Italian cuisine

Enfield Expedition | A taste of modern Italian cuisine

Neil Littman continues his tour of the best restaurants in Enfield with a stop at Zaza

Conchigioni pollo

Friends and neighbors who have seen my reviews appear in the Dispatch asked me a few questions about my experiences and I’m happy to dispel a few myths.

I pay for the meals and, if I go in company, we share the bill; I don’t tell restaurants why I’m there, although I can later when I give them a few free copies of the newspaper. Feedback is generally positive and I only write about places I like.

I’ve also been asked why Enfield doesn’t have destination restaurants run by celebrity chefs. I guess it’s just due to food trends. I grew up in Hackney and if you had told me back then that there would be some of the best and most innovative dining experiences I would have laughed.

But personally I think we have some great places on our doorstep in Enfield. Zaza is one of those who simply succeeds. It’s located on the corner of Chase Side and Holtwhites Hill and although it’s technically part of a “chain”, their formula, if they have one, is made with good quality ingredients sourced directly from Italy.

We ordered two wines by the glass; a Sauvugnon blanc and Nero D’avola, both served chilled. To start, we had a goat cheese pie and a mezzaluna croccante; pastry shells filled with melting mozzarella and aged Parmesan cheese, sprinkled with crispy rosemary and served with a chili garlic mayonnaise dip. I may have shared one with my table mate reluctantly. They were very good and I narrowly avoided eating them all before taking a picture of them.

Our main courses were both chicken dishes. Pollo picante, a chicken breast in a spicy tomato sauce, and conchigioni pollo, pasta shells stuffed with minced chicken and herbs, served with arugula and grated parmesan. The portions were good and the service was very efficient, although I don’t know how many times it is advisable to ask if “everything was ok”!

I recommend Zaza as a good place to go for a taste of modern Italian cuisine. Prices are moderate; our bill came to £71 including service. There are also lunch deals and a special ‘Classic Italy’ meal on Tuesday evenings at £28.90 pp for two courses, including a bottle of wine per person.

Weekend booking is essential. On the Saturday we went, Zaza only offered two hour slots, which didn’t seem like enough for a leisurely three course meal. We skipped desserts and had cappuccinos instead but as compensation I took a picture of the dessert menu and what I saw passing by our table looked good so another visit seems necessary.

Zaza at 88-90 Chase Side, Enfield EN2 6NX, is open from noon until late daily. To book:
0208 363 6974
E-mail [email protected]