Jan 23 2015

Zafferano

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When people talk about the best Italian restaurants in London, Zafferano almost always comes up. A lot of people rank Zafferano in their top 3/5 Italian restaurants in London, and in 2009 Tatler ranked it the "Most Consistently Excellent Restaurant.”.

Zafferano opened in 1995 in Belgravia/ Knightsbridge and is located on a relatively quiet street. I have been to Zeffarano a few times over the years, but this was my first visit in the last four years.

During this latest visit, I had quite low expectations when I went there, as I thought it would be overpriced and not very good and very stuck up, being in Knightsbridge, but I was wrong, and I really enjoyed this visit.

Zafferano is quite a big restaurant, but because of the way they have divided the interior space into various dining areas, it feels intimate. There is also a bar where you can enjoy a cocktail, like aperol spritz, before your meal.

I really liked the menu. It had the typical Italian ingredients you would expect to see in an Italian restaurant, but the dishes and the use of these ingredients was extremely creative, and I saw a lot of dishes and combinations which I had not seen before, which got me very excited. Food is not cheap, with starters being £15 on average and main courses £20, but I would actually argue it is worth it, and there are so many other places in London that charge you more and offer you less interesting and worse quality dishes.

As my starter I ordered the Roman chicory salad with anchovy dressing. I spoke to the waiter and he explained that the anchovy dressing would not be too powerful, as I only like the mild anchovy taste, and the Roman chicory would not be too bitter (I was scared of getting the pink bitter chicory which I don’t like at all). We shared this starter with my lunch buddy and it was really nice, just like the waiter had explained, with a pleasant crunchy green chicory and in a very mild but interesting dressing. I had not seen this salad before, and loved it.

My main course (which funnily enough cost £0.50 less than the starter) was Paccheri (fresh pasta) with aubergine, ‘nduja (spicy sausage) and salted ricotta. I loved this pasta dish. Pasta with the spicy sausage and aubergine is not your obvious combination, but it went together so well, it was delicious. The aubergines were soft and melted in your mouth, pasta wonderfully cooked. I am remembering this dish with jealousy, as I want to eat it again. My lunch buddy was not too hungry and ordered the Burrata with artichoke salad as his main course, which looked beautiful, an unusual combination with burrata, but he really enjoyed it, and the artichoke salad looked extremely fresh. I also ordered a side of tomato and onion salad, and although a plain dish, they got it spot on, with the onions a bit soft, tomatoes tasty and the right amount of dressing. So many restaurants get this simple dish so wrong.

I think I have been very wrong not to go to Zafferano for such a long time, and I will make sure to visit it more frequently. I very much enjoyed the Italian meal I had there.

Date: 23/ 01/ 15
Price for 2 people, no alcohol and service charge: £88
Location: Knightsbridge

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4.50

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Zeffarano
15 Lowndes Street SW1X 9EY
London
United Kingdom
GB
Zafferano Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4.5