Sunday, January 18, 2009

at Sophie's

London - Restaurants - Steak Houses

A lovely spontaneous evening. The relatives were down in London Friday night catching the Warhol exhibition at the Hayward and were debating where to eat afterwards. Caroline hankered after Ping Pong (again) but John wanted novelty and steak. As it happened the Evening Standard had an article that day about businesses beating the recession - Sophie’s steakhouse was one of them (a branch has opened recently in Covent Garden), so we decided to try it.

I was a bit alarmed by the red neon outside - a bit too similar to another rather touristy steakhousy chain. However, inside is more sophisticated, with rather beautiful teardrop lights, lots of warm wood and leather. The room is much larger than appears outside, and the place was busy, yet we got a table immediately on arrival at 9:30 p.m. (they don’t take reservations).

Service was brisk, efficient, and just the right side of friendly. The food arrived quickly: very handsome, generous burgers and fish cakes. They take care to get your steak the way you want it: my steak salad was perfectly rare, juicy and tender. My brother didn’t want his steak “stupidly rare” but he didn’t want it medium either; a tricky request which the kitchen delivered; no complaints from John.

I didn’t enjoy the blue cheese dressing on my salad - I like a more intense dressing, perhaps with actual crumbed cheese. This dressing absolutely drenched the leaves and was way too creamy and bland. I had to check with the waitress that it actually was blue cheese dressing. I’ll take her word for it.

I had a toffee and vanilla milkshake for pudding: sugarholic’s heaven - toffee crumbles, yum!

All in all a rather pleasant experience. I’d be happy to go again if in a carnivorous mood. I’m giving it 4 stars - one star being a benefit of the doubt star, for the salad dressing.
Check out my review of Sophie's Steakhouse & Bar - I am hedgiecc - on Qype

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