Saturday, 31 March 2012

Sofra Restaurant Review


ali nazik

Yesterday, Friday 30th March, I went to see the Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art and like the De Vinci exhibition it was a nightmare. They had let far too many people in and there was lots of pushing and shoving, it was almost as bad as being on the tube during rush hour. I appreciate that a lot of people want to see major exhibitions, but it's just greed on the galleries to squeeze as much cash out of people as possible, okay enough of my moaning.

After the exhibition my friend and I went to Sheperd’s Market in Mayfair where there are some great little independent restaurant and café’s. After walking around we decided on a little French brassiere that had an outside table. After ten minutes, nobody had bothered to greet us or give us a menu so we left and mooched around again, but all the other places were now busy and so ended up going to Sofra a Turkish Restaurant chain.

Unfortunately for us we hadn't booked a table and just as we were walking out the hostess said she had a couple of tables. She did advise us they were not good tables and she was not wrong. The two tables offered where squeezed into place, but with some loud grumbling noises coming from my stomach we decided to take one of the tables. To say the next table was close was an understatement, I thought I was back in the Hockney exhibition. I and my next door neighbour where having seat wars, to try and squeeze a few more millimetres of leg room, but we eventually called a truce once we both had adequate amount of space.
Meze (forgot to take a pic before eating - oops)
We started with a meze for one, which we thought it was a perfect size to share. The meze contained tabbouleh, falafel, red lentil patties, baby broad beans with yoghurt, spinach and feta filo pastry, halloumi, aubergine ratatouille, sautéed lamb fillet with humus and a nut salad. The best dish for me was aubergine ratatouille which had a lovely smoky taste, but each element of the meze were well made and were fresh, light and a great start to the meal.

Spicy Fish Pot and Spice Enriched Rice
I ordered spicy fish pot served with spice enriched rice. The dish, cooked in coconut cream, was vibrate, spicy and the fish was tender, moist and was really scrummy. The rice was a little salty for my liking, but was fluffy and well spiced and the heat gently increased with each mouthful. My friend ordered ali nazik, which was sautéed fillet of lamb with smoked aubergine caviar with yoghurt and garlic. The lamb was seasoned well and tender to eat, the aubergine with the yoghurt, was smooth and wonderfully smoky which didn't over power the lamb.

The staff were helpful and polite and deserved the automatic service charge, which I don't agree with, as it should be my decision.

Apart from the awful table the food experience was very satisfying and one I am looking forward to trying again soon. Although I will book a table first and I will not let my stomach over rule my head when it comes to seating :-).

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