Restaurant Review: Souk Medina

I admit that I will eat pretty much any type of cuisine, and I don't really have a favourite cuisine, but after a trip to Turkey a couple of years ago I developed a bit of a 'thing' for Middle Eastern food (the proper stuff mind, I'm ruined for kebab vans for ever after having the real thing). And trying a new restaurant is one of the highlights of living in a city like London, where you can eat whatever kind of food you want, whenever and wherever you want. So when the two things came together last week and a friend invited me to Souk Media, I jumped at the chance.

The restaurant is in the heart of Covent Garden near Seven Dials and would make for a great place to grab a quick dinner after a day of shopping and wandering around or before heading off to the theatre. From the outside, it's hugely open and welcoming, with a big canopied front. Inside, it's absolutely cavernous; it goes back for what seems like forever, and there's a downstairs section as well, which was where we sat. For anyone who has been to Istanbul or Morocco, the decor is very reminiscent of that - all flagged stone floors, dark woods, lamps in sconces on the wall and comfy low sofas with loads of cushions.

In true Mediterranean style, we ordered a mixture of snacks - they come with pitta bread so I think about two or three each would be plenty, depending on your appetite. All the food was delicious, particularly the chicken briouat (chicken in pastry with Moroccan spices and spinach), the grilled aubergine and the merguez (lamb sausage with tomato sauce). However, I think next time I might go for one of the tagines; the couple on the table next to us had them and they smelt absolutely amazing. We also had really lovely cocktails with figs, vodka, mint and rosewater, kind of like a mojito - I can highly recommend them.

Overall, a great place to grab a relaxed dinner with friends, due to the great food and perfectly pitched staff (they know when to leave you well alone and when to come over, and will happily let you sit and chill out long after you've finished eating), and pretty reasonably priced - admittedly we got 50% off the food with my friend's Tastecard, which are a great handy thing to have if you eat out in London regularly, but for a treat it seems like a pretty good deal at about £15 for three plates of mezze or a tagine.

Souk Medina also has a nearby sister restaurant, Souk Bazaar. I'll post about it if I ever get a chance to visit, to compare and contrast, but if you want to check it out yourself in the meantime, you can visit the website.

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