There is a hidden gem in London… A mysterious and wonderful place, where interior, food and live music come together in sweet harmony! I really thought I knew all about the restaurants in my city – until I stepped into Sarastro!
Sarastro is housed in what was once a public house on the 19th century gin soaked Drury Lane!
This very unique and must see restaurant offers live music Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so it was difficult for Frenchie and I to choose which day to go. We however went for Friday Latin Night – and suddenly everybody was on the dancefloor (more about this later)
Surrounded by magic even outside of the restaurant
Let’s go inside and take a closer look!
This really is a magical place. It was like entering the scene of a theatre!
As you can see, Sarastro truly belongs in the heart of London’s Theatreland. The place is a rich tapestry or flamboyant artwork, gilt furniture and even wall mounted opera boxes amongst numerous props and knick-knacks collected from nearby shows.
Frenchie and I had our own beautiful and romantic private opera box!
Our table with a view… I was completely in love with this theme with a setting taken straight from Arabian Nights. The boxes can be booked for small or large parties, allowing you to have privacy while still enjoying the atmosphere of the large restaurant!
Entertaining writings on the wall… It seems that everything is allowed in this place, so let’s play!
King Richard of Sarastro…
Sarastro is not just an adventurous Turkish restaurant! It is a place with a history that needs to be told. The relaxed and highly charged atmosphere is actually a reflection of its founder Richard Niazi, also known as King Richard, who was passionate about food, wine and opera! Paulo Carapito, the general manager of Sarastro, told us some amazing stories about Richard, who was famously known in the areas around Covent Garden. He was the person, who let students drink for free – and always offered them a table even when everything was fully booked! He was a Bon Vivant – a lover of life – and when he passed in 2008, most of the workers in Covent Garden took the day off to go to his funeral… A truly loved person indeed! Today Sarastro is run by Richard’s daughter Sibel and her uncle Murad
All set and ready for food and drinks!
Sarastro offer various dining options from set meals to a la carte with traditional meze starters and largley meat with rice style mains.
We decided to try a Turkish wine served by our waiter Daniel. I know the wines quite well, as I worked in Turkey many years ago
You can get decent wine at decent prices here! If you don’t dare to go for a Turkish there are plenty of others to choose from. Ours was lovely by the way!
Our starter was a lovely selection of mezzes: Hummus, aubergine, yoghurt dip, spicy sausages, cous cous and others, all nice and tasty, served with fresh, turkish bread. With a glass of wine this in itself is quite a meal. This is Alex explaining what we were having!
It was sooo good! Actually so good, that I was almost full when it was time to order the main dish!
Frenchie had a beautiful Rack of lamb with dauphinoise potatoes, shakshouka, garlic confit and thyme jus. He was very impressed – the meat was incredibly tender!
I went for finger-licking good deep fried calamari with pea purée and lemon aioli
– and more cacik (didn’t care for the garlic breath – it was sooo good!)
Time for a break, a glass of wine and entertainment!
How can you not start dancing to the tunes of Latin music played by Grace Rodson (bonus-info: Grace has played at some of London’s leading music venues)
And it certainly didn’t take long before everybody was on the dancefloor!
The atmosphere in this place is really great! I really loved how people just let loose – young and old!
Meanwhile I took a sneak peek into the bathrooms. Paulo had told me it was quite an experience going there – so they actually have a bathroom for adults – and one for children!
The next pictures, I am about to reveal, might make you blush…
Yes, it certainly was quite an “adventure” visiting the bathrooms!
What you might have noticed, is that the devil appears in many of the pictures. Paulo explained to me that Sarastro actually is named after a character in Mozart’s Magic Flute. This is why you will see many shapes and “sizes” of the devil in this restaurant!
We actually couldn’t eat anymore, but I love Tiramisu so much, so we decided to share a piece of heaven!
It was a lovely classic dessert, that I would definitely recommend if you are a Tiramisu lover like me
I would like to thank the Sarastro team for a great and adventurous evening. If you are looking for a fun, warm-hearted and flamboyant place for a great night out in London – this is the place!
(who needed to sit down and change her shoes, when walking home after dancing to latino music)