Social Eating House

Social Eating House

I can’t believe its not bacon

7/10

Social Eating House is another offering from Executive Chef Jason Atherton, whose other restaurants include Pollen Street Social, Little Social and Berners Tavern. Having already become acquainted with his style of cooking elsewhere, there is nothing especially striking about mains of seared cod, loin of venison, balsamic reductions and smoked cheeses. Offerings like this can only extend the feeling of tediousness after a dreary working day.

Happily, the starters pack enough of a buzz to break the asphyxiating coma of this Londoners week. Wobbly soft-yolk eggs are fried in crumb and topped with just the right amount of pepper. Bacon (the Kryptonite to my inner superman) is elegantly ousted with smoked lengths of duck, folded and lined with slivers of pearly fat. Theatrics make an appearance in the form of a plastic bag, the sort that some may use to tape around an adversary’s head, which is instead used to cook wild mushrooms. The sealed and airless nature of this cooking medium which is so prized for its other uses also does wonderful things to the fungi. Imagine a mushroom steaming in air saturated with butter, thyme and wine – move over frying pan, the bag is the new multipurpose utensil.

The concept of revival is again seen in dessert, where the tired wagon wheel is resuscitated wonderfully. A crumble of biscuit is piled with toasted marshmallow, raspberry sorbet and a blade-thin circle of chocolate. One can understand the benefit of breathing new life into what was otherwise a charmless snack, but a dessert which needs no refinement is the glorious apple pie. The pie at Social Eating House is exactly as it has always been, and all the better for it. Think spiced cinnamon pastry covering a hot, thickened pulp of fruit. The cherry on top is actually a sphere of apple coated in hard toffee. Well played, Social Eating House.

There is plenty to celebrate at Social Eating House, and all of it can be washed down with a kooky cocktail or three. The price for the privilege is around £50 per person. Tip – share a range of starters and desserts, skip mains, leave happy.

Tube: Oxford Circus

Bread and salted butter at social eating house atherton
Bread and salted butter
Fried egg, smoked duck ham, chips at social eating house atherton
Fried egg, smoked duck ham, chips
Fried egg, soft yolk, smoked duck ham at social eating house atherton
Fried egg, soft yolk, smoked duck ham
Fried egg, soft yolk, smoked duck ham at social eating house atherton
Fried egg, soft yolk, smoked duck ham
Wild mushrooms in a bag at social eating house atherton
Wild mushrooms in a bag
Wild mushrooms in a bag at social eating house atherton
Wild mushrooms in a bag
Cod, spinach, clam chowder at social eating house atherton
Cod, spinach, clam chowder
Venison, balsamic, pear, ricotta at social eating house atherton
Venison, balsamic, pear, ricotta
Sauces social eating house atherton
Sauces
Mash at social eating house atherton
Mash
Apple pie, calvados ice cream, toffee apple at social eating house atherton
Apple pie, calvados ice cream, toffee apple
'Wagon Wheel' - meringue, salted caramel, raspberry at social eating house atherton
‘Wagon Wheel’ – meringue, salted caramel, raspberry
Cereal Killer cocktail: rum, white chocolate, coco pops milk, bitters at social eating house atherton
Cereal Killer cocktail: rum, white chocolate, coco pops milk, bitters
'Wi' Jam In' cocktail - rum, apricot jam, allspice dram, lemon at social eating house atherton
‘Wi’ Jam In’ cocktail – rum, apricot jam, allspice dram, lemon
Social Eating House
Social Eating House
Social Eating House
Social Eating House

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