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Zafferano

10-15 Lowndes Street, Knightsbridge, London, England, SW1X 9EY, United Kingdom

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Editor's note: in September 2014 Daniele Camera from Alloro took over as head chef at Zafferano.

This is the first meal I have eaten at Zafferano following the departure of its long-term head chef. Pea soup with bacon was enjoyable, though the flavour of the peas could have been deeper (15/20). Spring vegetable salad with bagna cauda was not as carefully presented as it used to be, and I preferred the dressing of previous versions of this dish, though the salad elements were certainly good (15/20). Spaghetti with pork cheek and pecorino was a hearty, simple dish that was very enjoyable, the pasta excellent, the sauce full of flavour (16/20). Tagliatelle with morels was less good; although the morels were fine and the texture of the pasta was excellent, the addition of an asparagus sauce just distracted from the dish and unbalanced the flavours slightly (15/20). Monkfish with walnut and caper sauce was nicely cooked, the seasoning on the bold side (15/20). Iberico pork chop had good flavour, though the mash and spinach with it was quite salty, even for me (15/20). Petit fours actually were better than I recall, with a new pastry chef making some lovely moist rum baba, and soft fruit jellies with plenty of flavour (16/20). 

The loss of the Michelin star seems to have been a self-fulfilling prophesy. I did not see any deterioration in food prior to the loss of the star, but the demotion caused the head chef to leave. The management have responded by increasing the number of covers, packing tables in tighter and reducing seating times e.g. by removing the canapé stage of the meal. This additional pressure on the kitchen seems to have caused a slight slip in standards, though ingredients are of the same level. This is still very good food, and the service is as polished as ever, but the food is not quite as good as it once was.      

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Further reviews: 10th Oct 2020 | 31st Aug 2020 | 20th Dec 2019 | 07th Sep 2016 | 20th Oct 2014 | 24th Sep 2012

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  • Ian Brown

    I have only eaten here once and have to say that it was a bit of a disappointment . What did for me though was the inexcusable behaviour of the sommelier. Having ordered up a decent bottle of red (£85) I watched him open it, sniff the cork and offer me a glass to taste. The wine was viciously corked. He was very unhappy when I pointed out that his behaviour was at best somewhat cynical...

  • alan fowle

    We had booked a table at bar boulud for last saturday a table requested to sit side by side away from the kitchen- sorry neither was available when we arrived so thank you and goodbye - where to go after seeing Jumpy , it was 10.15 - zafferano - charming welcome - and luck would have it one of the best meals we have had here ever lobster and tomato pasta - perfect -cuttlefish , green bean salad a glistening delight , then veal cutlet with polenta , the very best and most tender cutlet, a tiramisu which I had forgotten was always a bit runny so 2/10 and for me a delightful little tart, cervaro della salla wine, and we left with all vestiges of anger over Boulud gone. Thank goodness we came here.

  • Chris

    I wasn't quite as blown away as you, but I still thoroughly enjoyed my lunch here on Sunday. Almost the best thing was the service, so friendly and efficient. But the food was also top-notch. http://cheesenbiscuits.blogspot.com/2008/04/zafferano-belgravia.html

  • John

    I have to say I think perhaps Zafferano overrated on this site - a partiality that catches the eye given Andy's otherwise excellent and even-handed reviews. The recent blog posting reviewing the new menu I think shows what I mean. I've eaten the smoked ricotta dish is very ordinary (dry, uninteresting cheese) and I find it hard to see - when drawing a comparison with the rest of the scoring on this site - how such a dish could conceivably merit a 5/10. To be sure, much of the cooking at Zafferano is very good but I think sometimes it is not judged by the same standards as everything else.

  • Alex Chambers

    Still streets ahead of its nearest London competitors; although Locatelli comes close in cooking terms, the outrageously snooty service there makes one expect the food to be something other than top quality Italian. Pasta is superb, as are cured meats, though one shouldn't overlook the vegetables- some of the best to be had in the UK. All in all this is right up there. Perhaps a couple of notches below Babbo in New York, but outside Italy and staying in Europe, it doesn't get much better than this. Still bloody difficult getting a table though.