So I hear that this is one of Jason Atherton's latest ventures with the iconic 'social' tag. Seeing that Pollen Street Social has been an amazing success, I thought it wouldn't hurt to see what Jason currently has under his sleeve. Usually, I hear the description of 'British' and that just puts me off because I start thinking of mince and bland food in general. Obviously, that's quite an ignorant perspective because I haven't even tried what the best British restaurants in London have to offer such as St.Johns or Dinner by Heston. So I thought ,why not start with the Social Eating House? My inspection of the menu gave me an idea of British cuisine with a modern twist which got me quite excited.
It was quite a wet and cold day so I was eager to step into what awaited me in Soho. The restaurant was quite distinct on the outside with the gold overhead lights directed onto the restaurant's name with the signature awkward hanging 'a' in the word 'social'; a little difference that gives the place a bit of character.
Upon trying to enter the restaurant, I had to fight my way through this thick curtain which made feel like I had been transported to another world especially when I saw the decor on the inside. The place had a cool, deconstructed, hipster feel with the portraits and the exposed brick walls. What was really cool was the neon signs! It was like poetry but in neon! Kudos to the interior designer for such an unconventional design that created an intimate contemporary atmosphere. It complemented the idea of modern British cuisine as well which I thought was fantastic.
Now it was time for food. I feasted my eyes on the concise menu and I ordered the smoked black Angus tartare whilst mother ordered the smoked Shetland salmon. The steak tartare was as good as it gets. It had a nice subtle flavour without being insipid. Everything in the plate had a purpose in enhancing the dish, from the radishes to the sauces.
The salmon was great; nice texture, strong enough kick from the miso and richness from the creme fraiche.
After that was devoured, I ordered my main- the roasted Cornish cod. This was so beautifully cooked! It almost melted in my mouth whilst the buttery notes came through. Lets not ignore the foam that was generously dressed all over the plate. I felt like it gave the cod a nice boost in flavour because the cod itself was slightly under-seasoned. Also, I enjoyed eating the bed of spinach.
Mother ordered the charred côte de porc which was glorious! It had a wonderful grilled flavour and a sweetness from the glazed skin. However, it's chewiness made me a little less envious of her choice.
Lets not forget about how pleasing to the eyes these dishes were. I could tell there was a great deal of effort put into the amazing presentation. Some of the dishes looked so good I didn't even want to eat them!
After a short taste bud recovery, dessert time dawned on us so I ordered the chocolate nemesis and mother ordered the apple pie.
My dessert looked so good; it was nice to see more foam. It seems like foam is a re-occurring theme here! Anyway, it was really gooey and rich. Although there was an earthiness from the espresso essence, I felt like the dessert could have been more interesting in terms of flavour.
The apple pie looked 'cute' with the little cherry on top. It was warm and delightful- simplicity at its best.
Overall, I admired the consistency of high quality dishes which continued to amaze both my mother and I. It was hard to believe that this was really British food! What more can I say? The food was great, the ambience was lively and authentic and the staff were very knowledgeable which made for a great service. There isn't much else one can ask for. It comes down to about £40 per person which is more than enough for the remarkable experience.
PS - there's a great bustling bar upstairs.