Sale e Pepe
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SquareMeal Review of Sale e Pepe

Fondly recalled by all who dine here, Sale e Pepe is a Knightsbridge institution that’s been serving Italian favourites in the shadow of Harrods for more than three decades. The warmly decorated dining room is an inviting prospect for passing shoppers with its cream tiled floors, mirrors aplenty & red-brick walls hung with colourful varnished plates & rustic canvases of fruit – as are the restaurant’s competitive fixed-priced deals (£19/23 for two/three courses). The kitchen turns out the full gamut of tried-&-tested trattoria staples, from beef carpaccio with rocket & parmesan or mozzarella en carrozza to seafood risotto or veal chops with butter & rosemary, as well as daily specials. Wines cover every region of Italy, while stalwart manager Tony Corricelli & his front-of-house team provide charming service.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Italian
Special Features
Wheelchair access
Food Hygiene Rating

Location for Sale e Pepe

9-15 Pavilion Road, London, SW1X 0HD

020 7235 0098

Website

Opening Times

Mon-Sun 12N-11.30pm

Reviews of Sale e Pepe

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7 Reviews 
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Service
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Value

AmyM

The fat lady has definitely sung
05 March 2019  

Sale e Pepe has been a Knightsbridge institution, but all good things come to an end.  Never has this been one of my favourite restaurants, but is almost the only one that my parents ever go to, our latest meal has finally driven them away.

Let’s start with the physical element.  The tables are so cramped that if you are slightly overweight you will have trouble squeezing in and god forbid you are on a date.  I was practically sitting in my neighbour’s lap.  Add to that, the room amplifies every noise and so inevitably one competes to be heard more and more loudly, leading to a deafening cacophony and a difficult dinner conversation.

And so, to the meal.  The junior waiter was rude and slapdash.  He interrupted our conversation to shove a basket of bread in our faces and when we requested for him to tell us what was on offer, he looked positively put out.  He returned a few minutes later with “salmon crostini”, a perfunctory announcement, followed by him shoving wine glasses and side plates out of the way (into our laps) to put it down.  In the end, I balanced the plate on my nose to make space.  As much as it was a nice amuse bouche, it was soured by the awful delivery.

The starters were lovely.  Very fresh crab coupled with creamy avocado and an accommodation for my uncle to have arrabiata to begin.  Sadly, the mains that followed were underwhelming and, in my case, inedible.  I ordered the oricchette with Italian sausage and broccoli with sun dried tomatoes, filled with the promise of a rich tomato sauce and a delicious meaty treat.  The pasta was floury and doughy and swimming in what appeared to be a cream sauce – I am allergic to dairy.  When we questioned the waiter, it turned out it was in fact butter.  Also, not good.  The broccoli had clearly been microwaved as it was reminiscent of the mushy veg served up at boarding school and the sausage was positively anaemic. 

To add insult to injury, the inept and lazy junior waiter returned with the obligatory oversized pepper mill.  He proceeded to lean over the (very tiny) table to sprinkle my father’s meal, only to mostly season his extremely expensive glass of wine.  When this was pointed out, he looked totally nonplussed with why we were put out. 

I sent my food back and plumped for an arrabiata replacement as there is little you can do to make that terrible, but it was microwaved!  It was so hot, that kind of heat can only be derived from nuking it and I burnt my mouth.

Naturally, a party of 8 was treated to a reasonable rendition of Nessun Dorma for the kitsch value, but there is nothing endearing about this place anymore.  Find one of the thousand other Italian restaurants in London, even Strada puts this to shame.

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Colin M

27 June 2018  
Delightful Italian restaurant tucked away at the junction of Pavilion Road and Basil Street a short walk from Harrods.

Zoe W

30 May 2017  
Making a reservation is recommended - the place is highly popular, and rightly so. Delicious food, splendid wines and very alert and friendly service. Why not five stars then? Because of prices, which are a bit high, and because the restaurant is always really crowded and not too big, so you are sitting close to your neighbours' tables. But everything else is great, and I think we will visit the place again.

Onella F

Sale e Pepe - expensive for ordinary Italian food
25 August 2015  
Sale e Pepe has not changed for years. Its busy and the waiters work hard to make two sittings which makes it feel rushed and mechanical. The difference between a 3 star and 5 star for the food is dependent on what you order. The restaurant seems popular with young tourist which can add to the chaos.
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Charles N

Delightful
06 November 2013  
A lovely visit – my second – to this lovely friendly place. Staff are great and the food does not disappoint.
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Patrick B

14 February 2012  
Three words: Classic. Friendly. Dependable. Sale e Pepe is a cross-generational Italian which has gone from strength to strength. Every time I go, I think they must have eased up, but no, they carry on delivering on all levels. The food is “real” italian, very well executed and the wine list is surprisingly accessible for this part of town. Let's be clear: the restaurant has been aided over the decades (yes, it must be close to 30 years…!) but this kind of ultra-long-term success doesn't come coincidentially. Mille Grazie!
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Charlene L

29 October 2008  
Sale e Pepe is a delightful restaurant and I fully enjoyed myself. Not only were all the staff very welcoming and helpful but the food was delicious. The wine was also superb. The steak was cooked to perfection, and the desert was luscious. I would gladly recommend Sale e Pepe to anyone who wishes to have a pleasant evening. Sale e Pepe is a place I would gladly dine at again!
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