Sofra, Edmonton

A group of friends and I planned a night out at Sofra, a Turkish restaurant that none of us had tried before. The interior is small but interesting – lots of wood and a giant horse statue at the entrance. Each table has a charm embedded into the table surface – a glass eye as a charm against the evil eye. I did think about taking a photo of one, but I decided that it would probably give me bad luck or something and erred on the safe side.

To drink, I tried some Turk Cayi – Turkish tea. It arrived in a tiny cup with a spoon and a sugar cube. And it tasted like orange pekoe. Yeah, I felt a little ripped off.

Turk Cayi (Turkish tea)

Turk Cayi (Turkish tea)

Two people tried the pideler – traditional forno-baked pizzas.

The first was the Tavuklu Pide, a chicken, tomato, green pepper and cheese pizza.

Tavuklu Pide (chicken pizza)

Tavuklu Pide (chicken pizza)

The second was a Kiymali Pide, a ground beef pizza with with vegetables and cheese.

Kiymali Pide (ground beef pizza)

Kiymali Pide (ground beef pizza)

Both pizzas had plenty of cheese and the toppings tasted okay, but the pizzas didn’t wow anyone at the table except for the light, flaky crust.

Two of us had the kebabs, which were served with a side salad, grilled vegetables, and bulgar. I quite enjoyed the bulgar as it was cooked perfectly (not too mushy and not too hard), and was seasoned well.

One person had the Adana Kebab made with spicy beef. Everyone at the table thought this was the best dish out of all that was ordered. The beef was tender and the portion was generous.

Adana Kebab (spicy beef)

Adana Kebab (spicy beef)

I had the Kuzu Sis Kebab nade with herbed lamb and grilled to medium well. The lamb pieces were large and were heavily seasoned with rosemary (and probably oregano, but the rosemary is what stood out in my memory). The menu actually says that the meat would be grilled medium to medium well, but I wasn’t asked which I preferred. The lamb was decent but to be honest, it wasn’t really that different from any lamb I’ve had from Greek restaurants and I would have preferred meat that was closer to medium than medium well.

Kuzu Sis Kebab (lamb)

Kuzu Sis Kebab (lamb)

All in all the meal was pleasant, but I think we were all expecting more since none of us had ever been to a Turkish restaurant before. Service was pleasant and relatively prompt. We did have one hiccup – one of the dishes served wasn’t what was ordered – but the server caught it right away and corrected the mistake. We didn’t end up getting charged for our pekoe-tasting tea, although the server didn’t mention it so I’m guessing it was because of the error but I don’t have a confirmation for the reason.

Would I go again? Possibly. But I have a feeling I’d probably end up at a Greek restaurant instead.

Sofra Turkish Cuisine
10345 – 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta

Sofra on Urbanspoon

10 thoughts on “Sofra, Edmonton

  1. I adore Turkish food, particularly kebabs. It’s neat that they served a side of bulghar pilaf – is the orange color from tomato do you think? I want to know how they made it, nosy bugger that I am.

    And I agree with you that putting tea in a Middle Eastern style cup doth not a Turkish tea make.

  2. esther says:

    Anyone who doesn’t know Turkish cuisine might think it’s more or less like Greek food but that is not the case. I have had Greek food in the UK, in Western Europe and in Canada and despite trying different price classes and different dishes have only one word for Greek food – greasy. I have never had Greek food that didn’t make me feel nauseated and I’m a vegetarian, so I didn’t even have fatty meat or anyhing! I will be going to Sofra for the first time next week and looking at the photos published and considering the friendly voice on the phone at the restaurant, I’m looking forward to the experience. Not trying to be a know-it-all, but if I ate meat and wanted my meat a certain way, I would ask them for medium OR medium well, depending on what my preference was and not leave it up to the chef. As to the tea, the small glasses (keep the tea hot for longer than porcelain) are typically Turkish, ‘Turkish tea’ might connote the tea being of Turkish origin, but since you cannot get Turkish tea everywhere, a lot of Turks I know will just use a good quality black tea. The method of brewing Turkish tea is just as important, though, it’s not just pouring hot water over tea leaves or a teabag (check it out, if you’re interested) and therefore makes for a much stronger and flavourful tea, which is what is popular among Turks.

    • Hi Esther, I certainly don’t think that all Turkish food is like Greek food. However, the food that I had at Sofra (and maybe we just ordered the wrong dishes), didn’t necessarily strike me as extremely different. Turkey is right next to Greece after all, so I would expect there to be some sort of crossover.

      Regarding the meat, I usually don’t ask people to cook meat a certain way unless I am eating something like steak, or if a server asks me my preference. I’m fine with eating something well done, but in my opinion no restaurant should be cooking meat until it’s dry.

      About the tea – why advertise it as Turkish Tea if it’s just regular tea? I drink a lot of tea and orange pekoe is one of the lesser grades of tea. This didn’t taste like high quality black tea to me at all. Did they prepare the tea in the traditional way? Maybe. They did that in the kitchen and I never saw the preparation. Were my expectations too high? Possibly.

      Please keep in mind that these were just MY opinions from MY visit, and I’m just one person. I know a lot of people who like eating at Sofra. I hope you come back and let me know what you thought of the food.

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