Not many people would have noticed a little Russian restaurant in the middle of Soho. Zima is literally on Frith Street, next to the likes of Ronnie Scott’s and Hooper’s. This low key establishment offers up some of the most exciting Russian street foods and homemade vodkas. Its definitely not your usual type of cuisine but something that is well worth considering when you are next heading out for a meal. This again is completely different to my last food post on Tandoor Chop House!
The restaurant itself is mainly on the ground floor with great art by some Russian artists on the wall. The place is very well decorated and has this nice homey/comfortable feel to it, with the good looking bar.
With a sharing mentality, the menu has lots of little dishes from dumplings and soups to meatier dishes. The Pan Fried Sturgeon Fillet was an interesting fish dish that came with this delicious bits of burnt cauliflower and a some caviar sauce. The sturgeon was placed nicely on the top, with red tomatoes and vegetables dotted around the plate underneath. The caviar is neatly placed on the fish and the bottom of the dish is soaked with this super creamy and comforting sauce.
When you think of a typical beef stroganoff you probably think long and thin chunks of beef cooked with some sauce. At Zima, the Short Rib Beef Stroganoff is very different and is one bulky chunk of meat. Instead of new potatoes or buckwheat the beef was sitting on top of some burnt cauliflower with sprinkles of herbs and I think cheese. The meat was slow cooked and falls apart with a stringy texture. The choice of the cauliflower was definitely the right one as it compliments the beef really well with the creamy sauce. A nice simple but delicious dish!
The Honey Cake was literally layers of fluffiness – light and delicious. Very much like the Japanese version, sweet and yum!
An interesting dessert I have never tried before was the Chocolate Salami. Essentially slices of a large salami of cookie dough, chocolate and raisins. It has got quite a hard texture but it is very chocolaty and fruity. There was a lot to get through so eat slowly and share!
It was a nice pleasant surprise to try out their homemade vodka infusions. Vodka has a perception of something you down quickly as a shot. But this is so different. You sip it slowly and really savior the tastes. We tried either cranberry or rasberry and also the strawberry and basil. All very tasty, fruity and herbal! Don’t go for the 50ml, it is surprisingly light and quick to sip through!
All in All
Russian street food was not on my list of foods to try but the food at Zima was a really nice surprise and very delicious. The decor is comfortable and relaxing and the infused vodkas were yum. I will be back for their Saturday night live DJs and heading downstairs for their bar for more of that vodka!
Also published on Medium.