Monday, 15 July 2013

Social Eating House

The newest addition to Jason Atherton’s restaurant group is proving a success. Opened 2 months ago, all it’s tables are filled and the upstairs bar is buzzy. We’re big fans of his food, having tried Pollen Street Social a number of times as well as the newer Little Social, so we went to dinner with great expectations and didn’t leave disappointed.

We started our meal with cocktails on the first floor. A low ceiling with wood all over, it felt a bit like a classy pub, intimate and full of character. The cocktails menu is inventive with names like We Speak No Americano and Cereal Killer (with coco pops milk in it), but after sampling a few of the drinks, they definitely sound more interesting than they taste. Get the 58 Poland though, that was by far my favourite of the night. We also ordered a baby squid to eat while we drank and it was very good-- crispy, seasoned perfectly and not oily.

Cereal Killer-- Tastes like Baileys, but cute presentation
We ordered a jar of smoked mackerel Pate with horseradish cream to start. It was good, but unmemorable. Octopus carpaccio was a disappointment, it was sliced so thinly that it lost it’s character as octopus. Wild mushrooms arrived in a bag and was served with toasts slathered with cep puree and a hint of truffle oil. The dish is obviously popular as we saw many bags arriving at the other dining tables. The mushroom is fragrant and juicy, thanks to the way it’s been cooked. I loved the cep puree on toast but thought the bread could have been improved. The winner of the starters had to be the ravioli of wild boar Bolognese with peppered hearts and kidneys. Although I’m not usually a fan of innards, I loved this dish (perhaps it was because I couldn’t really detect the hearts and kidneys by taste). It had a rich taste and the components worked really well together.

Octopus: the only disappointment of the starters
For mains, we went for the Baked Curried Hake with baby squid, roasted cauliflower and cheese and the special of the day: Cote de Boeuf that’s been smoked in house. The beef blew me away and completely transformed the meal from a grade B to a grade A. It was cooked perfectly, medium rare like we asked, it was succulent and juicy, tender and flavoursome, everything you want from a steak.  The exterior slightly charred and crisp. The peppercorn sauce complimented the steak perfectly while I used the bernaise for the duck fat fries. The more I chewed and devoured, the more I thought “this has got to be one of the best steak I’ve had in London”. It definitely beats Hawskmoor and Goodman, and is in the same league as the steaks I’ve had at Dinner by Heston and Ledbury. 

Deserts, like all of Jason Atherton's restaurants, were superb, the Chocolate mousse with Eclair was definitely a favorite. The mousse was so light and airy and the eclair filled with vanilla cream... I could have a few of those!

I loved Social Eating House but Vanessa thought Little Social is better. I am heading back to both in the next few weeks, so more to come on both restaurants!
The Social Eating House on Urbanspoon

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