It’s been a while since I have been out socialising in the environs of Bond Street – I generally gravitate further south for some reason. Anyway, I recently had cause to do so and the chosen venue was Sofra in St. Christopher’s Place.
Sofra is in good company; the rather charming Cocochan, which I have previously written about, is nearby. Sofra has the benefit of being in St Christopher’s Place proper which means the issues with al fresco dining on a London street are far less prevalent here. We didn’t have a booking (the time keeping abilities of certain friends usually negate that) so instead I was despatched as the vanguard to nab a table early; ones were available inside or outside with a 20 minute wait. In return for waiting, I was offered a complimentary drink (which is always appreciated – it’s these little and simple touches in these circumstances that move a place from good to brilliant) and a table for 4 was fashioned from 2 lots of 2 within ten minutes – into perhaps the best spot in the whole square – lovely sunshine and a great view of the activities including the local musicians working the crowd.
In terms of food, it’s solid Turkish fayre and done very well. The opening gambit of bread and hummus was excellent, and my large platter starter had a wonderful eclectic mix of many dishes. My main of chargrilled ground lamb was well spiced and nicely cooked with a decent pilaf on the side. Turkish beer was available in seemingly infinite quantities and the service was pretty solid.
All very good then? Great location, solid food? Well, almost. In the spirit of the great Columbo, there’s just one last thing. The portion sizes. You’d expect a “large platter” starter to be shareable, but there was only one filled pastry and one falafel…. and the size of main course was slightly underwhelming. Granted I had that morning skipped breakfast and cycled 23ish miles so was perhaps more ravenous than normal but it was commented on by others in my party so I am confident in making this point – though in fairness, the prices are reasonable for the location so I guess it is a fine balance for them.
That said, I would commend you to shortlist it if you were in the area…. for me, it’s an easy choice. If the weather lends to dining outside, then Sofra trumps. If inside, on the basis of my experiences to date, I would gravitate the 50 yards to James Street and go to Cocochan – but as I always say, that’s more personal preference than anything.
|Price Range||£25 a head (Lunch)|
|Phone||0207 240 3773|
|Address||1 St Christopher's Place London W1U 1LT|