Social Eating House: Dangerously Good
It’s hot. Summer has graced the British Isles with her presence. Hallelujah! London is glowing, too. Bizarre time to lock yourself in Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House in Soho, you say? Apparently not as it’s hard to get a ressie in edgeways in the place.
It’s also a hot date. I’m running late as got wrapped up in the moment of Reisling and great conversation at The 10 Cases. London really is glowing when I walk into the moodily-lit Restaurant. The setting is all a bit too wintery given the glorious sunshine outside, but perfect to come back to for the other 90% of the year. Plus there is a sense of New York grime, which I like. Once we've moved tables, not a fan of centre-room, it's time for drinkypoos. I’ve tried the ‘tails here before (more on those later), but I’m on the grapes buzz so we invite our amigo Albarino to join the party.
Head Honcho in the kitchen is Paul Hood whose menu shoves key ingredients surprisingly into the limelight. The Jars seem popular with surrounding folk, all sharing; literally all the starters are jumping off the page at me; the mains not so much, intriguing but too heavy and wintery-sounding for now. The overarching theme, and credit to both Atherton and Hood, is provenance. There’s a lovely little key on the overleaf of the menu indicating how far each item is from. Makes you think of your carbon footprint in a different light. Bless.
I’d heard a great deal about the CLT (crab, lettuce, tomato), you can imagine what springs to mind when I hear the name – dirty thing. Anyway, the Colchester crab is delicate and pretty, but once again it’s all about that key ingredient; the tommis, roasted & blackened, were gorgeous. Huzzah to fruit and veg! Darty’s Duck ‘smoked ham, egg & chips’ dish is a knock out, the triple-cooked chips serve as soldiers, fun to dunk into the rich gooey egg; a truffley sensation.
From the beginning, the main that popped to me was the confit lamb neck fillet -shoulda’, woulda’ coulda’- oh well, something to come back for. Instead, I opt for something more in keeping with summer; cod with cockles, cream and other fluff. Here’s the thing; I ask, ever so sweetly, for it sans cream, but the waiter isn’t having any of it. Build a bridge guys; make me happy! Thinking of silver linings and all that, the cod itself is a melt-in-your-mouth number in comparison to Darty’s halibut which is a bit… meh. Moral of the story, go with your gut.
Not in the mood for another cream-or-no-cream debate over dessert, I make a beeline for the cocktail menu, which I had sampled, extensively, a few weeks previously. In fact, there will be a whole new Very Kerri post on first floor bar The Blind Pig in colder climes to come. Another visit is needed, at the very least. For now, I’ll leave you on an explosive note, also one of the best and the most unlikely Very Kerri ‘tails of the year; the Thermo Nuclear Daiquiri. Think; rum, pineapple falernum, absinthe, fresh lime, glowing radiation & danger. I’ve dropped this term before, but this drink really is rocket fuel. As my third one flies down the stairs, the table of eight next to us orders a round of them. Danger is contagious and I am already thirsty for more.
Five Very Kerri things about Social Eating House
- Doesn’t take itself too seriously
- Lamb neck to come back for
- New York vibes