Sale e Pepe
9-15 Pavilion Road, Knightsbridge, SW1X 0HD
Sale e Pepe is situated along a discreet street, just two minutes’ walk from the hustle and bustle of Harvey Nichols and Harrods in Knightsbridge. This elegant Italian trattoria has been a firm fixture on Pavilion Road for over 40 years, and has gained a loyal following. In fact, the devoted regulars were called by their first names as they arrived. It’s not difficult to see the appeal of this intimate, cosy restaurant. Our warm and inclusive welcome from Toni, the manager who’s been there for nearly four decades, was genuine and we instantly relaxed within the convivial atmosphere of the restaurant. Mario, our entertaining waiter, handed us a glass of chilled Prosecco before he seated us in a snug corner. He appreciates that choosing from the extensive list of rustic Italian staples is no mean feat, and assisted in making those all-important choices. The kitchen team either sources ingredients as locally as possible or imports them directly from Italy. I had my eye on the vast wine list that includes both Italian and French wines. From the antipasti selection, my friend opted for the beautifully soft octopus Carpaccio with avocado – a delicious way to begin. I kicked off with a mozzarella salad, followed by a main dish of stone bass. The fish, complemented by piquant capers, had delicate, crispy skin, and was soft and fresh inside. Across the table, my friend silently tucked into her main dish – a sign she was captivated by the veal escalopes cooked in cream, brandy and mushrooms. For dessert there was creamy panna cotta with berry coulis, and Mario’s recommendation of sublime chocolate and coconut cheesecake, followed by a classic cappuccino. Mario was thoughtful throughout our meal, giving us a break between courses, as the Italians believe a meal is to be slowly savoured. Sale e Pepe serves some of the best Italian cuisine around, and there’s no doubt I’ll be returning to lap up the friendly atmosphere and Italian values. I’ve already earmarked the famous Dover sole and mushroom ravioli to try next time.