We were pleasantly surprised by Sofra! We stumbled upon this Turkish restaurant after making our way past Covent Garden, looking for something a little less touristy. We didn't get too far away from the tourist area, but Sofra looked good, so we figured we'd give it a try. We initially thought it might be Greek, because of the colors, but were even happier to discover Turkish fare!
We had the hummus with lamb which was beautifully smooth and salty, the amazingly spiced halloumi which is one of my favorite cheeses, the green broad beans in lebne, and the lamb shank. Everything was delicious, though I wish they hadn't run out of the vegetarian AND the meat dolmas, I really wanted to try those. They did fortunately serve delicious fresh bread, fluffy whole wheat with a crunchy, sesame-covered crust that came with a side of hummus. Had I known that before I ordered I might have gotten something different than the lamb hummus, but at least everything was very good.
We'd definitely go back here, a Covent Garden gem!
We went there to celebrate a special family occasion. It was the worst experience ever!
The waiters threw everything on the table.
ALMOST SPILLED A HOT SOUP ON MY LITTLE BOY'S HEAD!
They kept dropping and breaking glasses.
They were really really rude. And they were stressing everyone out!
I do not recommend anyone to go there if they you are looking for quality service.
Bad bad times.
I love this place so much I've had the owners business card in my wallet for a year. They serve a variety of Turkish dishes and similar menu items. The perfect place to eat before the theater!
I decided to go here to try Huseyin Ozer's innovative take on Turkish Food.
The menu seemed pretty diverse offering a range of different meat dishes as well as a mix of Greek and Moroccan foods.
I ordered dolma (stuffed vine leaves) to start and I wasn't too impressed with what I got. I guess I'm just used to traditional dolma, totally filled with rice and mince. Ozer's version was a couple of tiny little things that looked like balls (more than anything) with hardly any filling (that I could taste) in a bowl of gravy. I did not like my starter.
The meze's we ordered were pretty good: hummus, bread and olives- you can't go wrong really.
The main was much nicer. I ordered lamb shish with rice and salad while my partner ordered the chicken. We both agreed that the meat was tender and the dish made an altogether yummy main.
The staff were very attentive and polite while not being very chatty which is fine.
Overall I would say the food is OK but I'm not sure if I would go back here...
Amazing special authentic well prepared food. Great for vegetarians. Mezze platter isnt huge but gives an amazing selection. Try the nut salad, labne cheese, hummus, eggplant with pomegranate seeds and many others. Good attentive service. The owner is an attraction by himself.
Highly recommended. I'll be back.
Soothing atmosphere. I was here with colleagues from work but the crowd was mostly couples and Christmas parties. Not noisy at all. Excellent food, enjoyed the whole experience. Excellent service a very reasonable prices for central London. Looking forward to coming back.
We were meeting friends after a show near Covent Garden. The food here is wonderful and the service is also great. Our entire group was impressed at the value for money here -- good food at a very reasonable price.
I was very surprised to see those reviews! I actually love this place.
Okay... you probably should not go if you are in a hurry, but that said, they have a wide variety of main courses for 9.70 with a soft drink, which is a very good price for dinner.
All the food is very good and fresh, even if the service is slow. They also have a wide range of vegetarian courses which I like.
The bread with hummus that they serve as a starter is very very good, and all the main courses I have had also! And their desert: the trio of chocolate is so, so good!
I would really recommend this place, the atmosphere is quite romantic as well, so I really really love it
Dreadful service, dull food, conveniently located.
I had the same experience as Uli by the sounds of it - went for a birthday meal and the12 of us were treated very shabbily. I totally agree that the staff were "inattentive, unprofessional and totally bored" and I too "really just wanted to smack them". We were seated for 20mins before menus were distributed and drinks finally offered. They tried to manoeuvre us into ordering from the set party menu, despite my having agreed at the time of booking that we would want the regular menu. To be fair, I didn't have to get too shirty to get them to bring out the regular menus instead, but I disliked the sneakiness.
We were sat in a freezing draft from the air-con, and it took 3 requests to get it turned down. We were then still freezing due to being sat upstairs under a retractable roof (WARNING: the upstairs is used as a roof garden in warmer months. In the winter, do not let them seat you up there!).
Piles of dirty, gravy smeared plates languished ON THE FLOOR behind the bar, because they were too busy to take them down to the kitchen.
Everyone's food was very forgettable and I counted five plates with substantial amounts left on them. My bland lamb tagine contained 8 manky neck bones (we had a zoologist at my table). My plate had a vertebrae to meat ratio of 1:1.
I had been here on a weekday evening with colleagues, and I found the atmosphere and decor charming, the service fine and the food below average, but reasonably priced and perfectly edible (I had the House Vegetarian Special). This seems to chime with other reviews here, and is the main reason I spared Sofra the lowest star rating. The lessons are:
DO NOT GO ON A SATURDAY NIGHT
DO NOT PLAN A SPECIAL MEAL HERE
DO NOT SIT UPSTAIRS IN THE WINTER
Sofra - the food is actually ok (a couple of niggles, for example, I'd expect tagine to turn up in a tagine, not as two massive hunks of lamb on a plate) but the service was just plain bad.
It wasn't only slow, but riddled with errors. Our food finally showed up, only to be incorrect. Cue some rather unprofessional bickering between staff. Then further unprofessional requests to not only repeat what we ordered but also to verify that 'it wasn't me who took your order, though, was it?' said in desperation in front of the manager. Frankly I don't know who it was but being hounded by three seperate people to confirm what was said and to whom means none of you will get a tip.
We did get a complimentary glass of wine as recompense, and the right dishes did turn up, and they filled a hole, as they say. The starter platter was very tasty but not very filling between two, so it's good the mains portions are reasonable. I've had better versions of both things we tried so I wouldn't go out of my way to eat here, even if we had been served well. The house red is just about passable.
To end the evening, the long wait for the bill culminated in a dish we hadn't eaten appearing on it (cue more bickering). By this point I was fed up. Perhaps they just have too many staff - there seemed to be loads of them. Whatever, this is a restaurant in the West End and I'd expect better. The decor and some presentations suggests they are aiming to be a high end eatery but they're falling woefully short right now.
The menu states 'Drink in 2 mins, starter in 5mins. This place is designed to service the theatre going tourists. Now the place isn't bad at all, it is actual quite impressive and remarkably quaint. Yet I cannot help feel there is an element of style over substances. The food options are extensive and reasonably priced. After 6pm you can get tasty bread, hummus and olives as a starter and a choice of main from an impressive list for £9.95. It is £7.95 before 6pm. Regular mains average out at £13.00.
The atmosphere is nice, the service basic but prompt and if you are in a rush, they are indeed quick. This is a 3.5* venue. It did not wow me, with there good, clean and well presented food and shiny décor, but I would still be happy to recommend them.
I think I've just had one of the worst dinner experiences in a long time...
I went to Sofra for a birthday dinner and first of all they kind of forced us to order the 20.95 three course meal because otherwise it would be too complicated to take orders...such a bullshit! But this is tourist central and I guess they just get away with it.
The meze starters were actually quite tasty, but my main disch (lamb tajine) was just awful. The plate itself was huge and the food kind of looked lost on it: there was the piece of meat, three potato halves, and a pile of rice...oh I forgot the few almonds (I think that's what it was) sprinkled over it... Further, the food of some of us was only luke warm...
The worst though was the service...bad waiting staff that was so inattentive, unprofessional and totally bored that I really just wanted to smack them...(maybe in the future I should write my reviews not immediately after a bad dinner experience and cool down a little).
Anyway, I might have just come on a wrong day...but I ain't gonna come back here to give it another try.
I go to this place quite often and enjoy my two dishes
chicken skewers and lentil soup--these are perfect
anything else is tricky to order, can't guarantee taste and presentation
decoration is a bit dated and dining tables are in desperate need for maintenance
other branches are fine- it is just the Covent Garden restaurant that needs a refurbishment
this place will always be a place to go and have a decent meal when not in the mood for trying out new places
As a tourist visiting London, I stumbled upon this Turkish restaurant for dinner and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the service and quality of food! I ordered the Lamb Tagine and my mother ordered the Meze which included lots of small portions of Turkish delicacies to fill one person up. The lamb was cooked to perfection, falling off the bone, and just purely delicious. The bread and hummus was on point and for dessert I had the Kazandibi which was creamy and delicious. The service was very pleasant. The waiter gave us great recommendations, made conversation with us, constantly gave us more bread and hummus (per request) and when he messed up my dessert order, he offered me to keep the wrong one on the house! It was splendid service and delicious Turkish food on my last night in London.
Don't be put off by the fact that this is part of a chain AND it's on the tourist trail in Covent Garden. The food is good, very authentic, it has atmosphere and the service is excellent.
Having downed a few aperitifs, my wife and I were nowhere near making a choice from the wide range of mezze on the menu so we gave up in a giggly heap and told the waiter to bring us the dishes he would have chosen for himself.
He seemed cock-a-hoop at this important task we had entrusted to him and far from bringing us the most expensive things on the menu he spent an hour and a half traipsing backwards and forwards from the kitchen with tasty dishes until we had to ask him to stop before we burst - to be honest we should have said it half an hour earlier but with another bottle of wine on the go we simply could not find the words quickly enough before he headed gleefully back off to the kitchen for the next treat. I seem to remember being surprised that the bill only came to just over 50 quid. Not bad!
Just to be sure it wasn't the booze that had made us enjoy the Sofra experience so much, I headed back there recently stone cold sober for a quick lunch and am happy to report: yum bloody yum! I had another good meal.
I think I'd give this place just a tad below 3 stars.
This restaurant has an alluring dinner special that includes a drink (wine or beer), hummus and bread, and a main dish for under 10 pounds. However, I thought the food was average.
The hummus and bread was as expected. The beer choices were pretty limited - I think there were only 2 options. I had the moussaka, which didn't taste anything like other versions I've previously tried. It had a weird creamy, gelatinous layer that I couldn't quite identify. It had an almost TV dinner like taste to it where the whole thing had one flavor even though there were many layers. My boyfriend ordered the chicken kabob, which was much better than my dish. The chicken had a great flavor and was not overcooked. The rice and side salad that accompanied the chicken were slightly subpar.
We had an interesting waiter, who was pretty frantic the whole time and didn't quite adhere to the speedy service they advertised in their menu (drinks in 3 minutes, starters in 5).
Although I had an okay experience and prices were low, I'm not really inspired to return.
After a long day shopping and getting my "genuine British haircut" at Toni & Guy's, we decided to stop in for a light dinner at Sofra before we headed on over to watch "The Lion King"
I am glad to see that this place didn't disappoint! I had the "Healthy Meal" which indeed was a healthy meal! It was a mix of 12 different dishes and was filling but not overly disastrous portions.
I truly enjoyed the food and would definitely recommend Sofra to all.
The best branch of Sofra in my opinion. The food is the same delicious treat that is served through the chain but the dining room is somehow more spacious and comfortable than the other two restaurants in central London. The staff is friendly and the food is amazing, what more can you wish for?
Based on one visit:
We had quite a good meal here--weekend lunch in what is admittedly a tourist district. Yummy hummus, good vegetarian options. The service was courteous and attentive without being suffocating (coming off peak hours may have helped). I would give 3.5 stars.
I love the food in this turkish restaurant, they have a huge variety of dishes and their vegetarian food is espevially good. I've been known to have two starters to avoid missing out.
The restaurant has a large upstairs room is and one of few restaurants I eat in regularly that is capable of seating large parties (if booked in advance). We've had great events there with up to 25 people.
Noura Central is part of the Noura chain. Up market Lebanese restaurants with nice modern, sleek décor. Noura Central isn't the largest place thus booking ahead is a must. The food is decent but not great and it is expensive compared to other better Lebanese restaurants in the area.
I did enjoy my evening there as the service was good and the décor was very pleasing. The mixed grill is good and mixed mezze are excellent starters to share between friends.
Overall, it is a nice place but there are better Lebanese restaurants in Central London.
Good food, good portions and lovely decor. The staff were friendly and the meal we ate (a vegetarian special) had a great selection of dips and spreads followed by a small, but satisfying vegetarian moussaka that was appropriately-sized as it turned out. It left us feeling satisfied, but not over-full. For the amount of food it was a good price.
We have visited Sofra twice and I would have given it a five star review had the service not been so slow on our second visit on a recent Sunday afternoon. The food is delicious across the board, nice wine and all in a pretty good setting. The roof is a great place to eat if they open it up on a nice day. We liked it up there so much that we got slightly squiffy on our first visit to the restaurant! Highly recommended but a little more attention from the staff would have been appreciated. It may have been just a glitch but it did affect our enjoyment.
I visited Sofra last month with my sister and my niece.The staff were incredible, kind and attentive I enjoyed my food very much and my companions thoroughly enjoyed their meal and a drink for £10, it was a beautiful day and we were seated beside a big window. The restaurant has a very vibrant atmosphere the food is great and the setting easily missed if you didn't know it was there. We hope to return to Sofra for another tasty meal.
An absolute favorite place for lunch or breakfast. Delicious hummos served with warm bread and for lunch I had a wonderful lamb dish that was enough to make two meals out of. Their cappucino is very good, as are the dessert pancakes, and the berries for dessert. Stick with the Turkish dishes, this is NOT the place to order roast beef. At certain times of the day it's a pay-what-you-wish for breakfast but I can't get the times straight and they don't always have everything on the menu. Still the place is utterly charming--red ribbons await you at the table and on Mothers Day they presented me with a white rose. Have gone back and will keep on going back. This place is really special. Intimate, romantic, but family friendly. And the set price lunches are always reasonable--an oasis in the chaos of Covent Gardens. We'll be back!
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.