“Sonrisa is where the soul of Buenos Aires meets the heart of Leicester”. Quote I picked up from the Sonrisa website and one I totally agree with….keep reading to see why.
The menu consists of small plates as well as some large plates like the beef fillet dishes and seabass for two. The menu is designed to be flexible for different diners.
It is perfect if you want to come together with family and friends and share smaller plates (tapas) or you can go on a date night and each enjoy a larger plate. The choice is yours.
The quality of the ingredients is of a high standard. The flavours and textures on each of the dishes are different and all appetizing.
The recommendation is 3-4 small plates. It does vary on the dishes you choose because some are more substantial than others.
Over the past few weeks here is what I have enjoyed with friends and family:
PLATITOS (SMALL PLATES)
- Wild mushroom croquettes: Three crispy croquettes are filled with a creamy velvety porcini mushroom puree. They are served with caramelised red peppers and just melt in your mouth.
- Duroc pork belly: A portion of crispy pork belly, came on a bed of potato terrine and pickled shallots. It was served with a delicious apricot chimichurri and garlic aioli. The pork belly was succulent and paired well with the shallots
- Oxtail empanada: Kev said the buttery pastry was filled well and the seasoned oxtail. The picante chimchurri it came with lifted all the flavours.
- Calamari: The perfectly fried squid rings were crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. The portion was reasonable and it came with roasted garlic & lemon aioli
- Wild prawns: As soon as the plate got delivered I could smell the garlic. The prawns were tossed in some garlic, red chilli and fresh parsley and were served on toasted garlic bread. It was divine.
- Halibut: A tender piece of grilled halibut was served with a delectable spiced tomato sauce. There large flakes of the halibut just fell apart from went perfect with the sauce, olives, potatoes and onions.
- Grilled octopus: A piece of grilled octopus was served with some chopped potatoes and sliced red peppers. The octopus was tender and meaty. The only downside was it was quite a small portion compared to the other dishes.
- Sea bass (for two): The whole grilled seabass is perfect for two to share or as a main course for one. It is served with two slices of garlicky potato terrine. The fish was moist and the flakes just fell off the bone. It came with some caramelized red peppers and a coriander chimichurri that was amazing.
- Artichoke hearts: The heart came with a fried egg. The dish was simple and the artichoke worked well with the egg that was slightly spiced.
GRILL – PARRILLADA (BARBEQUE)
- Trasacar ribeye: Kev had this as a main. It was a large juicy tender portion of beef and cooked to perfection. The dish was served with their famous potato fries and served with a slightly spicy chimichurri. It got a thumbs up from him.
- Iberian lamb loin: The loin was marinated in cumin and lemon. The dish came with two slices and was served with potato terrine, pickled shallots and mint chimichurri. The lamb was perfectly cooked and was not fatty.
- Secreto acorn pork: Two pieces of juicy pork came with a slice of potator terrine, pickeled shallows and an apricot chimichurri. The pork was flavours with lemon and thyme and was enjoyable.
ENSALADAS & SIDES
- Potato fry: Fries are a must always and when they are topped with parmesan, black pepper and truffle oil they have to be consumed. These did not disappoint.
- Chocolate fondant: I have had this twice and both times it has been the perfect end to the meal. Fluffly dark chocolate cake covering a gooey inside. The dessert is served with coffee ice cream.
- Muscovado pudding: The slightly spiced sticky toffee pudding was delicious albeit slightly overcooked. Served with a toffee cause and a scoop of vanilla icecream this was tasty.
- Orange polenta cake: The slightly zingy cake has a lovely texture too it and was a refreshing dessert with the blood orange sorbet.
Cocktails, Cocktails, Wine, Beer and more….there is something for everyone at Sonrisa.
Some are more theatrical than others but they all come well presented. The ones I tried didn’t seem that strong but the taste was perfect.
- Last night in Buenos Aires: This was fruity and refreshing. It was amaretto with pineapple and passion flavours. They call it the Argentine love affair.
- Sapphire: A striking blue cocktail came with liquid nitrogen. The staff member poured the drink over when he came to the table for the experience. The gin cocktail was refreshing with the apple, lime juice.
- El Maldito: The spiced rum cocktail was another theatrical one and had beautiful pineapple and apricot flavours.
Environment & Service
Located in a Grade II listed building by St Martins Square, Sonrisa boasts incredible architecture inside and outside. The ladies also still has the original safe in it. The airy spacious environment alongside the floral ceiling hanging, the chic light fittings, eclectic decorating style and the warm service makes it really welcoming.
The restaurant has a Mezzanine upstairs with additional seating. The glass ceiling brings in lovely light into the whole building.
There is also an open kitchen which adds drama and excitement to Sonrisa. Food is always the focal point
Jabbar Khan, the owner of Sonrisa and the Lasan Group and the multi-award-winning restauranteur in Birmingham says ‘Buena Onda’ refers to good food, good times and good company. It’s a phrase for anything that puts a Sonrisa (smile) on your face. Hence the name and the concept.
Sonrisa is the perfect location for
- Date Night
- Coffee and Dessert
- Wine and Tapas
- Social gathering with tapas and cocktails
- Working lunch (or even working which is what I plan to do one day)
To add to the great food, drink and ambiance, the service is amazing and just makes the whole experience enjoyable. Staff are interested in ensuring customers have a great experience. They are knowledgeable, upbeat and there to ensure customers are happy. The service is delivered with a smile and is genuine.
Get booking and try it out for yourself. There is something for everyone and it is a great addition to the Leicester restaurant scene.
4 St Martin’s, Leicester LE1 5DB
Tel: 0116 262 8455
Disclaimer [AD]: I was invited to Burleighs Gin to experience the Gin School. All photos and opinions are my own.