The Zizzi in Ocean Terminal, I think, is an important restaurant in the history of the shopping centre. It was the first reason to visit Ocean Terminal if you wanted to have a sit down meal. The other eateries in the shopping centre, before Zizzi arrived, had not quite cracked it and failed to satisfy. Thankfully, the food and drink experience at Ocean Terminal has greatly improved since then.
Zizzi is a chain but the Ocean Terminal branch is noteworthy for two reasons. Firstly, as someone who has been to dinner there numerous times over the years I recognise familiar faces from all that time. A restaurant with experienced staff is always better than one with too many fresh faces. Secondly, despite being a chain the Zizzi in Ocean Terminal is happy enough to tweak the food to help with allergies. For example, if you want a pasta dish without a creamy sauce then that’s almost always possible and the experienced staff may well have suggestions for an alternative sauce if they fear your food will be too dry without something.
The strength of Ocean Terminal’s location is best experienced at Zizzi. The restaurant has tables along the large glass window/wall so you can eat and look out over the port. I’ve eaten at Zizzi while boats have sailed by, while a helicopter (silently) landed on a deck and often while gulls have played chase in the sky or landed on the patio outside. If you’re brave and it is summer you can even eat outside at Zizzi.
In comparison to the other restaurants in Ocean Terminal, Zizzi is your safest bet for a quick and trouble free service. It is my recommendation for a meal before a movie if you do not have much time. That said; they do not have a fast lunch service.
The menu will always be a struggle with a restaurant chain. Over the years, Zizzi have done what they can to keep theirs fresh but faithful. They have to work with food suppliers that can coordinate with a national chain and yet provide fresh food to the locations. The recent addition is a tapas menu which illustrates Zizzi doing what they can to keep up, is safely in the okay range and I’ll have again even though it failed to impress. The main menu is Italian in style, pizza – including calzone and that’s worth noting as there are few places you can order calzone in Edinburgh – pasta, salads and some other distractions.
Zizzi can cope with large groups of people. The standard restaurant layout includes tables for parties over six in size and tables are easily pushed together to accommodate more. There is not an overabundance of floor space but the restaurant easily copes with prams, push chairs and wheelchairs. There is also a ramp down from the Ocean Terminal shopping level to the restaurant or patio if the short flight of steps is out of the question.
Haven eaten in a few Zizzis across the United Kingdom I can safely say that the Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh, branch is my favourite. You can find other Zizzis that score higher, from time to time, with their food but this branch has the best service.