Zorita’s Kitchen is a modern Spanish eatery nestled on the North Bank of the River Thames. It offers a glimpse of gastronomic life in the Duero Valley of Spain from where the restaurant sources nearly all of it’s food and wine. It is rooted in a lovely, romantic concept of localism where staff are proud to know their suppliers by first name and talk about the origin of their products, mostly cheeses, meats and wines very confidently. I was a guest at Zorita’s and therefore had the pleasure of trying a number of their wines by the glass to compliment the dishes I was sampling. I’m no wine expert, but I thought that each wine I tried was distinct and delicious. I’ll definitely go back for the ‘Vega de la Reina Sauvingon Blanc’ 2011 (£9.99) and if I feel like splashing out sometime I’ll retry the ‘Hacienda Zorita Magister’ 2009 (£50). You can either buy the wine to take out or if dining in, pay the retail value plus a £7.50 corkage fee. The simple menu focuses on highlighting their good quality produce and lends itself to sharing, sociable dining. A cheese and ham plate bought together a selection of rich and creamy ewe’s cured cheeses and prime cuts of Chorizo, Salchichón, Lomo and Jamón (£12). The delicate and salty lomo was particularly tasty and melted in the mouth. It went beautifully with some artisanal breads and fruity, silky olive oil. The jamón, goats cheese and ripe fig salad (£12.50) was fresh, both sweet and salty and generously portioned- enough for three to share and an open toasted sandwich with what I’m told is award winning soft ewe’s cheese, Torta de Dehesa, and Chorizo (£7.50) would be great for a light lunch dish. The thing that’s holding me back about Zorita’s is the atmosphere. I went on a Thursday night and it was very, very quiet. Two tables slowly trickled in but they were small business groups who had clearly come straight after work and were a little reserved. This of course is fine if that’s the purpose for your visit, but I felt the place didn’t do enough to liven things up. Maybe a switch of lighting, a change of music and ultimately some more footfall might sort this out and help define it as either a bar, restaurant or shop as at the moment it feels a little confused.
The team are currently jazzing up the menu plus they’re converting the upstairs area so that they can conduct wine tasting sessions. Keep up to speed with their developments on their facebook page here.