Being the best sister ever, not only did Elix take me for a surprise birthday meal, but she took me to my favourite chef – Jason Atherton’s restaurant; The Social Eating House in Soho. This new venture opened earlier this year and most certainly lived up to the reputations of both Chef Atherton and his other established restaurant Pollen Street Social.
Last year, Elix and I went to Pollen Street for my birthday and it is in my top 5 dining experiences EVER! On our way there Elix let me know that she had asked if Mr Atherton would be there and was told he wouldn’t – i did ask if she was double bluffing but sadly she was not. After a cheeky cocktail at The Long Bar at the Sanderson we pottered on down and to my surprise Jason Atherton was standing in the bar area complete with chef whites on – he would be cooking our dinner! This alone was enough to make the evening amazing but Elix told him it was my birthday and i met him and he gave me a copy of his book “gourmet food for a fiver” (its amazing by the way). Dinner at Pollen Street was beautiful – nice big portions of beautiful food, excellent service and a really pleasant, relaxed atmosphere. The BEST part of the evening was being taken into the kitchen to meet the team and speak to the chefs and Jason again – i did ask him for a job (id had a couple more drinks by this point) but he advised me to stay in banking!
Anyway – back to the Social Eating House for this year’s birthday. We started with cocktails in the bar upstairs. Instantly i felt as though we were in Old World America – dark wood lined the walls, quirky pictures and mirrors hung in a lovely disorderly fashion and the bar is covered with all different shapes and sizes of glasses. I went for the Are you a Mexican or a Mexican’t? cocktail which contained tequila, Aperol, grapefruit, lime juice, elderflower, Tabasco, Elix had a prosecco. My cocktail contained all my favourites, tequila, grapefruit, aperol and was a refreshing, bitterly sweet drink to enjoy as we waited to be seated.
Time for dinner…..Elix had been before and so ensured we promptly ordered the jar of confit pork rillet, grain mustard, apple and cider vinegar.
The pork rillet was moist, peppery and balanced perfectly with the crispy onion rings and fresh, apple sticks – i would have happily eaten 2 jars and will definitely try the other jars next time i visit but needed to keep room for the rest of the meal. Elix advised me to have the ham, egg and chips to start and she did the same. It was brilliant! Sweet ham matched with a truffle-topped breaded egg and a few fries on the side. By far, one of the best starters i’ve ever had – it looked brilliant on the plate, smelt fantastic (thanks to the truffle aroma) and tasted amazing. Thanks for the recommendation Elix!
I went for the duck as my main which came with aubergine, artichoke puree, roasted tomatoes and broad beans – each flavour complimented the next and it was a real pleasure to eat – we rarely eat duck at home and this dish made me think I need to cook with it more. Elix had the plaice which came with brown shrimp, greens, charlotte potatoes and cucumber. This was served at room temperature which seemed odd at first but was perfect.
Too full for dessert but unable to resist temptation we opted to share the deconstructed lemon curd pie – I loved it but Elix found it too sour, luckily, as it was my birthday we were presented with a second birthday dessert of chocolate mousse cake with tempered chocolate shards and orange puree – this too was delicious although a little too rich for me but Elix scoffed the entire plate!
I LOVED The Social Eating House and cannot wait to try the other two of Jason Atherton’s restaurants The Little Social and Berner’s Tavern both of which I have booked to go to in October! Watch this space for my blogs on those!