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“Nice food, Strange atmosphere, Hit and Miss service”
Review of Sofia's Italian Restaurant - CLOSED

Sofia's Italian Restaurant
Price range: $5 - $15
Cuisines: Italian, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Description: The Guildhall in Walsall's Old Square is an imposing old building which dates all the way back to the 16th century. Now a Grade I listed gem, the site has been converted into a lively neighbourhood Italian restaurant and the never-ending dining room is crammed with tables of all sizes, fairy lights and an open-plan kitchen where chefs are hard at work tossing pizzas in the air. Live music & Italian music is played at Sofia's, adding to the upbeat atmosphere, and the menu is filled with old-fashioned favourites and also traditional English Favourites such as afternoon tea and Sunday Roast
Reviewed May 29, 2013

We also visited on the £19 groupon voucher and we're glad we didn't pay anything more for it.
On arrival we were greeted pleasantly, but our booking was not in the book, nevertheless we were seated and given the "set menu" to look through, none of the starters stated on groupon were included but there was a good selection of mains.
We had our free drinks and ordered starters, the service was friendly and efficient but seemed to speed up from then on, as we were eating the last mouthful of our mains the plates were being cleared! we both had pasta dishes which were fresh and tasty, nothing to write home about but enjoyable. Service then ground to a halt after dessert as we had to wait around 15mins to find a waitress and get the bill delivered. The extra drinks were reasonably priced, but £6 for a garlic bread "side dish" is a bit ridiculous, then there's the service charge automatically added which I don't personally agree with.
The real distraction from the food however was the decor and the atmosphere, it's clearly been a chinese buffet restaurant in a former life and not much has been done to make it feel at all italian or cozy, it was too bright, impersonal and generally run down.
Overall we didn't have a terrible time here but doubt we will be returning, we'd be very disappointed if we'd paid full price for it.

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Thank 00pooter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (557)
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440 - 444 of 557 reviews

Reviewed May 27, 2013

Brought a groupon offer for three courses and a glass of prosecco each £19. On arrival we were greeted by a friendly waitress but from here it went downhill. The waiting staff were all miserable and seemed like they needed a rocket attached to them in order for them to do anything. How can an establishment charge £1.95 for a flat glass of coke out the bottle? After being seated in a practically empty restaurant we were given a menu with hardly any choice despite the suggestion on groupon of extensive starters including ribs and meatballs; in actual fact there were 5 choices so we ended up having bruschetta and pâté. Neither were high quality Italian food and tasted bland. After waiting 20 minutes for someone to clear the table we were them brought pizzas which were again bland, and ordered and extra French fries that were infact more like roast potatoes. There was no condiments offered. Realising we hadnt been given a glass of wine as stated I asked the waiter if we could have the cokes instead as a glass of wine was £4.95 on the menu. He said yes. For desert we opted for banana split which was a mess on a plate so wasn't even eatable without it pinging off the side of your plate. The bill arrived and we had been charged for all the cokes, deserts and the awful roast potato French Fries, £18, to add to insult there was a service charge on the bill which I was ill informed of on arrival, and found ridiculous considering as far as I was concerned the whole outing was a waste of time. On informing the waitress the bill was wrong she was rude and not helpful, she removed the deserts and one coke, how a £1.95 coke is equivalent to a £4.95 glass of wine is something I will ponder for the foreseeable! Doesn't really account for those driving to eat at the establishment. Needless to say I paid the bill and removed the service charge from the total. I am in no way miserable or a restaurant reviewer and this is the first I have ever left, as clearly I was extremely disappointed. Don't waste your time or money on this place!

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1  Thank Fh_truereviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

We went to Sophia's on a Sunday evening on a Groupon deal. Like other reviewers we we a little concerned after reading some not very flattering reviews. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the place and we couldn't fault the food. The staff although young, were very polite and proffessional. The decor was certainly different but interesting. Overall we had a pleasant evening.

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1  Thank SUPERBAGGIESBOY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

My wife and I bought a £14 from Living Social for Sofias - which included a starter and main course for two.

Initially I was quite apprehensive, as the reviews on TA are quite appalling. I even asked my wife if we should just cancel and cut our losses, but we thought, "what the hell, at least we'll be prepared for the worst".

The building itself is quite impressive - could be an old bank, or other municipal building converted into what it is now. The entrance is round the back through a courtyard. This seriously needs cleaning up as you feel like you're visiting a dodgy establishment (think downtown brothel or casino - not that I've got any experience of either!) with a pile of rubbish opposite the entrance in the car park, overgrown plants and decor in need of refurbishment.

Upon entering you're greeted, albeit rather coldly, by a member of staff, who seemingly doesn't like to make small talk. When we arrived at 7pm, the place was empty, but other groups of diners soon arrived, which quickly made us realise that if you had bought a £14 meal deal, you were given a "special" menu, which contained a very limited selection of dishes. We asked the manager if we could add a few toppings to our pizza, as the selection was very bland, to which he responded that we indeed could, not a problem.

We ordered the Bruschetta Pomodore as a starter, a (Actually spelled Pomodoro) garlic bread each - along with a Prochutto (which should be spelled Prosciutto) pizza, with extra pineapple and red onions for main course. Each arrived promptly, cooked thoroughly, and not too "out of a tin" as some reviewers have mentioned. My only comment would be that the chef was a little too sparing with the toppings - leaving a good two inches of empty space around the edge of the pizzas and garlic bread (the garlic bread is in fact, a pizza base with herbs, garlic and oil - far too big for one person, and something one would normally buy from a fast food outlet, not somewhere trying to be an a-la-Carte restaurant). We failed to finish the meal - so asked for the rest to be packed up for us to be taken home - again, not a problem.

So all in all, the food and service weren't all that bad - the amount of toppings on the pizza could have been more generous, but that's all. The staff were attentive, and the waitress was polite.

Unfortunately we then had to ask for the bill. Now bearing in mind that we'd already paid £14 for two starters and a main course - the additional £42 came as quite a shock. I had ordered 4 beers (they were half pints of Corona at £2.25 each) and my wife had a regular rose wine, along with a Tiramisu for dessert. The additional toppings on our pizzas had set us back £6 in total, and the garlic bread came in at a whopping £7 each (these are listed as a "side" dish on their full menu i found out later). And then the 10% service charge that I'd read about - and as others have said, I'd prefer to leave a tip of my own free will, not be told how much I am going to tip. This isn't the USA - waiting staff are paid a minimum wage so don't need to rely on tips. So, in total our fairly standard sized, standard quality meal had cost us £56 - which is pretty outrageous to say the least. Not even Bella Italia in Wolverhampton would charge this much, and that's a GOOD restaurant, with big portions of insanely good food.

Try this restaurant by all means - but don't expect anything to write home about, and be ready to pay over the odds.

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3  Thank Munkit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

Nice place to eat, atmosphere is relaxed, staff are friendly, but service is a little slow, if your not in a hurry though its not a problem,

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Thank REA36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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