Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Zucchini Pasta Bar, Newcastle restaurant review

Despite being a rubbish Geordie (the only word which I pronounce with any form of accent is Newcastle), my childhood city is a place that I hold dear more than almost anywhere else.

A sign of this that I have three restaurant to-do-lists saved on my laptop - Newcastle, Cardiff and London.

So, whenever I make the bi-annual pilgrimage back up North I’m always itching to tick a few places off it.

Zucchini has been on my to visit list for ages.

This modern pasta bar is located in Newcastle’s monolithic Swan House roundabout. Its bright and clean interior is a world of calm away from the congested traffic just outside. 

Zucchini prides itself on its golden hand rolled pasta which is made fresh every day. It’s incorporated into well-priced modern flavour combinations such as pappardelle with spicy sausage and orange ragu (£7.50) and open lasagne of smoked salmon, zucchini and leek (£9).

There’s a lot of fun to be had elsewhere on the menu with sides like twice fried truffle potatoes with parmesan and booze options including an amaretto and Italian cherry slushy (£5). 

As my meal was as a pitstop between boozing at By The River Co and Wylam Brewery, I was pleased to load up on carbs.

There’s nowhere to hide with a plate of cacio e pepe (£7.50) and Zucchini’s was excellent. Thin fronds of al dente taglierini pasta were coated in a silky rich cheesy emulsion with a good hit of warming black pepper. A liberal grating of parmesan left no doubt about this dish's cheesy credentials. 

Resisting the urge to order the slow cooked beef shin pappardelle, I instead went for the pappardelle chicken amatriciana (£8.50). Thinly rolled slippery pasta was coated in rich tomato sauce twanged with chilli. The sauce was dotted with tender chicken thigh and uber crisp nuggets of salty pancetta and chicken which brought a scratching vibe to proceedings. Finally, a runny fried egg added even more filth to this lovely plate of comfort food. 

Superb zucchini fries (£3) were thin, super crisp and salty shoestrings of lightly battered vegetable served with a creamy gorgonzola dip which honked of savoury cheese. 

An Italian cherry sorbet (£4) was the only average element of the meal. Whilst it had a good hit of fruit and a nice thick texture, it was a bit too sweet even for me.

I had a really tasty meal at Zucchini. Their hearty dishes of homemade pasta are delicious and well priced.

The Details:

Address -  Zucchini, 55 Degrees North, Pilgrim St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6BL

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