Sophie's, I have discovered, is one of the central hubs of Chelsea for the young/middle aged crowd to go for drinks and eat copious amounts of beef. Like a moth drawn to light, my partner and I ventured out to join the masses and overall had an enjoyable evening.
The first thing to note is that reservations are not allowed, which means either get there early, or be prepared for a wait. The bar is competent but not outstanding in its drinks quality, but nevertheless was packed with people waiting. Don't go to Sophie's if you want a quiet dinner – it is absolutely roaring with noise inside, but this does make for great atmosphere.
Once seated, a little wooden board of salami is presented as a sort of ‘get-you-going’ item – decent but a bit fatty. We ordered a couple of steaks – a sirloin-on-the-bone and a cote de boeuf, with chips and a side salad. The steaks were decent enough in flavour, but a bit stringy in texture and didn't have that ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ feeling. The cooking levels left a bit to be desired, with my medium rare sirloin being much more on the medium side and my partner's medium-well coming out a decidedly pink looking medium. The chips, so often overlooked in restaurants, were average as they were a bit greasy and nowhere near as crispy as they could have been. The side salad was excellent, with a lovely light dressing. Puddings were par for the course and not exciting enough to make comment on.
Overall, decent, but no more than that. In saying that though, it is streets ahead of the two Marco Pierre White steakhouses in the area, which in truth is a really bad reflection on the disaster that is the MPW chain of commercial steak restaurants rather than a rousing commendation for Sophie's.