Home United KingdomLondonEC2 Saf


by Krista
Saf bar

152-154 Curtain Road

Date of Last Visit: Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009

The Victim: Jess my fellow London restaurant blogger, with a little romance thrown in for good measure.

The Damage: £40something

The Background: I have a confession to make. I was once a pescatarian. This would have been around 1994 – 1995. One whole year. No red meat or chicken. Just vegetables. And some fish on occasion. The good part was that I probably weighed a lot less that year than other points in my life. The bad part was that I was a frequent guest at the infirmary. (And yes, I did eat lots of protein. Fish! And beans. And eggs. I did eat eggs. Maybe that makes me a ovo-pescatarian?)

I was glad to return to the land of pepperoni pizza. I like pepperoni. And I really like bacon. But I've missed all those vegetables I used to eat.

I know…I probably could have both bacon and vegetables. But I don't. I'm just stupid.

So Saf has intrigued me from the start. Because it's very much about the veg. And the nice reviews were compelling. Add to this Jess' 21 Day Detox, and Saf was my suggested dinner destination.

The Entrance: Saf is a lot more modern than I expected. I was thinking it would be more hippie-tree-hugging. Sure, it smells like wheatgrass. But it's really quite a nice space.

The Service: Is weird! I stand in the entrance for ages before someone acknowledges me. I totally messed up and wore my invisible cape, so it wasn't surprising that the hostess looked right past me and asked the people in line BEHIND ME if they had a booking. And then once Jess and I were seated, I sometimes felt like I was one of those guys at O'Hare airport that wears the headphones and has the little orange sticks to guide planes in with. You! Over here! Yes! Over here!

Saf cheese

The Food: "Cheese" to start. That's actually nut cream. But it tasted vaguely like cheese. And you know, it was pretty darn good. Particularly served with the partially sun-dried tomatoes. And hey, I like flax.

Saf buddah bowl

For my main, I chose the Buddah Bowl–teriyaki glazed smoked tofu, organic jasmine rice, wok fried greens, kimchee, kimpura & sambal. Seemed like a lot of seaweed to me. I don't mind eating seaweed. It just wasn't what I was expecting. I liked the tofu though. And the rice. But it seemed more like a lunch dish than a dinner dish.

Jess ordered the Root Vegetable Tart with buckwheat and herb crust, purple sprouting (broccoli???), and creamed spinach. By the end of the meal, she'd maybe eaten half of it. Too heavy, she said.

The Dessert: "Chocolate" tart for her (which I think was actual chocolate, just with no dairy products added) and a "winter tart" for me. The winter tart was like eating a mixed berry muffin from Pret. Too much like breakfast. Too bad.

The Conversation: I am intrigued by Jess' 21 Day Detox. She's trying to convince me to do the same. Hmmm. (As I sit here eating delicious-packed-full-of dairy-Comte from Borough.)

The Loos: Co-ed!

The Verdict: I liked the vibe of Saf. I liked that I felt like I was doing something good for my body. I liked the "cheese" plate. Wasn't so crazy about the rest, however.

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Gourmet Chick February 17, 2009 - 9:25 am

Sounds really interesting Krista. I have been meaning to try this place. Not so worried about the lack of meat as the cold food – maybe it would be better in summer.

Alex February 17, 2009 - 6:27 pm

I think this is somewhere I’ll skip… The review in WFI was pretty poor and the service sounds rubbish!

Krista February 18, 2009 - 7:09 am

What is WFI?

Douglas February 19, 2009 - 12:29 pm

Waitrose Food Illustrated. Nice review.

Boo February 20, 2009 - 8:29 pm

I loved Saf when I went last year and agree that it looked surprisingly impressive. I’d recommend the pearl barley risotto but my vegetarian friend was less impressed. I thought the service was fine if a little condescending.

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