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18 Shepherd Street
Sofra made its name by following the Pizza Express blueprint – namely serving colourful food that everyone could afford in settings & surroundings they never thought they could. Just because
you don’t have a ton to drop on dinner doesn’t mean you don’t deserve tablecloths, clean wine glasses & waiter service, goes the thinking. To an extent, the formula still works for Sofra’s
thronged Turkish restaurants (& their smarter sibling, Ozer) with £10 menus & mezze platters luring in the tourists & theatregoers. Classics of hoummos, falafel, baba gannouj, tagines
& lamb kebabs are still reliable & reasonable, & very fine with one of a handful of Turkish wines. It’s just hard to get excited about a menu of steaks, seafood & grills when newer,
fresher chains wink so seductively just round the corner.
18 Shepherd Street
Green Park Tube Station 310m
Hyde Park Corner Tube Station 794m
Curzon Mayfair Cinema 88m
Green Park 323m
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
We chose SOFRA Mayfair because it offered Christmas opening when many other restaurants were closed. We intended to book their venue in St Christopher's Place, near our hotel in Marylebone, but seemingly it too was closed over the holiday. We have eaten there, and at their Covent Garden establishment, several times and have always found both food and service to be of a high quality.
In Mayfair, their ground floor is fairly constricted and the lower floor not particularly inviting. In particular, the service was not nearly as welcoming as at other locations and it was hard to engage the waiter in any conversation, despite its being Christmas Day, and we got no greeting when arriving or leaving.
The food and wine was quite good but in no way memorable.
My companion remarked that the ambiance and clientele (that night) were distinctly male orientated whereas Covent Garden seemed to attract a more diverse customer base.
We shall not be visiting that branch again.
Food + drink: 4
London seems to be inundated with middle eastern places to gorge on. That suits me because meat is my utmost favourite thing. What you do end up finding, in my case, is that you're literally eating the same dish most of the time, so its easy to compare when its done well, and, gulp, when done badly.
I was an avid fan of Ozer, the flagship of the Ozer chain. Excellent food, service and value for money all rolled into one. When it closed, i cried. Well, maybe not cried, but sniffed a loud sniff. Who needs another Byron!!! Anyway, hungry diners were diverted to Sofra, same owner, same food we were to assume.
OK, so what did they do well? The service was faultless, and i mean it. It was pleasant and not annoying, but seemingly genuinely helpful people. Foodwise, very nice but nothing too wow, but you get what youd expect. However the portions were relatively smaller than im used to, and we went away nicely full, but still thinking it was slightly overpriced for what you got. Then again, this was Mayfair and as this was a special occasion, we were happy to enjoy the atmosphere and spend the money. If you are very hungry, i think you'd get equally nice/bigger portions of food if you headed to Edgware Road and picked any one of the many middle eastern places there. However Sofra is a lovely special restaurant so you definitely wont get the same atmosphere/most likely the service that you'd get here. We would be back, but only for something special.
I wanted a restaurant that served food everyone liked. Sofra sprang to mind as the menu is so varied. I found the seating area cramped. The staff were friendly, attentive & helpful. Everyone said they enjoyed the food. I have to highly praise the ice cream, especially the Turkish Delight flavour. My mixed grill main course however was awful. Undercooked chicken (dangerous) an extremely flat burger – again undercooked and a charred piece of hard to indentify meat served alongside burnt rice. I pushed it all around the plate because we were having such a nice time I did not want to spoil the evening by complaining & sending it back to the kitchen, but really I should have mentioned it to someone at the time. So my advice is to pay a visit, especially as Shepherd's Market is such a charming place but AVOID the mixed grill!
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