Jun 17 2013


Zoilo is an Argentinian restaurant in Marylebone. Before this actual dinner, I had tried to go there twice before, but something always happened and I had to cancel, but I finally managed to make it there with my friend Fehim for a Tuesday dinner. Zoilo is located just north of Selfridges and serves Argentinian food in small plates that you share. I love Argentinian food after having been to Argentina 2 years ago, and so I was very keen to go to Zoilo as I don’t really know many good Argentinian restaurants in London. Zoilo is the second restaurant opened by the “Zoilo catering” group that started operating in 2007 and initially was an Argentinian food catering company, and the first restaurant they opened was Casa Malevo in 2010, just off Edgware road, where apparently Tony Blair goes, and that I am super keen to visit as I have heard great things about.

Zoilo occupies 2 floors and I was sitting on the ground (top) floor where you can either sit by a table (which I did not want to do as I thought it was a bit boring), or you can sit by the bar, which has very cool light bulb type of lamps hanging over it. In the basement (lower floor) there is an open kitchen and you can just sit by the bar looking at chefs cooking, which is the most interesting bit of the restaurant in my view, but as downstairs was empty we did not want to sit there

The menu is divided into small snacks, empanadas (the Argentinian classic pastries filled with something) and main courses. From the snack section I was boring and ordered “bread and butter” whilst I was waiting for my friend Fehim who was 15min late, and I have to say for £1.95 this was great value and also contained cheese bread, onion bread as well as other types of bread. But the rest of the dishes in the snacks section are more adventurous like “Chicken, “matambre”, quail eggs, green peas”, which I did not order unfortunately. I also ordered a Virgin Mary whilst I was snacking on bread, and they did not give me a lot, the glass was quite small, but this was one of the nicest Virgin Mary’s in London.

I love empanadas, and the previous Saturday had cooked some for lunch for me and my boyfriend and I was very keen to compare my own empanadas with the ones of Zoilo. The typical empanadas have beef, olives and egg with various spices baked into puff pastry, but the ones at Zoilo were different and not the typical kind. You could select from 3 types and we chose 2 of these, “hand cut beef, potato and onion” empanada and “chicken, grilled peppers and cumin” one. I have to say I do like the taste of the traditional empanada more, the one that I cooked, and also the ones I have had in Argentina, so I was a bit disappointed they did not have these, but the ones we had were good, but just not authentic enough for me.

We ordered three dishes from the main section, “crab on toast, grilled fennel and aioli”, “grilled octopus, potatoes, leeks, tuna and mayo” and “ojo de fife with chimichurry”. I did like the crab dish and the octopus dish, both came on small plates, very cute looking, and tasted good, but they were good not great dishes. Fehim likes his meat well done in contrast to me, but I was happy to compromise and our beef came well done, and I am not sure whether it is because it was well done or because it was not great quality beef, but it did not taste of much. It just felt dry and hard to chew, and not great. The chimmichurri sauce was pleasant, but as I had cooked a chimmichurri sauce at home the weekend before, and I thought mine was much nicer, I was not too keen on this one. The tomato and onion salad that we ordered as a side to the beef had no seasoning and I can’t eat tomatoes without salt and pepper, but as I could not find any seasoning around on the table, I had to settle for this. We also ordered a potato and artichoke gratin as a side and that was delicious, really enjoyed it.

I had a good not a great meal at Zoilo and I wish it was more authentic, as I do like Argentinian food and for me it felt like Zoilo’s tapas were too European. Maybe I should forget this is Argentinian and just compare Zoilo to other tapas places in London, and if I do that it was a good tapas restaurant but not one that stood out for me.

Date: 17/06/13
Location: Bond Street
Price for 2 people, no alcohol and service charge: £75.55

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Zoilo London
United Kingdom
Zoilo Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 2.5