Japanese and Mediterranean Fusion at the ME Hotel
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Meppon
Address : ME Hotel London, 336-337 Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1HA, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.melondonhotel.com/eat-drink/zela
Opening Times : Mon-Sat: 6.30am-10.30am, 12pm-3pm, 5-11pm; Sun: 7am-11am, 12pm-3pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm
Closest Tube : Temple, Covent Garden
Naturally, ears perk up when you hear that the team behind a restaurant includes starry personages like Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal and Enrique Iglesias. But that‘s not enough in itself to launch a restaurant. ZELA, which touched down at the ME Hotel in Aldwych, is aiming to do something very bold indeed, which is to splice two of the most cherished, simple, pure cuisines into one. Coining the term Meppon, ZELA draws on both Japan and the Mediterranean in an attempt to sate the urbanite‘s palate. Question is, do they pull it off?
The dining room transports you to sunnier climes. It‘s been fitted to resemble a tropical rainforest, teeming with greenery, a veritable forest of potted plants, fronds rising to the rafters. The ceiling and many of the walls are clad in handsome, modernist darkwood panelling. There are blue leather banquettes, swooped-back rattan chairs, Moorish tilework and wooden floors. In the back you‘ll find a sushi counter, cocktail bar and a rather lively DJ station (where the volume is ratcheted up throughout the evening).
Plates are perfect for sharing / good times. We kicked off with some excellent ruby red toro. The tuna belly was wrought kintsugi-style with infinitesimal seams of fat and served alongside pan con tomate. Oxtail bao and pancetta bao showcased top-shelf meat in steamy, molten bread. We were even more impressed by tuna tartar served with fried egg which really showcased the rich, supple nature of the fish. Feelings of satisfaction were amped up with a sumptuous plate of fried rice shot through with truffles, mushrooms and onsen tomago omelette.
To answer the earlier questtion: ZELA does pull it off. We were highly impressed.