TOZI Grand Cafe, which is located in the fashionable art’otel London Battersea Power Station, opened last December, bringing the classic elegance of Europe’s Grand Cafés to Battersea Power Station.
Located right across from the iconic Grade II Power Station, TOZI Grand Cafe is in fact the second restaurant to open in London from the TOZI group, the first being located in Victoria, with a third in Vondelpark, Amsterdam.
The double-height ground floor restaurant is filled with an abundance of natural light during the day, thanks to the floor to ceiling windows, and has been designed by award-winning Spanish artist and designer, Jaime Hayon, founder of Hayon Studio. It is dotted with hanging sculptural light fittings and a number of Hayon’s striking tapestries as part of an exhibition of one-off pieces.
Following on from my visit last December for the restaurant’s launch, I decided to pop along last week to see how it was doing and try one of their Taste of TOZI series which they hold every month.
May’s event was an evening of Wine Pairings & Cicchetti, where we were treated to an explorative journey through wine pairings that started in the north of Italy, before moving south, and finally heading back up to central Italy as the evening drew to a close.
The exciting and complex wines were chosen by Bar Manager Alessandro Manello, while the food pairings were devised by Executive Chef Lee Streeton, starting with a glass of 2017 sparkling Sottoriva col Fondo Agricolo, Malibran from Veneto, as we embarked on our journey. Visually it is slightly cloudy and is a dry minerally wine that is unfiltered and natural, made from indigenous yeast. This very drinkable sparkling wine paired perfectly with our plate of zucchini fritti.
Our next port of call was Sicily in the south where we enjoyed a glass of 2020 white Flaneur, Grillo Terre Siciliane, Pianogrillo which is a new orange wine released by Pianogrilla and comes exclusively from Grillo grapes with a short maceration on the skins for just five days and aged only in stainless steel. It is a wine full of pleasant aromas of spring flowers and white fleshed fruit. It is a fresh and savoury wine with hints of pink grapefruit, dry roses and overripe yellow apples and was paired with a bitter Italian leaf salad and poached pear which set us up nicely for the third wine of the evening from Marche.
This 2020 Evelyn Verdicchio Classico Macerato, is a light orange wine with fermentation taking place on the skins for between 20 to 40 days, followed by aging on the lees for around 12 months. It has a rich aroma and is a full bodied, smooth and balanced wine. It pairs particularly well with salads, fresh cheese, grilled vegetables and pork. We enjoyed it paired with a delicious platter of traditional Italian meat and cantaloupe melon.
Our final pairing of the evening was a fabulous 2020 red wine from the Trentino-Alto Adige region in northern Italy. This Pinot Nero, Colterenzio is a light, juicy and elegant wine. It has a fragrance of redcurrants and black cherry and ripe berries and pairs well with light starters, meaty fish and Peking duck. We had it paired with a plate of aged Italian Parmesan cheese and grapes to round off our journey around Italy and what was a delightful evening.
If you are interested in coming along to the next Taste of TOZI series, it will be on the evening of Tuesday 27th June, starting at 7:30pm and will be an evening of Italian Cocktails & Cicchetti in partnership with Malfy Gin.
You will be transported to the beautiful Amalfi Coast through a selection of delicious cocktail pairings chosen by Bar Manager Alessandro Manello along with some well thought out food pairings once again prepared by Executive Chef Lee Streeton.
To find out more about the Taste of TOZI pairing evenings and to purchase tickets, priced at £50 per person, please visit: www.tozigrandcafe.co.uk.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a former member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of TOZI Grand Cafe