Zest best for flavoursome filling fare

Zest's Meze Combo (Photos: Chris Etchells)

"Zest: (noun) great enthusiasm and energy" is acknowledged dictionary definition.

So it was with great gusto we visited South Yorkshire's restaurant bearing same animated name.

Zest success on a plate, presented by Mary Boguszewski

We were not disappointed, favourable first impressions confirmed by enthusiastic staff welcome on arrival at the popular Doncaster eatery.

Suitably ensconced, we watched the world go by, reflecting at a window seat on how late September nights are drawing in, which is the law this time of year in this neck of the woods.

Pint of palatable Punk IPA and table water in hand, we considered a full and varied menu before summoning our waitress with user-friendly buzzer button.

Shared starters saw us sample Mozzarella Sticks and Flat Cap Mushrooms (both £5.20).

Zest's High Street welcome

The former comprised fresh cheese coated in crispy breadcrumbs, golden as The Tremeloes' silence, accompanied by home-made tomato dip that, infused with herbs and onions, smacked of Marinara.

The latter grilled savoury serving saw mozzarella again feature alongside blue cheese, similarly smothering said funghi to constitute equally satisfying entrée.

Mains amount to carnival for carnivores so, after selecting then rejecting numerous other meaty options, Peppered Steak Skewer (£13.90) won the day. To the diet's detriment!

This fine fare, freshly prepared and cooked over authentic charcoal fire, was flavoursome. And some.

Zest's Sarma Beyti

Accompanied by meal deal side of choice, potato wedges, crisp as bank notes, these succulent prime steak pieces were delicately seasoned with cracked black pepper.

Chicken Penne Pasta (£10.50) was similarly well received as most palatable medley of mushroom, mixed peppers and sun-dried tomatoes.

Tossed in halep sauce that suggested tones of bouillon, beaten glove garlic and chilli pepper paste, the topping was, quite literally, quality char-grilled chicken fillet strips. And grated halloumi that was, indeed, great.

Afters was a course too far. Or should have been! Of course, the prospect of assembled sweet treats proved way too tempting for two wavering calorie-controllers.

Zest's chocolate mousse

Chocolate Mousse and Sticky Toffee Pudding (both £5.90) proved our dessert downfall.

The former consisted white and milk Galaxy mousse, served with luxury cream wafers and garnished with fruit coulis - the whole combo thankfully feather-light and whipped to a degree dominatrix Lindi St Clair would have been proud of.

The latter proved stodgier sustenance, perfect antidote to autumnal chills, in shape of rich golden toffee and date sponge, topped with sauce, served warm with vanilla ice cream or custard. Or, in this case at our special request, single cream.

The venue, regular home for group celebrations, proffers Yorkshire portions, also offering dinky diners scaled down options.

Publicity promises "A unique experience in cuisine, service and restaurant style. Whether its an intimate meal for two or a vibrant birthday party, you can relax and enjoy freshly cooked and exciting food in stylish surroundings".

Not far off. Fully sated, we slowly rolled mercifully short distance to our waiting vehicle, both fuller than a centipede's sock drawer.

So, if its dining verve and vigour you're after, 19-20 High Street is place to be and 01302 365005 number to contact.

More from Whats on