Not good value - even with discounts. Our first trip we thought the food was ok but had to come back cos we had discount vouchers that they wouldn't let us use the first time. Our starter of scallops with ratatouille was an extremely odd fusion and worst of all the scallops did not taste or feel like scallops. It was as if someone had made some fake scallops and tried to pass them off. The mains were much better, we had the steak and the lamb. Both were presented quite well. The dessert was fine though the coriander was a bit odd.
The main thing is that this place is NOT good value for money at all. Even though we had more than 50% off, we still spent over £70 for two, and it would have come to £120 without the discounts. We could have spent that at a Michelin restaurant. Will not be back.
The rudest staff I have ever seen - we didn't even make it to the food!
I had a reservation here for 12 people on a Friday night, which I had to confirm with a 50 pound deposit charged to my credit card. it's a small restaurant and a busy night of the week, so that part was normal. They called me the day of to check the number, and I was guessing +/- 1 or 2 people and couldn't be sure, but they were oddly insistent on it. Then in the end when some friends couldn't make it and we only had 7 at the table, we tried to order our food and the chef REFUSED TO SERVE US because we were less than he originally planned for, unless they could charge us for 12 people even though we were only 7. So we walked out and went next door to an awesome Palestinian restaurant that let us BYO and also play our own music - best choice ever!
They also have incredibly odd BYO rules - it's supposed to be 1 bottle between every 2 people, and they took away our vodka when we arrived because the BYO policy is apparently only for wine. But all the staff were completely ridiculous... I have no idea how this place still does business.
I really, REALLY wanted to give this restaurant 10 stars. However, unfortunately I was rather disappointed with my experience at La Sophia.
Lets start with the good side. The food here totally rocks. It was SO tasty. For a starter, I opted for the salad bar option they were offering for the evening. There was a selection of four salads that you could choose to pile your plate with as you wished. There was an incredible roast aubergine with goats cheese, butternut squash with coriander, green beans and cherry tomato, and a couscous salad. All were so delicious in their own way and I loved that I was able to try a bit of everything. For my main I devoured a dish of scallops in butter with potato, which were quite tasty as well. But the salad bar is what really blew me away.
Alright, so the service here was awful. My boyfriend and I had made a reservation online for 2 for 7pm. Shortly before 7 we walked into the restaurant which is completely empty, with only a few workers in the kitchen. We said we had a reservation that we booked online and they said hesitantly that they didn't have it in the books. So I showed them the confirmation email and after a bit of discussion between themselves, they allowed us to take one of the many empty tables in the restaurant. The whole situation and overall dining experience was rather awkward. My takeaway was even brought to the table in a used Sainsburys bag. However, they did bring unused paper bag to the table and switched the bags quickly there after.
I also want to add that the new manager hosting the restaurant was very friendly, helpful, and accommodating. I really hope to return to La Sophia in the future and that I have a much more positive dining experience. I really do think they have great food and the potential to be a wonderful restaurant.
It's been a strange month for customer service. Maybe it's the change of seasons or that it's getting dark earlier but whatever it is, we were really let down by the service here. Nevertheless, because La Sophia were so good at yelp's west fest I'm going to try and be as constructive as possible with my review.
Although we were half an hour early, the restaurant was empty when we arrived. Nevertheless, when we asked if that was alright the staff behaved as though they couldn't fit another soul into the building and a chain reaction of questioning began. The waiter spoke to another waiter, who went back to the kitchen to speak with the chef, who in tern spoke with the manager, who then said yes to the waiter, who finally told us we could sit down anywhere we wanted...If they've reached this level of bureaucracy at this stage then god help us if they get any bigger.
It was a particularly chilly evening so we asked that the front door we were seated by remain shut. The door closed with a "click" and I raised the concern that other customers wouldn't be able to get in if the restaurant's front door were locked. I suggested perhaps we should move. Despite being reassured that other customers would be fine, it wasn't long before the manager arrived to discover that customer couldn't attend a reservation to a restaurant that locked it's front door and we decided to move table in the end.
We were taking our time deciding what we wanted and asked for some more time. Had I have known that we would not be asked again I would have made my decision right away. It was a long time before I eventually flagged down a waiter and ordered our food.
I must say, there were some really odd characters entering and leaving the kitchen area. It was extremely distracting and unnerving. It made it seem as though we had interrupted some kind of secret deal taking place before we arrived. Half way through our meal someone left the kitchen area wearing sunglasses (it's 8pm in a dimly lit restaurant) in a hurry. It was all a bit distracting and just made you wonder "what the hell is this place"?
If there are any business owners out there let me please stress to you the importance of customer service and dining experience. people don't judge you on food alone, they judge you on all the things that effect how they feel while they're at your restaurant. Some of those things you can control (like service), others you can't (like the weather), but they should all matter to you because they matter to your customers. At the end of the day, you're in the service business.
The food was good, it wasn't great. I'm sorry, it's true. I requested the snails to start and the dish of the day, steak with mustard sauce and mash. Although perfectly prepared, the meat itself wasn't great and contained a little gristle. Although we had the 50% discount from Yelp, they still tried to charge us the full amount.
I will give them another shot in the future. Hopefully this review serves to improve the business.
Spurred on by the positive reviews, my wife and I went to La Sophia recently for my birthday. We're not regulars at restaurants these days (young kids) but certainly know and appreciate good food and wine when we come across it and unfortunately if La Sophia were serving any, it wasn't to us. The menu was full of promise and we excitedly ordered a steak tartare with truffle, a walnut and roquefort salad, followed by a couple of ostrich and morel sauce main courses. None of the dishes tasted like they had been near a salt and pepper mill. The tartare certainly had truffle oil in it but not a trace of actual truffle that I could see. Taste-wise it was as flat as a very dull pancake. No capers or anything at all to lift it and excite the palette (parsley, lemon, etc). The pinnacle of disaster for this dish was finding inedible sinew in the pattie. Disgusting. My wife's salad was dry, small, and over-whelmingly bitter except for the small cheese bits.
OK, so the ostrich. Both plates were over-cooked, dry and largely tasteless. The morel sauce should have been amazing but were it not for the bits of morel floating around in it, I'd be hard pressed to believe it had ever been exposed to one. I certainly couldn't taste it, even when eating the morel pieces. It tasted of watery meat juices, under seasonsed, with a very little bit of cream thrown in. An ostrich burger from Borough market, at a tiny fraction of the £28 price tage of these sorry plates, tastes a thousand times more flavourful. What on earth had they done to these poor birds?
My wife finished with a warm chocolate tart. It was a dry piece of cake, warmed through. She was very unimpressed. I had a very expensive cheese plate which had a lump of cheddar, which tasted like Sainsbury's premium packaged stuff, a piece of Stilton, ditto, and something which I suspect was supposed to be Brie - hard to tell because although ripe, it lacked any real depth of flavour - rather like supermarket pap.
The service was OK. The chatty waiter, who was nice enough, seemed to think I was French (was he hitting on me?) and almost forgot to tell us about the specials. When he did, he didn't mention the pricing.
How can this place have so many rave reviews? Seriously? A totally average French town/village resturant would blow this place totally away. It's not even up to fairly average dinner party fare. I can only think that they have lots of friends writing reviews, that we were deeply unlucky that day or that our standards are light years ahead of most other people's (which seems v unlikely). We did notice that many other diners there, most in their 20's, were there because of the reviews (the waiter asks everyone where they heard about the place).
In short, we were extremely disappointed and thought it massively over priced. Our dinner for two, with a lowly wine, came to over £130 (service included). We will certainly never be going back.
My husband and I were really looking forward to eating at the Sophia after all the positive reviews we had read about the food. We went on a groupon deal. Unfortunately I agree with the one star view above, that the food was very sub-standard considering the high prices they were charging, the atmosphere in the place was lacklustre to say the least and there was a stale odour in the place as we entered. The place was virtually empty. Our starters were priced at £13.00 each and the Ostrich at £21.90. We first of all had the scallops and king prawns for starters which were both overcooked, followed by the Ostrich as a mains which was overcooked, tough and chewey. The sauce on the Ostrich was reminiscent of the kind of sauce poured over steak and kidney pie at a school canteen in the 1950s! When the waiter asked us what we thought of the meal we had to tell him that it was a huge disappointment. The service however was good and the waiter welcoming. We certainly won't be returning. Indeed, how can this place have so many rave reviews! Perhaps they've been written by the owners and their friends. If it wasn't a groupon deal we would have demanded to speak to the proprietor and asked for a substantial reduction, certainly more than the 50% we paid for the groupon deal.
French & Mediterranean cuisine
Established in 2010.
La Sophia is chef owned and family run restaurant on Golborne Road.
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.