Great Places to Eat in Scotland
- Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Ocean Terminal, Leith
When the vast cruise ship style shopping mall opened at Ocean Terminal, complete with a multi-screen Ster cinema complex and various coffee shops, cafes and restaurants, great attention and banging of drums was given to the first Terence Conran restaurant in Scotland - Zinc (which has since closed).
There was always space and a need for an alternative restaurant to offer shoppers and cinema-goers more choice. The great news is that Zizzi (telephone 0131 555 1155), a fabulous bright and sunny Italian pizzeria and pasta house has just opened. Situated on the first floor beside the Ocean Bar, this has superb views over the harbour and, if you are lucky, you might be able to have a table right up at the window. However in this spacious restaurant on different levels, there is a good view from every table.
The staff are young and friendly and very enthusiastic. We were shown to a table down on the front row, with an open view out to sea. Zizzi was fairly busy when we arrived at about 8pm and soon began filling up quickly, perhaps with people arriving after a film. No wonder as the menu is terrific, something for everyone I would surmise, whatever your taste in Italian food.
Starters include Crostini al tonno, a mix of tuna with beans, onions and celery, Bruschetta, Minestrone soup, and various salads. Rather than a filling starter we shared a huge plate of hot Ciabatta bread, served with a selection of oils, and a bowl of marinated olives. My partner then chose from a list of 15 pizzas, Pizza Fiorentina, filled with spinach, olives, mozzarella and egg, which was of a huge diameter and freshly baked in the Zizzi oven. I selected the Fusilli alla genovese, with roasted peppers, grilled aubergines and mushrooms in a pesto sauce. This was a giant bowl of pasta, the vegetables beautifully cooked and presented. We also shared a Rucola e parmigiana salad - fresh, crisp and peppery rocket leaves with parmesan and drenched in olive oil.
Everything is freshly prepared with a real home-made quality and served in huge portions, so come very hungry. We could not manage a pudding but a delightful choice of luscious desserts and ice-creams is on the menu.
We finished our bottle of ruby red fruity Pinotage along with an espresso - the strongest I have ever tasted - which soon aided the digestion.
Contact Zizzi Edinburgh Web site for current menu and prices.
A deliciously perfect meal, wonderful sea-side setting, and a casual, lively atmosphere.
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