Social Eating House has just about everything going for it. From critically acclaimed chef Jason Atherton at the stove, presenting a pomposity-free creative menu, served in modern and archaic surroundings. Last year Social Eating House were perhaps the most casual dining place to be awarded a Michelin star. With the Metro’s Joe Warwick describing it as “a welcome antidote to the current fashion for reheated French bourgeois classics and po-faced ‘local’ provenance”, the Social Eating House has certainly got a lot of people talking.
Located along Poland Street in Soho, the vibrant and modern restaurant offers a bistro style menu jam packed with all of Britain’s freshest produce with international accents. Making our way through the curtained doorway at 10pm on a Friday evening we were promptly greeted by the front of house staff. As our table wasn’t quite ready we were taken to the top floor of the three story restaurant to enjoy some cocktails in the Blind Pig. As soon as we’d taken our first sip we were invited back downstairs to be seated at a lovely two seater table in a corner.
Between the basement, main restaurant and bar the place has a number of different influences going on with it’s decor. Part upscale speakeasy, part New York warehouse with a smattering of Art Deco and 80s Urban. It’s all about the exposed brick walls and wrought iron wine racks.
Whilst browsing the menu, fresh, warm bread was delivered to our table served with salted butter. Considering it was 10pm I was pretty hungry and could have wolfed all the bread down. Alas, if I’m ordering two courses I always have to restrain, otherwise I can’t enjoy the rest of the meal!
Regular readers will know about my smoked salmon obsession – it was the first thing listed on the menu so choosing my starter was easy peasy. The delicious smoked shetland salmon was served with miso crème fraîche, BBQ cucumber & winter truffle (£11.50).
The smoked fish was served think cut hidden underneath the crisp barbecued cucumber, gratings of white truffle and chunks of what tasted like gherkins. The dollop of miso crème fraîche complimented the flavor and texture of the salmon. It was unlike any smoked salmon dish I’d tried before, despite the British components of the dish it had an oriental. The whole thing was very enjoyable, and light, the most perfect combination of flavors.
After consulting our waitress beforehand to double check what parts of a pig the Saddleback “head to toe” pig actually entailed… my dining partner chose to order it. The Saddleback pig “head to toe” was in fact served with celeriac, apple, honey mustard (£9.50). It included parts of a pig served in different forms, from terrine to pork crackling crisps. As with all the dishes, it was beautifully presented, drizzled in honey mustard and garnished with tickerly green and purple salad leaves.
For the main course we asked for help from our waitress (again!), who recommended the lamb. She talked us through her other favourite dishes on the menu but ultimately she kept coming back to the lamb. For that reason we both couldn’t resist ordering it.
The Confit Romney Marsh lamb neck fillet is served with goat’s curd, Vialone Nano, wild trevise and hazelnut (£23.50). The goats curd was artistically swirled onto the bottom of the plate and scattered with crumbled hazelnuts. Placed in the centre of the plate was the neck of lamb, balanced on miniature new potato which were so sweet and fluffy – the most delicious spuds I’d ever consumed. The lamb also features at the top of my leader board – so tender and rich, it broke apart easily and combined with the curd, nuts it tasted divine.
The vialone nano came in a round dish on the side – a type of risotto it was thick and creamy and garnished with cubes of pancetta. That said, it was very bland – not much flavour at all, for me it added nothing to the dish and I could have done happily without it.
Despite the dessert list looking so tempting we were both too full to eat any more. As I finished off my large glass of Chateau Ollieux Romanis Corbieres Cuvee Alice, which by the way complimented the lamb marvellously, we were presented with the rather large but definitely worth while bill. Social Eating House is a must visit, it deserves every Michelin star it owns and should do nothing but keep up the good work!
ADDRESS: 58 Poland St, London, W1F 7NR
CONTACT: 020 7993 3251
OPENING TIMES: 12:00–2:30 pm, 6:00–10:30 pm Monday to Saturday & Closed on Sundays