La Sophia, Notting Hill
07 December 2013
Halal eat out
On a rainy Friday evening I decided to take Mrs Rahman out for dinner at a surprise location, somewhere she had wanted to go to but due a clash of timetables we were unable to. If you search for Halal places recently you will sure to come across La Sophia, they have been working hard to promote themselves at food festivals as well as online.
La Sophia by car is just off Portobello Road in West London, which took us absolutely ages to reach on a Friday evening through the road closures and crazy traffic from East London. The restaurant is very modestly located on a high street, at first glance I wasn’t sure if we came to the right place due to the very unassuming shop front. Friday evenings a live Flamenco guitarist plays away at the front of the restaurant, for anyone who is fan of Spanish Guitarist you must come and listen to Renato Paversi who plays here ever other Friday.
The atmosphere and mood at La Sophia is amazing, moody lights, rustic mismatch decor, live music and an interesting menu.
For those willing to experiment they have escargot (Snails) , not sure how Halal it is. We asked the waiter on what was Halal on the menu and were assured everything was, they even served Halal non-alcoholic wine!
We both decided to go with the set menus, at £25 for a 3 course was pretty reasonable we thought. Mrs Rahman ordered the Aubergine with grilled hallomui for starters and I ordered the lamb shoulder croquette. When the starters arrived we both sampled each others, the aubergine dish was fresh, drizzled with olive oil and fresh herbs. The hallomui cooked just right, not too chewy and not under cooked. Perfect my wife tells me, the tomato relish helping to complement the flavours. My starter was good, shredded lamb shoulder in bread crumb which was a little dry, the side of salad and a mustard mayo sauce could’ve been a little more generous I thought.
For mains I ordered the flame-grilled ribeye steak with new potato and Mrs Rahman the pan fried free range chicken breast with artichoke and truffle sauce. The steak was succulent, moist and cooked medium the way I requested it. I sometimes wonder how difficult it is to get it right, you will be surprised how medium turns to well done at the other places, only steak joint that has got it right for me was at the Meat & Co but at a price. The steak overall had a nice mature marinate taste that was not over powering. The chunky chips and creamy peppercorn gravy was simply the perfect combination to what was a lovely meal at a lovely restaurant. La Sophia’s steak I must say punches way above its weight, comparing to the only other decent steaks house of my choice; The Meat & Co, you will certainly see my point with every bite.
I only sampled a little piece of my wife’s pan fried chicken dish, which tasted moist and cooked well. I’ll let her elaborate further on her dish as this review is already starting to get a little long. La Sophia is worth the journey and the set menu is a bargain for the caliber of food being served. If you visit on a Friday you will be graced with the amazing Flamenco guitarist.
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