Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

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Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and views on food, with you.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Restaurant

Ozer
5 Langham Place
London

Phone:- 0207 323 0505

Website www.sofra.co.uk

Overview

Eva has spent time working with Turkish immigrants in Sweden, and has picked up a taste for Turkish cuisine.

We therefore decided to check out Ozer, one of London’s top Turkish restaurants, on Friday.

Ozer is a lively, bright and stimulating Turkish restaurant near Oxford Circus. It is open 7 days a week, 10:00am to midnight.

Ambience

Ozer consists of a large bar where you can sit and just have a drink, or have a bite to eat as well from an extensive menu of bar snacks (akin to having tapas).

Ozer was absolutely packed with people; the buzz and atmosphere rather resembling some of the New York restaurants we have dined in.

We were warmly greeted, and although we had not booked and it was busy, we were asked to have a drink at the bar and told that a table would be ready for us in 10 minutes. They were as good as their word!

The d├ęcor was chic and modern, there were no “Hubble bubble” pipes or rugs anywhere. The walls of Ozer on one side were white marble, whilst on the other side they were red marble. The lighting was a combination of discrete lights, and an ornate central spiral light fitting; recessed into the ceiling.

The tables were laid with linen cloths and napkins, decorated with a bowl containing a red rose floating in water. Additionally, placed on each table, was a small sign that promised starters would be served in 5 minutes; if this did not happen you were invited to phone the owner, David Ozer, who helpfully displayed his phone number on the sign. There’s a brave man!

The table also had bowls of freshly prepared humus, olives and warmed flat bread. All of which were alarmingly tempting and tasty.

Menu

The menu was extensive, offering an effusion of hot and cold meze, steaks, chicken, lamb and fish dishes.

Service

There was an army of black shirted waiting staff on duty to cater to everyone’s whim. Despite the fact that Ozer was full, the service was very efficient, prompt and friendly.

Even though they had worked a long day, there was no attempt by the staff to rush us out despite the fact that we stayed long past the midnight closing time.

Food

Everyone in the restaurant seemed to be having the mixed meze as a starter. Following the principle “when in Rome” we followed suit.

We were not disappointed. We were each served nine “tastes” of Turkey on a glass plate. These included cheese, bulgur, meatballs, squid and chicken.

With the exception of the cheese, which in consistency resembled a pencil rubber, these were delightful; and afforded us an excellent way to sample a range of the cuisine on offer.

I chose the mixed grill (known as Vincent’s Style) for my main course. This was not the usual burnt, tough offerings so readily served by other establishments. Rather this was a medley of gently cooked, flavoursome 3 inch cuts of meat including; chicken, lamb, steak and meatballs.

The meat, and I make no exaggeration, was as tender and as tasty as I have ever eaten in a restaurant; or indeed cooked myself at home. Absolutely superb.

The dish was accompanied by a bowl of rice, which pleasantly complimented it. Those preferring more traditional accompaniments could opt for French fries.

Eva chose purely kebab, stewed lamb in a tomato based sauce, for her main course. This was served on a bed of mashed potatoes, and tasted (in our view) unctuous.

I chose the baklava for my desert. This was a perfect combination of sweetness and pistachio nuts, complimented by a scoop of ice cream. Fantastic!

The meal, which included a good bottle of Chablis, cocktails and numerous liqueurs, came to £118 including service.

Overall Opinion

A splendid establishment, make sure you go there; we will definitely be back again.

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