Named after a character in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, this utterly unique spot has gained an iconic reputation for its sumptuous decor and vibrant food. It’s a magnet for theatre-goers, opera-lovers and eccentric tourists, with Covent Garden tube conveniently just a five-minute walk away. Housed in a Grade II listed building, Sarastro was opened in 1996 by Richard Niazi, dubbed the king of Covent Garden, and it has remained a strong contender in the area ever since – a testament to its popularity.
Crushed velvet tablecloths and drapes, theatre props and a mezzanine level overlooking the restaurant combine to create a grand and intriguing interior that reflects the glamour surrounding this West End haunt. Artwork adorning the walls, dazzling gilt furniture and mounted opera balcony boxes in English, Gothic, Ottoman and Byzantine styles proudly hint at the theatre within its walls. Sarastro has a few tricks up its sleeve. Opera singers come here to perform and special music events are hosted throughout the week. On Sundays, sit back and relax to the sound of a string quartet and live opera singers, or stop by on Friday and listen to Latin music, while Thursdays welcome a swing and Motown show. Celebrate Saturday in style with the 70s and 80s night.
Mediterranean food with Turkish influences takes centre stage. Let the show begin with the likes of cheese borek accompanied by yoghurt and tahini dip, Turkish-style spicy beef sausage slices in tomato sauce served with pitta, and deep-fried calamari. The mains present fish, meat and vegetarian options. Pan-roasted citrus salmon, seafood linguine in tomato and basil sauce, and aubergine stuffed with sweet caramelised onions, tomatoes and herbs served with garden salad are a few choices up for grabs. There’s an assortment of sweet treats to round off your feast at Sarastro. The signature crème brûlée is infused with traditional Turkish aniseed spitir Raki, and is paired with sticky, sweet medjool dates. It’s not just the food that impresses; the wine list, Champagne selection, and cocktails are equally exciting.
Often referred to by regulars as ‘the show after the show,’ Sarastro is a spectacular dining venue like no other. You’ll leave feeling enchanted by the food, delighted by the entertainment and hungry for more.