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Zafferano Italian Restaurant - London, UK

Very good, but just lacking that wow factor.


Restaurant Category : Italian

Zafferano Italian Restaurant - London: Under the yellowish glow of lamp lights, Zafferano, located at 15 Lowndes Street exuded elegance. The neatly trimmed undergrowth that stood at the front, which was surrounded by wrought iron palisades gave the facade a unique touch. The place was shaded with dominantly white and terra cotta colors, complementing a brick wall at the corner. The furnishings were simple, and the decor was minimal; but the whole place had a chic vibe into it.

What makes Zafferano interesting is that the menu changes frequently and is broken into four parts—including salads (insalata), pastas, main dishes and desserts—with each section offering a handful of dishes. When we were there the pasta dishes ranged from broccoli soup with fresh ricotta dumplings, saffron pappardelle with pork cheeks, to potato dumplings with pancetta, broad beans and pecorino cheese. Main dishes went form Roasted corn fed chicken with lemon and capers to Roasted Icelandic cod with chickpeas and salsa verde. Another feature of the menu is that it is set up in such a way that customers can order two courses for £34.50, three courses for £44.50, and four courses for £49.50. However, it should be noted that the “good” dishes cost extra supplements.

As appetizers, we started off with the seared scallops glazed in saffron vinaigrette and sided with “barba di frait, ” which was a green vegetable also known as the Monk’s Beard. It had a supplement of £7.00. The scallops were simple but great.

Up next was our pasta. I had a saffron pappardelle with pork cheeks, while my partner had flat spaghetti with lobster, fresh tomato and sweet chili; which cost another £7.00 supplement. The pork cheeks were scrumptious, but the lobster spaghetti was just average. Having to pay an additional $15.00 for the two pasta dishes, I was expecting much more.

For the main course—which also cost another £10.00 supplement—we had the rib of beef with bone marrow and Tropea onions, which was good for two people. It was tender, flavorful and presented in a nice way, but still it did not live up to the steep price tag.

Finally, for dessert we had the coconut sorbet with fresh coconut drenched in chocolate sauce, and fresh orange with mandarin sorbet. Both desserts were visually appealing, but unfortunately, they both fell flat.
For a relaxing conversation, we topped the dinner off by choosing to order the stunning 2007 Il Borro wine from their extensive wine list.

I am happy we’ve tried Zafferano, but I do not foresee a return visit. The plating was quite satisfactory; and the service was adequate, yet it was still not up to par with a restaurant of such caliber.

Zafferano is a fairly large restaurant, yet when we were there, the place was cramped to a point that it took away the pleasure of the dining experience. Reservations are a must, and if they suggest a seat by the bar, say no.

What I liked: Diverse menu

What I didn’t like: Average and overpriced food; Cramped space

Rating: Between Bombastic and Not

Address and Telephone Number:
15 Lowndes Street
Tel 020 7235 5800

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