Somewhere sometime, a place comes along that leaves the competition quaking in it’s wake. Zizo, a restaurant drawing from all the simple things in life, just does that. A passionate CEO from the heartland of Lebanon, Chef Maroun Chedid who won International Chef of the Year at Toques Blanches in Lyon, France (Capital of Gastronomy) arguably the most prestigious culinary prize out there. the helm and a group of young, energetic and well informed servers make for a smooth sailing.
Spread across two floors with a chic modern design, this place offers ample place for the patrons to enjoy the potpourri, that is Lebanese food.
The Lebanese cuisine draws a lot from the Mediterranean region with an inkling of Italian and French influence, but most of the Lebanese offerings in town fall flat because they commit the ultimate sin, changing the food to the Indian palate. This is where Chef Maroun Chedid stands out. With a strict adherence to the cuisine, he creates a product which has the chance of breaching the stratosphere.
We start off with the coolers: the lemonade and the mulberry juice. The lemonade sets the tone for the meal, the sourness hits the tongue as you feel the inside of your mouth go rubbery. But give it some time and the subtle flavours will start peeking through. The mulberry juice though, is a complete antithesis to the former. It’s sweet, it’s cool and its refreshing, quite unlike the multitude of berry juices that you might have had. It is definitely a faithfully accompaniment on your journey through this cuisine.
Next in line are the dips along with fresh out of the oven pita. The humus is a thick dark concoction of earthy, rustic flavours. The spicy one adds a few more twists for your palate to unravel. The tahini is another dip that impresses you with its strong essence of garlic. Another dip that really catches your senses is (the chilli one). It starts with a sweet taste on the front of the tongue with a superb amount of heat that it emanates that more it progresses through your buccal cavity. A serving of pickles is always necessary for a Lebanese meal to be complete and the fresh veggies soured with vinegar and lime don’t disappoint. They retain their crunch through the meal.
We then move onto the falafel which are almost like manna from heaven. Small, crispy treats of goodness. Fill them in a pita, spread some tahini and the all famous pickles and crunch your way to glory.
The oriental leg of lamb is served with a portion of delicately flavoured rice. The lamb shreds apart on a light touch of the fork and the spices do a war dance on your palate. The accompanying yogurt mellows down the flavours and rounds off the edges.
The sandwiches are a minute hiccup on an otherwise memorable sojourn.
We end our meal with a collection of desserts. The multi layered melt in your mouth baklava, the teddy soft halwa cheesecake and the chocolate rice cake with a brain jolting Turkish coffee and a mildly fragrant, orange flavoured cafe Blanc.
Zizo, with its authentic cuisine, pushes the competition aside as it launches at Connaught place opposite to the PVR Plaza. A definite go to for Lebanese lovers and conn
oisseurs in search of new food.
oisseurs in search of new food.