Restaurant Review: Zafferano, Belgravia in London
Named after the spice saffron, Zafferano, which opened in 1995, provides guests with a dining experience which is second to none. Nestled in the centre of Belgravia, this Italian fine dining restaurant offers an exquisite menu which will excite and thrill your taste buds.
The dimmed lighting provides a relaxed yet sophisticated environment. Sections of exposed brickwork on the walls contrast well with the striped chairs and modern furniture. The décor provides black and white framed pictures on the wall, fresh flowers in vases scattered around the interior and wide hardwood flooring, giving a classy and stylish setting. An enormous wine bottle greets visitors to the bar.
In addition to the bar seating and table seating, they also offer the chance to hire out sections of either the restaurant or separate rooms for private parties and functions.
Before our food arrived we enjoyed a deliciously sweet and smooth Bellini on a high chair at their central, open plan bar before being shown to our table. Their Group Operations Director Giorgio Abis then ensured we were treated to the best on their menu: For starters we enjoyed their Scrambled Eggs with Winter Black Truffle which were unbelievably good. The richness of the truffles perfectly complimented the light and fluffy texture of the scrambled eggs. Such a simple dish was instantaneously transformed with the addition of the extravagant black truffles. We also sampled the Octopus Salad with Potato Veloute. The meaty octopus pieces had a strong, but not overpowering flavour and the generous helping of cress garnish contrasted well with the octopus flavour. With our starters we enjoyed a glass of the 2012 Lugana Riserva (dry wine).
From their Primi Piatti menu we had the Linguine with Lobster, Chilli and Fresh Tomato which was delicious. The lobster chunks were substantial and delectable. The tomato sauce was complimented with the chilli flavouring, which was perfectly balanced to bring out the rich chilli flavour without it being overwhelming. We also enjoyed their Winter Black Truffle Risotto. The truffles were deliciously rich and went superbly with the creamy mushroom risotto. Again, the truffles added an exquisite element to an already amazing meal. Our wine for this course was a glass of the 2014 Tenuta Argentiera, Poggio Ai Ginepri.
For the main course I sampled their Roasted Beef Fillet with Spinach and Sautéed Mushrooms. The beef was tender and juicy, served on a bed of mushrooms and accompanied with a rich gravy that brought out the full flavours of the meat. The bitterness of the spinach was apparent and the mushrooms perfectly cooked. A side order of fried courgette chips added to the feast of flavours: salted and incredibly light and fluffy. My dining partner opted for the Oven-roasted Guinea Fowl with Chestnut Purée and Salsify. I’m told the guinea fowl was delicious: succulent and tender and the chestnut purée and salsify complimented it wonderfully. With our main course we enjoyed a glass of the 2012 Antinori Tignanello, Toscana. A rich, fruity flavour with woody and cherry undertones. Each wine was perfectly matched to the course and we were provided with a fascinating history from the expert sommelier for each selection.
After the many varied and luscious flavours from the previous courses, the chefs still amazed us with our dessert. We both opted for the Dark Chocolate Sphere and Raspberries. Served on a biscotti biscuit and raspberry base, the waiter expertly poured a jug of warm chocolate all over the dark chocolate sphere, causing it to melt and revealing the raspberry and vanilla ice cream centre. The bitter chocolate sauce perfectly complimented the sweetness of the multi flavour ice cream. A truly sensational dessert!
We were also treated to a selection of the speciality creations of their pastry chef. Among these were exquisite sweet lollipops, although the child-like version of ‘lollipop’ does not compare to what we were presented with. Three different flavoured spheres served on a dainty wooden baton was the perfect end to an exceptional meal. The first, a rich and smooth raspberry centre with a dark chocolate encasing, dipped in paprika to wonderfully contrast the dark chocolate. Second, a mango and white chocolate lollipop, with a surprise hint of spice. A fruity and fresh mango filling encased in a dark chocolate shell, together with a layer of white chocolate. A surprise half nut greeted you when you got to the centre. The third had a creamy and smooth dark chocolate fondue centre with a crunchy outer shell. Absolutely outstanding! I cannot think of a way to improve upon these sweet delights, except to simply serve up more.
Throughout our meal, we were joined by the PR Manager from Zapper, (on twitter @zapper_uk) a new online app which provides a quick and easy way to settle a bill. For restaurants such as Zafferano which have signed up to this app, your bill contains a QR code which once scanned via your smart phone allows you to effortlessly pay for your meal. This includes options to split the bill between your party; add a tip and allows different payment methods. First time users enjoy money off their bill and regular users are sent vouchers and auto-prompt ideas for their next dining out experience.
Giorgio and his team had surpassed every expectation we had. Each and every course provided an array of flavours which were outstanding. Every item we sampled was thoughtfully planned and show-cased the talents of their team of chefs. The perfect testament to the fine food and ingredients was that even after the copious amount we had consumed, we were not left with that unwelcome ‘heavy on the stomach’ feeling. Each course was absolutely delicious, with a variety of flavours and a wine to match. A truly enjoyable fine dining experience.
Address: 15 Lowndes St, London SW1X 9EY / 020 7235 5800