Zucca Greek Mezze

Zucca Greek Mezze is located at Shop 5, Marina Pier, Holdfast Shores at Glenelg. Although this restaurant has been around for years we haven't had the opportunity to dine here until it was suggested by fellow blogger Adelaide Food Central. Being on the Marina, you would expect on a beautiful summers day that the view of the ocean would be spectacular when seated in the back area like we were for this occasion.  At night of course you don't get much of the sea view but at least the dining area feels nice and cosy with its dimmed lighting which is more suited for intimate diners rather than larger groups.The decor is certainly in line with the Greek feel of brown wooden chairs and blue water glasses to help set the tone.

Our first interaction with the staff was from the head waiter and he was gracious enough to help us decide the best option for our food choices. We decided on the Mezze Package of 7 courses for 4 people where we decided to choose 6 savoury mezze plates and 1 dessert option. Once again the head waiter was kind enough to explain each dish and what to expect of each plate which helped make our choices. We finally decided on the "SA Floured and Fried Calamari", the "Kataifi Wrapped Spencer Gulf Prawns with Lima Beans Salsa and Citrus Mayonnaise", the "12 Hour Cooked Barossa Suckling Pig Yiros with Apple, Radish Salata and Crackle", "Char-grilled Chicken Souvlaki with Couscous, Salata and Tzatziki", the "Twice Baked Duck with Pourel Patates, Spinach and Metaxa Salsa", the "9 Score Marbled Porterhouse with Village Patates" and for dessert a half serve of "Loukoumades with warm honey syrup" and the half serve of "Mezze Plate of a selection of Homemade Desserts". We just had to try it all!

The first two dishes to be served were the calamari and the prawns. The calamari were well cooked with a lovely soft tender texture with a lovely crispy outer from the flour coating. We all thought they were delicious. The prawns were also of a high quality. The prawns were also well cooked and had a lovely crispy texture from the kataifi. The lima beans salad with its zesty citrus mayonnaise set off this dish perfectly. So far we were very impressed.

It was after these dishes were served that our wonderful mood was shattered. An old man who we aren't sure what his position is with the restaurant came to our table to rudely scold us for taking photos with flash. Whilst we understand that some people may not be tolerant to food photography, there is a professional way to handle any situation and unfortunately this guy became a rude grumpy old man and handled the situation very badly. We were "told off" like naughty little school children at the back of the bus. As grown adults we were stunned and felt humiliated. We weren't given an opportunity to explain our actions and he rudely walked off leaving us to sit there in silent shock just staring at each other. This certainly changed the vibe and our appetite. We did pass on our concerns to the Manager and to the head waiter. We must commend the professional and apologetic nature of the head waiter who handled the situation very well and tried to salvage a very poor situation.

Trying to remain focused and unbiased about the remaining dishes was hard on the night. Our main objective is to write an honest and accurate review according to our experience and not get too personal.

The next two dishes to be served were the Chicken Souvlaki and Zucca's signature dish of the Suckling Pig. The chicken was tender and well cooked with its char-grilled flavours. Some in the group felt it was a bit bland but the chicken did have an authentic Greek flavour none the less. Next was the Suckling Pig. You could tell it was slow cooked for 12 hours as it was very tender and did melt in the mouth but for a signature dish we felt it lacked flavours. A very bland dish that needed something to give it that oomph. The apple radish salata was more inviting than the pork.

After the disappointment of the previous dishes we were hoping the last two would bring the food experience back to a higher level. The duck and the porterhouse steak were the last mains to be served. Firstly the porterhouse steak was cooked nicely and was very tender and the patates (potatoes) tasted very traditional and the feta gave them a lovely zing. More feta would have really set this dish off nicely.

The highlight dish of the night was the duck. We were all in agreement that this dish was amazing. The beautiful crispy outer and the soft tender duck meat just matched perfectly with the Metaxa (Greek brandy) salsa. You just couldn't fault this dish at all. This definitely was the standout dish.

To finish off this dining experience was the large variety of dessert options. The Loukoumades, although a bit small, were cooked perfectly - light airy and crispy on the outside. The honey syrup was not too sweet but just right. Perhaps more of a drizzle over the top would have made them perfect. The chocolate dip was not necessary in our opinion.

The dessert mezze platter consisted of many cakes and biscuits. First was the Turkish Delight which was nice. It was firm yet soft and not too chewy. The Head Waiter tells us it is made in house. The Kourabiethe (Greek shortbread biscuit sprinkled with icing sugar) was just ok. It is hard to judge when you think your Mum makes the best Kourbiethes but trying to be unbiased - these were nice but just a bit to hard and crumbly to what we are used to. The Kataifi was delicious. The layers of cream, custard and kataifi were a perfect blend. Not overly sweet but sweet enough and the sprinkle of nuts gave it a lovely crunch. This tasted just like how Yiayia (Grandma) would make it. The Baklava Roll was also nice having enough syrup to keep it moist without affecting the crunch of the filo pastry. The only disappointment was the Orange Semolina Cake. This traditional cake has to be moist and gushing with syrup throughout. Not this one; it was dry and crumbly with only a hint of syrup. It made us assume that it was probably a few days older than it should be.

It's really difficult to sum up Zucca as a dining experience. We initially didn't have high expectations, yet after the first two dishes we were starting to reach a high to only be abruptly slapped in the face with the scolding from the grumpy old man. When you pay $49.00 per person for a mezze package, $60 for a bottle of wine (this being one of the cheaper options) plus coffee and tea or any other drinks you would want, the experience has to be the complete package - great food, great ambience and definitely great service. Yes, the food was of a good standard but when you don't match the service from ALL the staff with your high prices there is no incentive to return - especially with so many new amazing restaurants in Adelaide. 

(P) Palatable

SA floured and fried Calamari.

Kataifi wrapped Spencer Gulf prawns with lima beans salsa ans citrus mayonnaise.

Char-grilled chicken souvlaki with coucous, salata and tzatziki.

12 Hour cooked Barossa suckling pig yiros with apple, radish salata and crackle.

9 Score marbled porterhouse with village patates.

Twice baked duck with pourel patates, spinach and Metaxa salsa.

Loukoumades with chocolate dipping sauce.

From left to right - Bakalava, Orange Semolina Cake, Kataifi, Kourabiethe and Turkish Delight.





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