Review of 'Sufi Restaurant'

Living just around the corner we have passed by this rather understated restaurant on Askew Road. I say understated but I am really only talking about the look of the restaurant as they have been present in our house for quite some time with their flyers regularly appearing through our letter slot. The do a tremendous takeaway/delivery service in the area.

Sufi was a bit of a light in the distance for us as we had just walked from Shepherd's Bush in the cool early evening of October and the sky was darkening above us threatening to rain. Sufi's door opened and we were met with a welcoming warmth from the tandoor oven just inside the door as well as a warm welcome from the m'aitre d' who showed us to the closest table to the oven where we spent a good part of the evening watching them cooking the wonderful seed-encrusted flat bread.

The interior is welcoming and cosy looking a lot like you are in someone's home though it is quite large with several large rooms behind the smaller front room. The tables are not tightly together so you can easily spend a long time here chatting and not worry too much about noise.

The menu, though full of unusually named dishes, has very helpful descriptions throughout (a rough translation of the dish and also a description of what it contains along with the various options). It was also thankfully not terribly long with only a few dishes on each of the pages further reinforcing the relaxing nature of the place. The food was perfectly cooked and delicately seasoned.

We started with the “Combination Platter” (£13.50) which was composed of “Kashk-o Bademjan” (“A Medley of Aubergine, walnuts, sauteed fresh garlic and onion with the topping of whey”) - probably the tastiest of everything on the plate, “Mast-o Mosier” (“Yogurt and sweet garlic dip”) - a bit too yogurt-y for me, “Mirza Ghasemi” (“Grilled Aubergine in a tomato, garlic sauce & fried eggs”) - very tomato-y but tasty indeed, “Olivieh” (“Delicate mixture of shredded chicken, potato, green peas, cucumber gherkins, eggs & mayo”) - very much looking like a potato salad - very mild, and “Hummus” (chickpea dip), all served with a large piece of flatbread fresh from the oven. Basically a series of dips each with a distinctive flavour. It was quite a large starter even for three of us and it would have been served with another piece of flatbread (had we asked for it).

I had the “dish of the day” which was “Baghali Polo ba Mahicheh” (£10.50) “Lamb shank cooked in herbal tomato rice served with Dill and broad beans rice”. Coming to the table it looked like a large mound of multi-coloured rice but digging into it was exposed a wonderfully tender lamb shank. A dipping sauce added a welcome bit of flavour to the very subtle-y seasoned dish (I ended up also resorting to some hot sauce delivered alongside as well). There was a lot of basmati rice which ended up filling me up. Tasty but not exactly a taste sensation by itself.

My two companions had differing dishes: “Chello Kebab Sufi for 1” (£11.90) which was “one skewer of cubic cut tender baby lamb fillet and chicken fillet cooked over charcoal grill with grilled peppers and onions slices served with grilled tomato”. Very tasty with particularly nice peppers and onions. She had the half rice-half salad option which was a good one as the salad was excellent (and came with a tasty dressing). My other companion (who tries to avoid red meat) had “Chello Joojeh Kebab” (£8.90) which was “one skewer of marinated spring chicken [on the bone] cooked over charcoal grill served with basmati rice, grilled tomato”. Wonderfully juicy grilled chicken.

We had no room for dessert so this will have to happen during our doubtless next visit. Welcoming and warm both with food and ambience though not exactly flamboyant flavours…

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2012-10-14

Cuisine: Persian

Address: 70 Askew Road, London W12 9BJ England

Public Transport: TUBE Ravenscourt Park

Location: London (England) - Shepherd's Bush



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Telephone: +44 (0) 20883 44 888