You will know from my previous comments that recently I am not a big fan of the coffee chain. I much prefer somewhere that makes good coffee and was offers something a little different in a clean and friendly environment. On a recent visit to London, rather than use the chain cafes in the station, I stumbled across Zakuski and loved the quaint frontage amongst the seemingly residential streets behind Westminster Cathedral.
The staff there were very welcoming and the food was intriguing. There were cakes laid out on a table next to the counter. A chill display with some tasty contents and Priority #1 was a coffee machine and I had a decent black Americano to satisfy my caffeine craving before looking at the food. I am assuming the food on the menu is Russian which is a first for me.
It was too early to try the boiled eggs with caviar and the herring on sourdough bread with horseradish and beetroot but I did try a griddled aubergine parcel – thin slices wrapped round a feta and mint parcel, and a small mushroom pasty. Both were tasty and reasonably priced at around £1.20 each. The aubergine parcel had generous amounts of feta in and the mint cut through it nicely. Apparently it also contained pine nuts to give it a little crunch. The pasty had good pastry and a finely chopped earthy mushroom paste with bags of flavour. The food and two coffees came to £8 with tip which, considering the location, I thought was pretty good. The specials board looked like the reasonable pricing and unusual combinations continued throughout the day. The salmon en croute in particular (OK I am translating) looked delicious.
Zakuski is an unusual find in a Westminster side street (just off and easy to spot from Francis Street, I don’t know the side road’s name) but I would definitely go again, ideally around lunchtime. They only have two tables so I am assuming most of the trade is takeaway.