balanced perfectly with yogurt and bergamot honey, we enjoyed every bite and the addition of the nasturtium leaves added a snap of freshness.
The prize for the most colourful dish of the night certainly goes to Robert Ortiz for his Sea Bass. His marrying of sublime textures and flavours left us excited and elated and a teaspoon was required so that no tigers milk was wasted.
The duck was tender, succulent and full of the flavour. The grilled argentine flank left The Bearded One emotional with delight as Diego Jacquet explained to us his new-found love of Hispi cabbage and the two-year process applied to the Oxtail & oyster mayo.
Finally, on to dessert, a light velvety Amazonian 75% chocolate mousse that left you delighted and satisfied, with the colourful bursts of subtle saltiness and crunch being the perfect accompaniment.
It was the quintessential finale to the dinner.
Thank you to Kate and Holly for the invitation.
Thank you to the chefs for the fantastic experience.
Thank you to Roberto, David and their team for making us feel so spoilt.
Restaurant Editor, Majella O’Connell