Food Review: Sufra

January 3, 2013 8:02 am by

Bandra’s Carter Road area has no shortage of establishments serving shawarma. There’s the excellent Maroosh; Carter’s Blue; and an unnamed outlet near Mad Over Donuts. Just a short distance away from this clutch of off-Carter Road eateries, is Sufra, a new Middle-Eastern takeaway launched by restaurateur Moshe Shek in the middle of December. Prettily decorated in blue and white tiles, Sufra stands right across the Carter Road promenade, and is thus a convenient spot for Bandra residents looking for a snack during or after their evening stroll. For those who’d rather finish their wraps in a one place (which is not a bad idea because eating one can be a messy affair), there’s an alcove with three tables on the mezzanine.

As far as shawarmas go, Sufra’s, when they get it right, was near perfect. The wrap, which justified its Rs150 price tag, was fat, stuffed with juicy pieces of chicken and pickled vegetables and slathered with garlic sauce that was thankfully not the kind that leaves you with halitosis. However it should be noted that on two subsequent visits, we were served rather dry shawarmas, which were made without any sauce, which was a problem even with the lamb kebab wrap (Rs180), filled with large parched roundels of lamb and cracked wheat. The roast chicken and moujadara (Rs250) comprised two legs of chicken in a tomato-based gravy that tasted like diluted chilli sauce and a portion of lentil pulao that was under-seasoned and undercooked. The vegetarian version (Rs225) of the dish, which has skewers of paneer and capsicum, came with the same unpalatable pulao and gravy. The largely disappointing meal was slightly elevated by dessert, the ashtalieh (Rs90), a Lebanese pudding made of cream that tastes somewhat similar to the Indian payasam. It was lusciously soft yet firm, had the right amount of sweet and just the slightest hint of rose water.

This review was conducted anonymously.

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Sufra

LocationNear Oceanic Building
Carter Road
Bandra (West)

Phone022 2649 7259

HoursDaily, from 11am to midnight

Comments (21)

  1. neelapanther |

    how do you folks know the person calling himself moshe shek is indeed the owner? just cos his name is the same? it could be some prankster also. lol

  2. Varuna |

    I’d like the chicken shawarma meat to be a little more cooked and crispy “burnt”. It was too juicy for me and the classic shawarma. /imo

  3. Skc |

    Yo moshe shek and your posse, Grow up. Ur resto may have been big before but not anymore. Bought some cookies from ur bandra store. When i opened the packet a long strand of hair was the first thing i saw. Now before u blame me that its my own hair that instantly fell on it just at the same time i opened the packet, im bald as a baby’s ass.

    Blech = food at moshes

  4. Dipika |

    ok. after commenting on moshe’s comment and attitude I thought it’s only fair that I also check out his food. No way. give me maroosh any day. and frankly I don’t see this fuss about his outlet being cleaner. maroosh is clean too with an open kitchen now. i love the sauces at maroosh. I do really. tons of friends in bandra love maroosh too. so nah! i’ll stay with my ‘bad taste’ .

  5. Bella |

    I visited Sufra on Saturday 5 January to order take out. A person who I can only presume was the owner annexed one of our wraps and gave it to a group of people who he was clearly showing off to by prancing around the kitchen and giving them food they weren’t even interested in eating. Our remaining shawarmas were left on the side to get cold whilst the kitchen panicked making us another.

    When the order was eventually ready 25 minutes after we first ordered, we had to send the food back because it was congealed and ice cold. I must commend the counter staff who tried their very best to sort it out, but an acknowledgement from the owner would have been polite.

    It is not worth being treated like this for food that is quite frankly average at best. I have eaten Middle Eastern food in the, wait for it, Middle East and in London, where the standard of food is incredibly high. Sufra’s poor excuse is exceedingly bland and tasteless. For a start they don’t even toast their pita bread!

    Taste is personal and maybe I’ve been spoiled by the affordable authentic cuisine on the Edgeware Road, but having read these comments the fact is their attitude (arrogant) is all wrong and that is why I ultimately won’t be going back.

  6. Dipika |

    Dear Moshe,

    I take offence to your labeling my liking for Maroosh as ‘bad taste’. Taste is personal. I love the generosity of Maroosh with their sauces. Yes! I prefer it if they are slathered on. Please don’t forget that a lot of us customers are now seasoned travelers and not just to Bangkok! We can identify good, bad and authentic flavors. But what ANYONE can identify is service – good or bad. I’m very annoyed with your condescending attitude.

  7. acustomed |

    I am appalled by Moshe’s attitude towards criticism towards his restaurant. This is absolutely no way to respond to anyone.

    You are condescending not only towards the reviewer but also to the city in which you choose to make your money. Shame on you. If you think everything around you is trash perhaps that is because it reflects the quality of your own attitude.

  8. MR |

    “Cappuccino is made from milk poured out from a carton and the Espresso shot is filtered through a fine mesh and filter before dripping through a small nozzle into a cup.This would make it practically impossible for any insect to enter the brew”

    Sigh. Again the defensive attitude. The reason why I will NEVER come back. you guys think Moshes is beyond reproach. Newsflash..its NOT.not even close.

    I couldn’t be bothered about giving you my number. The fact that you STILL won’t accept a complaint gracefully and/or apologise speaks volumes of your management’s attitude.

    The age old adage “the customer is always right” clearly doesn’t figure in your scheme of things.

  9. Dear M R,

    We have checked and not come across any such complaints or comment cards,all which are numbered and scrutinised by us.However,do let us have you complete identity so we can correspond with you. We do have busy spells at Sufra as we are doing fresh food and not fast food.Apologies for the waiting you experienced.
    Note from our Head Barrista
    Cappuccino is made from milk poured out from a carton and the Espresso shot is filtered through a fine mesh and filter before dripping through a small nozzle into a cup.This would make it practically impossible for any insect to enter the brew.
    In Sufra,we have an open kitchen and guests can view the high level of hygiene we maintain.
    Moshe’s Guest Relations

  10. Karishma |

    Ordered for a falafel and shawarma … both were pretty damn good … esp the falafel… love the food at the Moshe cafe’s as well… very surprised to see a bad review…

  11. Abhishek |

    Dear Moshe,

    I’m a fan but food quality and service consistency is definitely patchy. Do spend some more time fine tuning operations, food quality and training of staff and chefs.

    And thanks for good mezze platters at Moshe’s palladium. They are delicious but pita and other breads disappoint sometime.

    Best.

  12. Flavia |

    Your food might be authentic Moshe but the standards are so inconsistent (or consistently low), that even the “fusion” fare that is Maroosh is far superior just based on their reliably decent quality.

    My first shwarma was fabulous, the second dehydrated beyond belief and that spinach pastry, rock hard and completely inedible.

    Oh and ps I grew up in the middle east but you don’t need to do that to know when food is just plain bad.

  13. avi |

    Dear Moshe,
    The food at sufra is par excellence and for the price tag the quality and service is great. Mumbai needs more REAL middle eastern joints like yours. The effort you have put in making SUFRA & MOSHE’S into landmark eateries in our city comes through with flying colours.
    One question though, why do you waste your time replying or even acknowledging such absurd reviews posted by people in poor taste?

  14. Shahnaz |

    Obviously, your review makes it painfully clear, that the ability to appreciate and recognize really good middle eastern food is an acquired taste!

    That being said, there are many others like you, who have probably never traveled to the middle east and may feel the way you do when they eat authentic middle eastern cuisine!

    While we can’t tell the average person to go and get an education in middle eastern food, as a food writer, one would expect that you educate yourself before forming an opinion on any cuisine that comes from a part of the world that you have had no exposure to!!!

    FYI, I have middle eastern roots, as does the chef and i do believe the food is some of the MOST authentic i have had outside the middle east.

  15. usa expat |

    I stopped at Sufra the other day and ordered a shwarma and a veg wrap for takeaway. I was the only customer there and they weren’t working on any delivery orders. I wish I had been warned in advance that I would be standing there waiting for 20 minutes. I can’t imagine how long it could take if they were busy.

    When my order was finally ready, the woman at the counter put the sandwiches, napkins, and side of garlic sauce on the counter, gave a rather surly look and just said, “here.” I had to specifically ask for it to be packed in a bag so that I could actually carry my order.

    The food was pretty good, but the service was so abysmal, I don’t think I would go back.

  16. MR |

    Dear Mr. Shek,

    I just read your comment and I’m pretty surprised how badly you take criticism, but then again that’s probably why so many people like myself have sworn never to go to any of your restaurants again.
    I don’t know the author of this article and I haven’t been to Sufra (and I probably never will go there) but I must take this opportunity to tell you that the quality of your Cuffe Parade and Bandra restaurants in terms of staff and food are TERRIBLE.
    I had insects in my dessert at the cuffe parade one and instead of making amends your staff was rude, negligent and down right unapologetic. Your Bandra restaurant just made me sick.twice.And I had a cockroach in my cappuccino.

    Despite leaving comments and my number, neither did I get a call from you nor your manager.

    This is pretty sad as I used to visit the cuffe Moshes atleast 5 times a month for years.

    So instead of trying to hit out at reviewers, please clean up your act!

  17. Jayshree |

    Way to go Moshe…love your comments!!! I have had at both Maroosh and Carter Blue and they are pathetic to say the least…. the chicken shwarma was soggy, dripping with sauce and filled with cabbage at Carter Blue…. the hummus at Maroosh was really poor, either they forgot the tahini or got stingy with it. And to top it all both these places are serious health and hygiene hazards….they are getting away with it only because its India, anywhere else and they would have lost their licenses by now. I wonder on what basis do these critics give their reviews and call a place excellent….do they even have any qualifications to become food critics!!!!!

  18. mashe |

    hi moshe lets eat some bhel tgthr smday yaar

  19. Nipa |

    I am shocked that you think maroosh and carter blue are excellent, there is something really wrong with your taste buds. It leaves no doubt about your credibility as a food critic.

  20. moshe shek |

    Hi Pronoti,
    On the onset , if the other carter road outlets that serve mexican shwarma and chinese shwarma are more to your taste buds and liking and even termed “excellent” by you, it only goes to say how seasoned your taste buds are to the trash dished out in the city as opposed to someone who s putting out clean, authentic and tasty fare in an open kitchen where we take the effort to bake our breads on site and not wrap a stodgy pita around the filling. Think you and ur crew needs some serious orientation on food and how things should taste or maybe,,,,,,,just stick to what u term as “excellent” and be merry with mediocre while you type away in some hidden corner pleased with calling urselves “boss” .

  21. Venkatesh |

    This place is a joke when you consider the amount of amazing shawarmas around. Even their friendly manager can’t make up for a lack of taste in their food and the lack of any standards. Thought the first time was just by accident we weren’t given any veggies in our shawarma so tried again and this time the pita was rock hard and stale.

    One to avoid.

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