Papageno Restaurant, Covent Garden. logo
Another Magic Flute Themed Restaurant
Papageno, 29-31 Wellington Street, London WC2E 7DB

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Less risque Papageno art work Restauranteur Richard Niazi certainly knows a winning formula. As owner of the famous and successful Sarastro, he has just opened another fascinating venue, Papageno. Sarastro was named after the evil wizard in the Magic Flute - this new venue is named after the Flute's magic bell carrying bird catcher, Papageno.

From the rich blue velvet table cloths to the wonderful Middle Eastern fans, Papageno oozes comfort, luxury and conjures up pictures of Bedouins reposed on cushions, luxuriating in hot tented mystery.

Gold painted woodwork, walls and pillars may sound garish, but in fact take your imagination back to old movies of Rudolf Valentino. After a wine or two, you can just imagine him gliding into the room.

Less risque Papageno art work

We were welcomed by the very likeable Tayfun Hudur, manager. Tayfun is a very personable chap who's clearly popular with the ladies - I suspect there's an little of Mr Valentino about this guy.

The opera music playing quietly in the background emphasises these moods and isolates you from the frenetic theatre land bustle outside, and the Lion King playing just a door or two down the street. On this cold spring evening, theatre and party goers are bundled up in coats, though a few optimistic tourists sport spring-like attire.

The oddest variety of objects sit on the shelves above your head. A snowman, gold scales, Middle Eastern vases and a camel. Large potted plants are everywhere. Somehow this all makes Maria Muldaur's, "Midnight at the Oasis" come to mind.

Less risque Papageno art work We had the Cheese Borek which had a superb minty flavour; and Peeled Prawns & Avocado.

My Lamb Anatolian Style was beautifully tender with a rich flavourful sauce. My guest Dennis van Duuren enjoyed a Grilled Sirloin Steak in a red wine sauce which he reported to be served to perfection.

Dennis, a distributor of unique and excellent wines, was impressed by the wine selection, commenting that at this point in time he could only hope to add a little extra pizzazz to an already exciting cellar.

Less risque Papageno art workAs with Sarastro, the explicit art work, by Richard "Salim" Sleeman, leaves very little to the imagination and is probably something you might like to check out before letting your children see it. However all of these wall murals are hand crafted and I'm told no guests complain about them. So perhaps we all like a little mild titillation.
Papageno Restaurant, Covent Garden, London
Play a Magic Flute extract

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Open all year - 365 days
Hours: 12:00 - 23:45
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden

Read our Sarastro article

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Wally Robertson, March 2004