This place looks and sounds like a typical Covent Garden restaurant; themed, overpriced food that is lacking in style or substance. Sarastro is a ‘theatre’ themed restaurant that is dark and decadent inside. There are boxes, and balconies just like in an old fashioned theatre and full to bursting point with opulent curtains, scripts and other clutter gathering dust. Ok I have not portrayed a great image of it so far but this was my first impressions of this place before I decided to book. So why did I book I hear you ask. Well… I was hosting an over the top, opulent pearl and black tie party in central London on a budget. I wanted to ensure central and that people could afford the table cost as well as able to cater to all food tastes. Any way I had made my bed and was going to lie in it.
This place offered a free party booking and a seemingly good party menu for the price (I say seemingly as you will find later was not the case). We were place in one of the large boxes that overlooked the main restaurant; this was full of old books, scripts and encased in tapestry curtains. The table was a very long table that just squeezed into the space so guests had to slide up slowly to get to the end of the table as you could only get in from one end. As the party organiser I sat at the top of the table, it took a long time for everyone to shuffle in and then I decided I needed to use the ladies so everyone groaned as if the person at the end of the table needed to move 15 others needed to move out too. While I went, the others stood in the centre of the dark restaurant leering over the short musicians with banjos, lutes and guitars.
Finally after we all had sat down we ordered the menu that we had been told on the phone; this was a three course meal served with a cocktail pitcher, however the waiter and then manager said this was not the case. I tried to argue my point as others had hard this conversation between me a week or so before when booking but with such a large crowd it was rather awkward even for me so I chose defeat.
In the party menu we were first served with a selection of basic cold tapas; humous, olives, marinated feta cheese and pitta bread. These were clearly taken out of a pot and not homemade; but was simple and social I guess for a party.
We ordered a number of bottles of red and white wine from the limited and poor quality list – to be honest we had been drinking before so probably our taste buds were not at their peak but still it was rather awful.
For main course we had a choice of lamb shank, Mediterranean chicken or pasta in a tomato sauce (it did have a fancier name but did not deserve one). I ordered the chicken and this came with mixed grilled vegetables that were swimming in olive oil. The pasta was dry and in a very simple tomato sauce, so simple in fact that I believe it was a tin of tomatoes crushed – honestly! The lamb was probably the best option as it was slow cooked and very hard to get wrong, this was served with a creamy mashed potato.
For desert we were offered a selection of baklavas that were rich and intensely sweet and although they tatsted authentic they had clearly been bought from a shop across the road.
As a result I was disappointed in the menu but the atmosphere lent itself well to a large gathering and was a topic of conversation. Sex Drugs & Bacon Rolls would not recommend Sarastro but I guess you got that idea from the first paragraph. As a result Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls give Sarastro:
Food Atmosphere Service