We meant to go to the Blind Pig for a cocktail, but when we found out we had accidentally booked a table at the ‘sister restaurant’ the Social Eating House (located under the Blind Pig), I was overjoyed. This beautiful restaurant had long been on my list of London restaurants I desperately wanted to visit. When I had read that week that Time Out voted it the third best restaurant in London, it had been propelled to the front. So we sat down smugly and prepared ourselves for a treat.
We did not have a table exactly, but two seats at the bar. Suited us perfectly as I’ve always enjoyed sitting by the bar and watching the bar men do their thing (in a non-pervy way). And it seemed the ‘social’ thing to do.
We ordered a bottle of their house white and caught up while browsing the menu. The Social Eating house is known for it’s locally sourced, modern British food. It’s quite an achievement for a chef (Jason Atherton, who has trained under Gordon Ramsay) to have quite so many applauded restaurants under his belt- from Little Social to the Pollen Street Social and now also the very popular (and a bit more expensive) Berners Tavern, which too is high on my list.
The Social Eating House feels like a treat, but it’s not ludicrously expensive. It feels like you’re eating somewhere special – the presentation of the food is especially testament to this – but it’s not stuck up or pretentious.
The Kentish Saltmarsh lamb rump sounded too good not to try, so I went for that. Halael went for the Roasted Cornish cod a la Polonaise. As we waited for our food, our waitress brought us some delicious fresh bread. I devoured it greedily. It seems that unless I’m in Italy I don’t go to restaurants frequently enough where they do serve (free) bread at the beginning of your meal.
The lamb was possibly one of the prettiest dishes I have ever been served. But rather than just looking good, it tasted incredible too. The lamb was melt in the mouth tender, cooked medium rare as I like it, and I loved the mint yoghurt condiment and the velvety aubergines. Halael’s cod also looked great, and was served with perfect new potatoes as a side. I didn’t try it but Halael assured me it was delicious.
While when we first arrived (at 6:30 – sometimes that’s the only way to get a table) the restaurant was fairly empty, by the time we left two hours later, the restaurant was comfortably full. There was a pleasant hum of conversation rather than people shouting over each other. Outsiders looking in through the window would see content people and beautiful plates of food. No wonder it’s so popular.
My only regret was not trying one of their cocktails (which they are known for at the Blind Pig upstairs, but were also being craftily made by the bar men in front of us), which floated by on white napkins and looked as fabulous as the food. But there’s always a next time…
58 Poland St, London W1F 7NR
020 7993 3251 (Book well in advance!)
Photos my own and from Sauce Communications