April 21, 2015

Spring celebrations at Zizzi by Sweet Monday

I’m Kim from fashion and lifestyle blog Sweet Monday! I regularly blog about what I wear, places I eat, recipes I create and countries I’ve travelled.

Spring is all about new beginnings, a fresh start, a ‘Spring Clean’. 2015 has been a year to remember so far for myself. I celebrated the New Year in style, watching the breathtaking fireworks down under, at Sydney Harbour Bridge. That night sparked two months of travel, starting in a camper van traveling up the East Coast of Australia. We visited the white sands of Fraser Island, snorkeled The Great Barrier Reef and sky dived over the crystal clear waters of Cairns. From here we flew to Osaka, where we spent 3 weeks on the Shinkansen bullet trains, visiting Kyoto, Hiroshima, Negano and Tokyo to name but a few. Japan quickly came and went, and then we were on to the next leg of our travels – 3 weeks in China. Here we climbed The Great Wall, got up close to giant pandas, attended a Chinese cooking class, and tasted the delight that is matcha and red bean ice-cream. Finally we ended the trip of a lifetime in the bright lights and busy streets of Hong Kong. It’s safe to say the start of a year couldn’t have been any better! But all great things have to come to an end eventually, and so March saw us return home to the UK.

It wasn’t all gloomy though. Being home meant countless home coming parties, catching up with close friends, and reunions with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents… the list was endlessly fun. We were catapulted back into home life with a bang! It was odd at first, a culture shock from what we had experienced in Australia and North East Asia, but the strange soon became familiar, and we began to adjust to English living once more.

So here we are – April – the month of my 27th birthday, 6 weeks of being back at home and needing to find a new direction. I’m a driven person with a passionate personality, so it wasn’t long before I was hopping on the train to London for job interviews and flat viewings. In what seemed like no time at all, I had landed my dream job of Digital Marketing Assistant at one of my favourite fashion brands. Not having a resignation period meant they wanted me to start the following week! Fantastic news! I couldn’t have asked for anything more, and what better excuse to celebrate.

Having been fans of Zizzi for a while, I knew this would be the place to treat my parents. The service we received on our special night by Agatou at Gloucester Quays was exceptional! She made us feel right at home in our cosy booth and was attentive to our needs. Thank you for suggesting the Long Pomegranate and Raspberry Cosmo, it was delicious!

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We greedily opted for 3 courses, starting with the new Polpette Gigante (a giant beef and pork meatball in a rich chilli sauce, topped with smokey cheese), and the Zizzi mozzarella and pea Arancini balls. I’d had these risotto balls before but couldn’t resist choosing them again, they’re so good!

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For our main course Mum chose the Seabass Cartoccio which tasted incredible. Baked in parchment paper, the fillet of seabass was mouthwateringly succulent. Served with roasted red onions, courgette and peppers, with an Italian naked slaw and Tuscan potatoes on the side. I went for the Strozzapretti Pesto Rosso, a spicy chicken and red pesto pasta dish with spring onions. Whilst my Dad chose one of Zizzi’s signature pizzas – the Rustica. These are hand stretched for a bigger, crispier base and room for more toppings. The Rustica Pulled Pork Napoli certainly didn’t disappoint with a mountain of pulled pork, mozzarella, pepperoni, prosciutto, sunblush tomatoes and smoked garlic oil. If you’re a meat lover this is the pizza for you! I only wish he hadn’t wolfed it down so I could’ve tried a slice. Although in truth, my pasta dish was more than enough!

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After saying that, we couldn’t leave without trying a dessert. So to finish I chose the Seasonal Special – Fig and Frangipane Torte. This warm fig, plum and almond cake, was served with a pistachio gelato and a caramel and hazelnut snap. All my favourite ingredients in one incredible dessert! Mum and Dad shared the Chocolate and Toffee Nut Sundae, which came piled high with chocolate and cream gelato, banana, whipped mascarpone cream, toffee sauce… and (the icing on the cake) caramelized peanuts!

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If all that hasn’t got your taste buds tingling, I don’t know what will! It was the perfect evening to celebrate my new success! Thank you Zizzi for a lovely evening.

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