Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Sofra Turkish Cuisine Restaurant

164 Margaret Street, Toowoomba, Queensland.
Ph. 07 - 4638 0044

We get a lot of recommendations from friends to review restaurants and it’s always difficult to get to them all.  Recently a friend did a wonderful job of convincing me to book a table at Sofra.  She explained that one of her favourite places on earth to eat was Istanbul Turkey.  She has a family connection with Turkey and has spent a lot of time there enjoying the food.  My friend guaranteed me that the food at Sofra was absolutely authentic and delicious and the d├ęcor was something straight out of an Istanbul bazaar.  Well, I was sold.  Sounded like a Food Trek to me.
We arrived early to have a look around before the crowds.
Upstairs tent style dining area. Very cool.

An opportunity came up for us to visit Toowoomba on a Tuesday night so I phoned in our booking thinking that it’ll be nice and quiet on a Tuesday.  Wrong.  By 6.30 pm the place was packed and buzzing with happy foodies.  I asked our waitress if it was this busy every Tuesday and she said it was this busy every night of the week.  And I know why.
It's hard to take pictures when there is a lot of customers.  We usually arrive early to avoid offending people with the flash going off as I snap away with the old Nikon.

The food is absolutely amazing.  It’s one taste sensation after another.  Wood smoked Babaganush (smoked egg plant and garlic dip) with Turkish bread for starters.  Followed by strips of pan fried Haloumi cheese, and then a mixed kebab tasting plate with Adana lamb (char grilled on flat skewers), chicken and beef kebab meat (heavenly spiced) melting in your mouth.  Washing it all down with Turkish sour cherry nectar that was so good I had to have two. 
The main dining area is wonderfully decorated, including woven table cloths.  
The restaurant is spotlessly clean. 

Of course we had to save room for dessert and that meant we had to try everything.  We each ordered a tasting plate of five fantastic Turkish desserts.  A rose flavoured baked rice pudding, smooth semolina helva, a cream filled Turkish pastry (Its name escapes me), the most spectacular Baklava, and of course seductive Turkish delight. Every dessert is a master piece.

The service is exceptionally friendly, the atmosphere fun and exotic, the food was superb, and the prices were breathtakingly realistic.  For all of our food and drinks, the night cost me $88.  How good is that?  Kelly and I will be back soon because there is so much on the menu we want to try. No, we NEED to try.  It’s that good.  If you can get to Toowoomba and you want a fair dinkum great food experience, you have to go to Sofra.  But book first.  This place is so popular you probably won’t get a table if you just walk in.

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