Restaurant reviews

Closer to home – a trip to Salvos

So far I confess my reviews have not exactly been Leeds focused and maybe have been at restaurants a little more expensive than the average foodie may wish to fork out for. However, my latest adventure saw me return to pastures old and to one of the best run Italian restaurants in Leeds: Salvos.

The four of us set out looking for a standard Salvos: big flavour, great atmosphere and a very full belly, and we were simply not disappointed. As Salvos is well-known for catering for people who have a gluten intolerance the celiac in our party was able to look forward to a wide choice of dishes that included both gluten free pasta and pizza!

My excitement was slightly tempered by past memories of enjoying a sublime pasta dish as a starter that left me in no fit state to even make a decent attempt at the main but this time I was determined not to make the same mistake. So, sitting down soaking in the colours and the family friendly atmosphere with a nice dirty martini I was left with a tough decision to make – how to pick just one starter and main course from such a strong menu!

With the waitress coming to ask us for the third time what we would like (our fault through indecision and not through a pressured “please eat and leave” approach), we finally made up our minds. I went for a seasonal special of chorizo and king prawn stew that was both warming (needed after I had neglected to bring a jumper to walk to the restaurant) and light enough so as to leave you with the room required to enjoy the beast that is a Salvos pizza! The only thing I would question with the starter was the choice to retain prawn heads (not connected to any prawns) in the stew when brought to the table but, despite this reservation, I must say that this certainly underlined the chef’s desire to push for full flavour in the dishes we enjoyed.

A short break later and my abruzzese pizza (with added olives) was brought out and we topped up our drinks with a well suggested glass of pink fizz that was a nice light touch given the heavy nature of the pizza. It was also an excellent complement to the pork belly that had been ordered by one of our party. The pork both looked and smelled delicious and actually showed it had been twice cooked rather than just written that it had on the menu to sound pretentious.

Digging into my pizza I was rewarded by an undertone of spice and aroma from the sausage with the chilli and a real kick to the dish, although I had to say that looking over at the gluten free pizza I was almost suffering from food envy given the way it had been created as well as the fact that diners are able to pick their own three toppings (although I am sure the highly attentive staff would have offered recommendations had they been required.)

Mains gobbled up, we were then left to decide if we had the strength to push through for pudding and sadly on this occasion we did not! That said, the choice is excellent and I can say that previous experience has taught me that their tiramisu is not to be trifled with!

With a great evening over all I can say is that we are delighted this fine establishment is so close to our home and I will be looking forward to returning in the near future.

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