Friday, March 22, 2013



Sofra @ 10345 106 Street NW # 780-423-3044

What a raging way to jumpstart Spring! Vehicles in the ditch, code orange at the hospitals, and a schwackload of snow. You would think that we’d all be used to Edmonton’s spontaneous snowstorms by now. I just hope everyone is safe and sound!

As a means of defying Mother Nature, my buds and I weathered the storm and went out for dinner. One of my buds wanted to try out a Turkish restaurant in downtown Edmonton that was featured on You Gotta Eat Here!. Our destination of choice: Sofra. We were greeted and seated promptly, and immediately took to our cozy surroundings. At the table, I was welcomed in the most peculiar manner by this:  

Beware, the Evil Eye is everywhere and sees everything

According to our waitress, the eye on the table was some sort of charm to ward off evil. Neat! I couldn’t stop peeking and poking!

Anyhow, the menu displayed a large variety of foods ranging from pizzas to authentic desserts. It was enough to make anyone’s mouth water. I decided to go for something that sounded super authentic to Turkish cuisine: the Adana Kebab. Adana is a city in Turkey whose cuisine is both spicy and sour. The Adana Kebab is one of the more popular foods from this region and, as its name suggests, comprises of skewered meat cooked over flames. This particular kebab was made with spicy beef ($20).

This made me drool

The meat was delish! The beef had a spiciness that simmered slowly so that I could relish all the flavors of the meat without burning off my taste buds on the get-go. As well, the dish came with a unique yogurt dip that had a refreshingly mild sour taste. This toned down the spiciness of the beef and stimulated very different but complementary taste buds. What a delectably pleasant surprise! The dish included grilled slices of cucumber, tomato, and green pepper. I enjoyed this addition, as they were super fresh, crisp, healthy-tasting, and mildly seasoned. I felt like the salad was nothing out of the ordinary. It essentially comprised of spring greens lathered in what tasted to me like raspberry vinaigrette. Last but not least was the bulghar pilaf. According to Wiki, bulghar is a whole wheat grain common in the Middle East. It is relatively high in fibre and protein. This also had a mild simmering tomatoey spiciness to it and was unlike anything I’d tasted before.

My awesome beef dish

Some other foods that I sampled included the Kiymali Pide, a pizza made with ground beef, vegetables, and cheese. I appreciated the proportion of ingredients in this meal. The crust was thin and the cheese did not overwhelm the other flavors. The Tavuk Sis Kebab was essentially the same as my order, except that the meat was chicken. This was my favorite out of all the dishes. The chicken was very tender and juicy. Its seasoning did not overpower the natural flavor of the meat itself. It was, in all honesty, cooked to perfection and I would highly recommend this dish for newcomers. Another dish was the Kili Baligi Kebab, which was swordfish! Exotic! Unfortunately, I have a weird psychological allergy to seafood, so I opted not to sample this skewer. From what I hear, the fish was a bit “meaty and overcooked”. 

Very different from Pizza Hut


Swordfish exotica

Last but not least, we shared a traditional Turkish dessert known to many as Baklava. It was absolutely amazing! Unlike other Baklavas, this one’s pastry did not stick to my teeth, one of my biggest pet peeves in the food industry. It was not overly sweet and it seemed to almost melt in my mouth with flavors of pistachio, walnut, and honey. Our dish came with four slices and Mr. Gultekin (chef and restaurant owner) was kind enough to give us two extra slices as my bud raved about the amazingness of the Baklava.

We attacked no mercy before I could take a nice photo

Since we had such a great experience with dessert, we impulsively ordered a Firin Sutlac, which was a creamy rice pudding. While it had more character than the Kozy Shack rice pudding I normally get from Costco, it did not live up to our expectations. In all honesty, I couldn't stop thinking of Baklava while sampling this pudding, almost felt like I was cheating on the Firin Sutlac…

I cheated on you sorry

Overall, Sofra had great food, polite and efficient service, and a quaint atmosphere. While the menu was somewhat pricey relative to portion size, the quality and authenticity of the food just about made up for it. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed dining at Sofra and would highly recommend this restaurant for anyone interested in a Turkish venture. My final verdict: 87/100.

Fun times with Mr. Gultekin

Sofra on Urbanspoon

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