Savoro of Barnet

We have recently completed the refurbishment of an apartment in North Finchley and in looking for the next project, we ended up in Barnet area at lunch time on a Saturday afternoon. As we were between appointments we decided to look up a good place for lunch through TripAdvisor.

Having gone through the listing, we concluded that Savoro (with a score of 4.5 and a certificate of excellence 2013) was worth a visit.

I like to look at beautiful cars, must be because I really like any type of design, and so it came as a surprise to find the restaurant next to, not one but two, Jaguar sellers!  After a bit of window shopping, Jaguars are not the architects’ best friends from the point of view of cost, we moved across to the restaurant.

It is not a place that one finds by chance as it is slightly tucked away form the high street, but first impressions were very good. Bearing in mind that was barely open (12 o’clock) we were warmly greeted and sat on a very nice table.

At the same time we were getting seated, a small group arrived. The same waiter made eye contact to make sure they felt welcomed. They were coming to discuss the details of a large party and it was lovely to see the care with which the manager listened to every detail and made allowances to accommodate every one of their requests. I was especially impressed by the fact that he asked about allergies, made notes and then explained how the kitchen is set up in order to ensure that cross contamination does not take place. (As student I worked as a waitress and this was never discussed )

We decided to choose the set menu with the glass of wine for under 15 quid, and whilst we went through the set menu, complimentary olives and delicious home made bread arrived with the glasses of red.

For starters we had the Savoro fish cakes with salad and the goat cheese mousse salad. The presentation (as the photos try to show) was amazing and the food delicious. The ingredients were very fresh and well cooked.

Goat cheese mouse

The goat cheese mousse (with chives) was served with a delicious onion chutney and a very special salad indeed made out of a combination of contrasting roasted vegetables (carrot, sweet potato and crispy parsnip strips) and a mixed baby leaf salad all sprinkled with salad seeds.

Fish cake

The Savoro fish cake, had a clear oriental inspiration and was served on a bed of rocket, carrot and beans sprouts salad and a sweet chilli dressing.

The service was efficient and warm and the waiters made sure that we were ok without being overpowering.  By the time we finished starters, a group of seven had arrived to celebrate a birthday and were welcomed in the same way we had.

For main courses we had grilled lamb skewers with salad and fries and salmon with baby potatoes and spinach. Both dishes were also delicious.

Lamb skewers

The grilled lamb came with a lovely salad and home made tzatziki. My husband decided to take up the offer to try the home made mint sauce that he was offered and he was also impressed with this very English if only slightly out of place sauce .

When I worked as a waitress, at a pizza restaurant, we were often asked for chips and the manager simply refused to event discuss the matter with customers on the basis of authenticity (I used to think that this was very ironic when one looked at the menu that contained hoisin pizza) … It would appear that Savoro has a regular crowd and that their approach is , quite the opposite, to put their customers’ happiness above any attempt to deliver authenticity. This, I guess shows how they have built up their success.

Salmon with baby potatoes

I chose to have salmon and it was delicious. For some, the fact that the sauce was clearly not part of the dish would have seemed odd but I must admit that I welcomed to be able to choose how rich i wanted the baby potatoes and spinach to be. The sauce was subtle yet delicious … mustard, shallots and garlic gave the cream a lovely depth.

We were very impressed with the quality of the food and the level of care that the chef placed on each dish. Each dish felt like a special meal where nothing was spared despite being part of the affordable set menu . This says a lot about the place.

We ordered two espressos to finish the meal and, as a final surprise,  they brought us two complimentary delicious home made mini cinnamon buns.

Coffee with cinnamon buns

I am pretty sure that we will pop by again to make our way their menu .

Photographs by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate (with the mobile)
Text by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate

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