If music be the food of love, eat up! Sarastro, named for a character in Mozart’s Magic Flute, is known to its faithful as ‘the show after the show’.
The restaurant, in Drury Lane, the heart of London’s Theatreland, is a rich tapestry of flamboyant artwork, gilt furniture and wall-mounted opera boxes which provide a spectacular view of the interior.
Dine in the restaurant or semi – private opera boxes and feast on the excellent Mediterranean cuisine. The relaxed, yet highly charged atmosphere is a reflection of the founder, Richard Niazi who was famously passionate about food, wine and opera – not necessarily in that order.
Every Sunday and Monday evening, and Sunday matinee, live performances take place by singers from international Opera Houses including the Royal Opera. We have a special three course Opera Cabaret Menu for both the matinee and evening performances with children at half price. You never know who you might see or hear at Sarastro, you have to visit to find out.
We often host other musical events too so please check our website regularly to see what is happening at the restaurant.
When visiting our restrooms adults should be ready for a surprise while kids may have to close their eyes!
Chris Horton :
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome back to Sarastro Restaurant and thank you for coming along this evening to help us celebrate 20 wonderful years. In this day and age it is quite an accomplishment to have been around for such a long time but we have been lucky to have such strong and loyal customers such as you all. So thank you!
When Sarastro first opened its doors in 1996 it was not to a night of food music song and laughter as we might assume but an early morning fry up for 60 hungry Italian tourists. That is typical Sarastro, you can’t guess what will happen. 20 years ago , Sarastro was the new kid on the block and it emerged to shake up the restaurant scene. Fine dining was the popular and in thing with new chefs emerging into the limelight such as Gordon Ramsay, Jean Christophe Novelli and Eric Chavot. But Sarastro was here to remind everyone that the dining out experience is not just about the food: it was the entire event of food, song, laughter and wine and then some more wine.
Sarastro was of course the work of Richard Niazi. Restaurateur extraodinaire and self styled King of Covent Garden. Those of you that knew him will know that only such a place could have been conceived by such man. It was not his first venture but it was his best and most successful and one that he remained immensely proud of and rightly so. The restaurant reflects him to this day. It stands out from the crowd, brims with life and will lead to unforgettable experiences that one will forever remember.
Sarastro took 30 months to complete and I wouldn’t like to guess how many bottle of whiskey…and vodka…and Raki …wine…and yes, I nearly forgot Fernet Branca that essential early morning medicinal! But it was all worth it. The restaurant hit the floor running, packed to the rafters everynight . People didn’t know what to make of it, they’d been to a restaurant but couldn’t remember the food just hazy memories of plates being brought, glasses being filled, music being played and just the feeling that at the first opportunity they would be back because they knew that they had had a great experience. They’d been Sarastro’d.
Change Ineveitably happens over the years, It has to. Richard passed away in 2008 but fortunately his daughter Sibel and her Uncle Murad made the decision to take over the reins at Sarastro and take it forward. Sarastro is no longer the home to soley its famous string quartet and opera shows but boast nights of swing and Motown with Colin Roy and Latin music and 70/80s nostalgia with Grace Rodson. The food has certainly gone up a few notches and, if you’re lucky you may even get a waiter or waitress who is able to understand you.under the guidance of Sibel/Murad and Emre (Sibel’s husband) Sarastro remains a West End rarity in being a family run concern but, thankfully, it is somewhere that continues to sate people’s appetite for a great night out,
Tonight, we want to remember the good old days and celebrate the new as well as all those in between. So raise a glass to Sarastro, Richard and all his family and let the fun begin.
REVIEW EXCERPT FROM THE TELEGRAPH 2004
Reviewer is greet at reception by a gentleman in chequered scarf…
“Now,” he commands, with a curving troll’s smile. “You’re having a drink on me or else you can’t have one.”
After ascertaining a preference, he shouts up to the bar: “Two gins on the house. And make ’em doubles!”
This is asurprise, because hospitality is quite rare in the hospitality industry. We all know that. We’ve all (not) experienced it. Meanwhile, mine host is now pressing a group of Japanese students into accepting a drink, although much of his exhortations are lost in translation.
“Not house wine. On the house!” he says, stabbing his chest with a finger. “On me!”
Only when a round of beers is safely delivered does he lurch over towards the sanctuary of the reception desk. Here, two tumblers filled with brimming measures of what looks like whisky, attract his attention.
“Which of these is mine?” he asks.
“They both are,” comes the reply.
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