The ViewLondon Review
29 March 2011
Packed between the cheap cafes and fast food joints of Golborne Road sits La Sophia, a beautifully laid out restaurant offering gourmet French cuisine.
When you step into La Sophia you might at at first be confused; what you know of the menu so far doesn’t seem to match the Moroccan décor. But it’s hardly a big deal as the wall sconces and warm colour scheme lend the restaurant a cosy, inviting air.
There is a scattering of people here just after work, but before too long the restaurant is filled with a mixture of young locals and older regulars who seem to know exactly what they want off the menu.
The food on offer changes according to season, and their winter menu gives pride of place to meat, whether it’s lamb, beef, rabbit or duck. A thick Jerusalem artichoke soup is warming without being too heavy; the Argentinian beef tartare has just a hint of pickled capers, with a dollop of French mustard on the side and tomato and red onion to relieve the rich meaty mouthfuls. For the mains, juicy slices of lamb are paired with mash and ripe figs, both of which have crumbled goat’s cheese over the top, but it’s the thickly sliced ostrich that is the winning dish, served with a creamy black truffle mash. With a taste similar to beef, it is leaner, more tender and lower in fat: perfect for the health conscious among you. All the dishes are exquisitely presented, even the cheese platter containing a firm French goat’s cheese, a soft blue, a portion of Roule and a ripe camembert is prettily adorned with yet more figs. Dessert is a fragrant crème brulee with orange blossom honey, a wonderful marriage of vanilla and citrus notes.
As is expected of any French restaurant worth its salt, there is a wide selection of carefully selected French and other European wines; even the house red goes down very well.
The Last Word
If it’s French fare you’re after and you have someone to impress, this is the right place - dishes are innovative and flavoursome and the surroundings are very pleasing. And with a three course meal for two with wine coming in at around £90, it's pretty good value too.