A bite of Argentina at Zoilo

Week before last I did two things I have never done before. I think it is good for me to get out of the comfort zone every now and then and this was great, First i went to my first live football game since I was six years old. After extensive searching and asking around I landed myself with two tickets to Arsenal vs Napoli and off we went to the Emirates stadium. I was worried i might not find the way but it was just like follow the crowd. Once there the smell of cooked sausages, onion and bacon was very heavy. Emirates was very impressive, the view was fantastic and the seats luxuriously comfy for a sports stadium!

01Oct_Emirates

The second thing I did was to go to a new restaurant. A friend of mine recommended that we should go to an Argentinian restaurant. I don’t know much about Argentinian foods beyond steak, chimichurri and empanadas and the menu of Zoilo looked different.

Chimuchurri is a delicious sauce eaten with steak. The original recipe is said to use parsley but coriander can also be used. Empanadas are stuffed bread or pastry, often with beef, sort of like a more delicate version of a pasty. Argentina is a vast country and the food has influences from the Mediterranean but with a high consumption of beef per capita there is no wonder why they cook such great steak.

When I walked in to Zoilo it had a very warm and welcoming atmosphere.

03Oct_Wall

We were instantly greeted and drinks order taken and delicious bread and butter arrived in no time, this was bliss and we had both missed breakfast.

03Oct_Bread&Butter

We ate the bread and waited for the other two and studied the menu whilst waiting for the remaining two. I did see quite a few dishes that I wanted to try and it wasn’t quite clear what was a starter, a main course and a side dish. Once our remaining friends arrived and the waiter explained the menu it all became clear, it was an Argentinian tapas menu. I thought that was brilliant as we could then order lots of dishes and just share. Luckily everyone else agreed so off we went.

We had a couple of empanadas, one with beef and onion and one with spinach, raisins and pine nuts, both delicious but the spinach mix was simply outstanding. The dough was incredibly thin and delicate.

03Oct_Empanadas

We had a duck egg and wild mushroom dish, always a winning combination

03Oct_DuckEgg

My favourite was the grilled octopus with potatoes, leeks and tuna mayo, the soft octopus with the slightly charred flavour made me wish we had ordered more.

03Oct_Octopus

We had to have steak and opted for skirt steak, a cut I haven’t cooked. I am sure I could order it from my butcher but I haven’t for some reason. This was seared on the outside and lovely and pink in the middle.

03Oct_FlankSteak

We had quail, served on a bed of lentils

03Oct_Quail&Lentils

We had chips and tomato and onion salad on the side and the last tapas dish we had was scallops with pork belly an chorizo

03Oct_Scalops

After all the food we were quite full but opted for one dessert and four spoons, how girlie isn’t that?! Saying that we all got a perfect mouthful of milk pudding with a passionfruit sorbet, a lovely combination.

03Oct_MilkCake

I loved the tapas style

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