I was at Spianata, five weeks ago and thinking back, two things come to mind, controlled sandwiches and exceptionally delicious paninis.
The second point is self-explanatory- Paninis from Spianata are very tasty which I guess shouldn’t be a surprise considering the company’s Italian roots. Originating from Rome where every meal is an event, this sandwich shop uses only fresh ingredients and in line with Roman ways, they use three ingredients or less in each sandwich.
This leads me to my first point of the controlled sandwich. You won’t find any ingredients from a Spianata sandwich falling out and it’s not because they use flatbread –believe me, I have put it to the test. Yesterday, a Panini from a coffee shop that shall remain nameless was overflowing, not to mention doused in so much mayonnaise that the only thing I remember from that lunch is a stained shirt and a very greasy laptop.
That experience certainly made me appreciate my visit to Spianata even more and strengthens my opinion that the Panini is having a revolution thanks to Spianata’s Roman ways.
The company uses flatbread baked from scratch at their Italian artisan bakery based in Holborn. The flatbread or ‘pizza Bianca roman’ as they say in Italian, is low in fat and calories as they substitute butter with a little olive oil. You would expect the bread to be a bit flaky without butter but it holds together impressively and with just three ingredients per Panini, you taste every ingredient.
On my visit, I tried the Speck, pear and Gongorzola sandwich, which was the special of the month – in one word, it was delizioso! They also have soup of the day, vegetarian options, tasty desserts, and what they claim is the best cappuccino in London. The jury is still out on that one but their chocolate and polenta cakes were highlights. They were rich, oh so moist and in the case of the chocolate cake, very gooey; it was hard to resist and complimented the cappuccino romano perfectly.
I got the full Italian experience at Spianata, from the Italian flatbread to the Italian only drinks that are exclusive to the shop. There was of course the usual soft drinks but the one drink the stuck to mind was the Chinotto – the marmite of drinks. It is sweet in the beginning but has a bitter after taste. You either love it or hate it and half way through, I was hooked.
Spianata, Mayfair is the only Spianata I have been to although they have six branches around London. I can’t speak for the others but the Mayfair branch definitely hit the spot with me. The building itself is very industrial chic with exposed ceilings and rough artisan walls. It was spacious, with very large sofas, and on a rainy December afternoon, I appreciated that. It’s the anti-Starbucks if you will.
Over all impression, Spianata – Mayfair exceeded my expectations. Their Speck pear and Gorgonzola sandwich is still one of the best Paninis I’ve had and I can’t get over the moistness of their desserts. The prices are very affordable too for such high quality food.
4/5* (Expectations exceeded)
Spianata, Mayfair . 3 Hay Hill, Mayfair, London, W1J 6AS
I was invited to review Spianata
4/5 exceeded expectations
3/5 met expectations and was very pleasant
2/5 did not meet expectations