It’s one of those rare sunny days in Manchester. The outdoor seating area at Salvi’s in the Corn Exchange is almost completely full of people eating and watching the world go by. Being the fair English rose that I am, however, it’s a case of “Sun’s out, gingers in.”

I couldn’t find
anything gimmicky
on the menu
which is always a
good sign…

On entering Salvi’s you’re greeted by a cornucopia of Italian goodies at the deli counter. Hidden away behind the counter is a staircase to the ample downstairs dining area.

The restaurant is relatively simply decorated, with slightly austere-looking Italian tricolor(ish) chairs which are actually much more comfortable than they look. The kitchen is attractively tiled and open to the restaurant.

I couldn’t find anything gimmicky on the menu (no pulled pork pizza here) which is always a good sign. It is littered with spelling mistakes, which normally bugs me, but I found it somewhat endearing here for some reason. Perhaps I was just glad to be out of the sun.

Salvi’s boasts that all their deli products are imported fresh weekly from Italy.

For anyone who thinks that mozzarella is just a bland cheese to add texture to a pizza, I urge you to order the mozzarella selection to start. A mozzarella platter of bufala, smoked and burrata (obscenely decadent mozzarella with cream added) with antipasti twiddly bits such as breadsticks and sundried tomatoes will soon convert you.

The calamari and courgette fritti are lightly battered and come with a creamy sauce, although the calamari were perhaps just a tad overcooked.

REVIEW | Salvi’s Italian at Corn Exchange: good, honest, simple, no nonsense Neapolitan food I Love Manchester

The pasta comes in decent portions. I tried the Pasta alle Vongole (with fresh clams) which comes in a light tomato sauce and doesn’t skimp on the clams. The pizza is excellent with the crust blistered to the perfect crisp-to-chew ratio.

The pudding menu is similarly filled with the usual suspects – profiteroles, panna cotta and the like. I was informed that the cannoli – bigger than those served from the deli counter – are apparently the traditional size, like a fat cigar. The creamy yet savoury filling is ideal if you’re in the market for something sweet but not too sweet. The slab of tiramisu that initially appeared to be too big was devoured without any difficulty. Not too rich. Not too light. Just right.

REVIEW | Salvi’s Italian at Corn Exchange: good, honest, simple, no nonsense Neapolitan food I Love Manchester

Although fully satiated by the meal I couldn’t help but linger on the way out and have one last look at the offerings at the deli counter. I’m sure I’ll be back.

Salvi’s is good, honest, simple, no nonsense Italian food. Can’t say fairer than that.

Unit 22b The Corn Exchange, Manchester M4 3TR

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