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Sofra Turkish Restaurant

Sofra Turkish Restaurant
18 Shepherd Street
Mayfair
London
W1Y 7HU
Tel.: 0207 493 3320
Fax.: 0207 499 8282

Friday 10th August 2001

We'd arrived in London this morning for a long weekend. A walk around Mayfair, trying to locate places I'd visited many years ago near Berkeley Square, left us footsore and hungry. We happened upon this little street, and noticed a few eating places.

One, "L'Autre", a Polish-Mexican restaurant, was intriguing, but we decided to leave it for another visit, because just up the street was a restaurant with tables outside - a more inviting proposition in the hot weather.

Sofra had a few diners seated, all inside, and we noticed that the windows opened up to such an extent that the tables next to them could as well have been outside.

Sofra Mayfair

We took just such a table after being enticed by the menu. A Beer, and an Orange Juice - it was hot, and we were really thirsty after our walk. There were just so many dished I wanted to try, so I asked the waiter if there would be any objection to me ordering a selection of starters, without any main course. He said no problem, but suggested the Mezze set meal (for two people), which consisted of eleven dishes - probably as many as I could manage anyway.

Both Marg and I though this was a good idea, but we asked them to give us ten mnutes or so before bringing the meal, as we needed that much time to get through the extremely good bread, tasty hummus dip and luscious olives!!!

A bottle of Yakut, red Turkish wine, accompanied the meal very nicely.

I'll try to list the dishes individually - I took some notes but must admit I was paying more attention to the eating than the writing!!

Tabbouleh: Parsley Salad with Mint, Lemon, Bulgur, Tomato and Onion
Börek: Filo Pastry filled with Feta Cheese Spinach and Herbs
Imam Bayildi: Stewed Aubergine, Tomato and Peppers
Falafel: Broad Bean, Chick Pea and Vegetable Fritter
Humus: Kavurma Humus with small chunks of Lamb and Pine Nuts
Patlican Salata: Grilled Aubergines, Peppers with Feta Salad
Kisir: Herb Salad with Nuts Bulgur and Spices
Inegol Koftesi: Minced Lamb with hot flavourings
Chicken Guvech, Coriander: Pieces of Chicken Simmered with Mediterranean Vegetables
Lamb Guvech, Oregano
Manca: Baby Spinach Leaves, Yoghurt, Olive Oil, Mint and Pepper
Lerkez Tavugu(?): Chicken, Milk, Breadcrumbs. This didn't arrive, and was subsequently replaced with
Dolma: Vine Leaves stuffed with Rice, Pine Nuts Dill and aromatic Herbs

Having eaten at lesser Turkish establishments in the past, I was not expecting to be overwhelmed, so I was especially pleased.

I thought that each dish was spectacular. Even Marg, who is a little more conservative than I, thoroughly enjoyed all but one (She found the stuffed Vine leaves a little tart for her taste).

The whole experience was something special - informal, good food, good setting, pleasant and efficient staff. By the time we were half way through the meal, the place had really filled up. It seemed to me that a good proportion of the diners were locals.

To cap it all, the bill came to...

Wait for it...

£42.94!!!

A bargain!

Thoroughly recommended.

Sandro and Marg

 

Eatanddrink Ratings

Sofra

Total Score: 87%
Quality: Exceptional
Service: Exceptional
Facilities: Above Average
Ambience: Above Average
Value: Exceptional

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