Savini … bellini

When I visited: September 2015, October 2016, March 2017, April 2017

Location: Milan (within Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping centre); near Piccadilly Circus in London

Rating in the Michelin Guide: Recommended

Dining Owl Hoot rating: 4/5

What to wear: Men – jeans or nice trousers and a shirt; women – jeans and a smart top or a smart dress (could go more casual)

Ambience: Bustling, fun

Course of the meal: Penne pesto (Milan); Classica salad (London)

If I could change one thing: Smaller portions

Review:

Milan:

Savini is a formal-looking but friendly restaurant within a bustling shopping centre in the middle of Milan. You can sit and have a delicious lunch while the shoppers walk around you. I went with my partner Owl for a lunch in Milan and had an excellent example of classic penne pesto with fresh tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella, while my partner Owl had octopus ragout. We had a glass of lovely dry prosecco each and followed the mains with a tarte satin with vanilla ice cream and cream, and a chocolate panna cotta with salted caramel sauce. The desserts were lovely but way too big.

I would definitely recommend Savini for a lunch in between shops or museums.

London:

On my first visit, I visited Savini with my partner Owl for an impromptu afternoon tea in the Piccadilly Circus branch. We didn’t plan to have afternoon tea, in fact we were after something light and savoury before the cinema, but they were only serving afternoon tea at that time (to be fair, it was the middle of the afternoon, not a typical lunchtime).

We enjoyed our tier each of mini sandwiches (salmon, cucumber, chicken), mini cakes including profiteroles, and scones with an abundance of different jams and creams. The tea itself (Long Jing green tea) was really excellent. Overall, the afternoon tea was a bit too big but the quality was good.

On our second visit together, we had a late dinner after a cinema trip (if you visit between 5pm and 7pm, or between 10pm and 11pm, you can have the theatre menu) and had a lovely glass of Prosecco and Chianti each, with starters of Caprese salad and braised veal cheek on Jerusalem artichoke cream and truffle jus (which was not quite truffle-y enough – an unwelcome trend also experienced at Brasserie Gallopin in Paris). We also enjoyed a Piccadilly Salad (red chicory salad with candied pumpkin, chestnuts, goat cheese, honey-vinegar dressing and baby spinach), which was good but a little too sweet, and Savini Guglie pasta with Bolognese veal ragout.

On our most recent visit with some family members, we were again able to turn up without a reservation and I had a delicious Classica salad (which included carrots, sweetcorn, tuna, mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes). This redeemed the salads in my eyes and our whole experience, together with the breadth of great choices on the a la carte menu, led me to upgrade this restaurant to 4 hoots.

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