Tag Archives: restaurants in Covent Garden

Terroirs, 5 William IV Street, Covent Garden, WC2N 4DW

Drumroll….well, ladies, I have found our new best place ever for after-work dinner that isn’t expensive, serves amazing food and lovely wine, and will let us chat and mange to our heart’s content!   Love, love, love Terroirs!

I’d heard great things about Terroirs and The London Foodie suggested it as a good place to have cheap food in central London, so I went along for dinner last night with friends and fellow wine-lovers Giavanna and Tallulah* (and well done Terroirs for allowing reservations – bad Wahaca/Polpo etc).  I loved the rustic, arty, chilled French atmosphere – with people eating at the bar and the cute table settings.  It felt friendly, cosy and relaxed – perfect. 

After-work dinner with my girlfriends is always tricky.  Everyone is always skint and/or trying to lose weight, so you need somewhere cheap and healthy.  Add to this the fact that someone is always late (sorry guys) and we’ll be so busy gossiping that we need at least an hour of chat before ordering, and we need relaxed service that won’t hurry us.

Terroirs ticked all these boxes.  The menu is French tapas-style which I’m a huge fan of – there’s nothing better than sharing food with friends and chatting about how it tastes, a real bonding experience.  We ordered 4 cold/warm tapas and 1 larger hot plate between 3.  We started with the duck rillettes; endive, gorgonzola & spiced walnut salad; snails, bacon garlic & parsley and king prawns a la plancha.  

Duck rillettes – delicate, gamey, fatty, nom nom, pass the baguette.   And guerkins!  I love guerkins!!!

Snails and bacon – salty, garlicky, earthy, squishy yumminess and endive, walnut and gorgonzola salad – a classic that I always love, but this was especially good due to the strong runny cheese and herby salad dressing.

King prawns a la plancha – meaty, melt in mouthy, sweet and lovely sauce. 

For apres, we really stuck to our diet plans and ordered the bavette steak.  Oops… Anyway, it was really lovely – pink, tender beef and juicy roast potatoes on a bed of shallots.  My only complaint was that I could have eaten more of it, and not sure about the crouton thingies that came with it. 

As expected in a French place, the wine list is great.  I liked how you could order a 500cl bottle (like, pretty much half a bottle really and totally acceptable for a detox school night) – we tried the Jurancon which was really nice, but next time I’d like to ask their recommendations for what wine to try with the food.

Oh yeah and then we had a bitter chocolate pot for pud.  We are soooo good at sticking to our healthy eating plans.  It was yummy – sticky, soft and rich. 

I think you’ve got that I love this place, right?  Well then the bill came and all this lovely wine and food came to £72 including service or £24 each!!!! It was at this moment that I decided to come back here every week and eat my way through the wine list and menu until the buttons pop off my jeans.  We’re definitely going back on a Friday for a wine and cheese fest for a start. 

I’ve eaten some pretty terrible meals round the corner for far more, so we really couldn’t believe what great value this place was.  Only downsides?  Not sure Lady B would find enough veggie food on the menu – but this is pretty typical of French places, oh and you might have to book a table in advance for peak times, but what do you expect for this sort of value.  I’d also probably order one more tapas plate to fill me up. 

* names changed to protect anonymity and ensure no diet and detox plans were strictly broken, ahem

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Sofra, 36 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7PB

If you’re looking for good quality, cheap food in Covent Garden, you could do a lot worse than Sofra.  To protect the anonymity of the blog, I’ve recently asked my friends to come up with their own pseudonyms – and so it came to pass that Pixie, Gunther, Lady B and several other people who’s new names I fail to recollect, went along last Friday for some yummy Turkish food and lots and lots of wine. 

We were around 14 people, and they managed to accomodate our large party in a strange community-hall type room above the main restaurant.  We ate the set menu – with a huge amount of mezze-style starters and mains, and mucho wine, plus assorted cheese and crumble puds (not sure what the Turkish connection to apple crumble is but hey..).   All this for £35 a head and it’s great value – and a lot better quality food than mostly cheap eats in the area.

Taking a photo of my half-eaten main seemed like a good idea at the time…

The food isn’t remarkable but is very very good and as nice as I tasted last summer in Turkey – delicious hummous, tabbouleh, baby broadbeans, stuffed pastries, aubergine ratatouille, lamb fillet with hummous; with succulent lamb koftas and shish kebabs for main. 

Above all, they let us natter away happily with great but unobtrusive service until the wee hours – for me the sign of a great restaurant to go to when the conversation and company is as important as the food.  With the announcement that Rosa’s Thai is opening in Soho soon, I’m glad that I’ve found at least two decent cheap eateries in central London.

Sofra on Urbanspoon