We were feeling a little bit special last week as Delicious London got invited to an evening hosted by Windows Phone, at Jason Atherton’s newest restaurant, Social Eating House in Soho.
A selection of London’s foodies and bloggers were indulged to the highest degree: We started at Soho Hotel, where we were all given a new shiny smart phone – the Nokia Lumia 920, with a stand out feature of a camera that is particularly apt at taking photos in low lighting, this is clearly what we (I) need! There was a mini lesson with a professional food photographer on how to take better foodie photos and then the real fun began, as we headed off to our table at one of London’s hottest new eateries this year – Social Eating House.
The new restaurant was still in preview and not open to the public yet, so it was a little more acceptable for us to do what we love – shoot images from every angle of our food over dinner (something that under normal circumstances gets us strange and slightly annoyed looks from other diners and sometimes staff).
The Social Eating House looks set to be a great addition to Poland Street. This new venture from Jason Atherton (of Pollen Street Social) aims to provide an informal and reasonably affordable dining experience (with the very capable Paul Hood as Head Chef, who has worked alongside Atherton for six years). We estimate that realistically it would be £60-70 pp for a 3-course dinner and glass or two of wine. Affordable is relative.
We loved the look of the contemporary bistro menu paying homage to local British produce.
There are ‘Jars to Share’ which make a good table guest while you’re deciding what to order. Jars include: Cornish Mackerel Tartare, Horseradish Cream or Spiced Aubergine, Tomato, Parsley (jars £4.50). A few of the Mains look like this: Roast Cornish Cod, Kombu, Mousseron, Baby Gem, Cockles and Cream (19.50) Lamb Neck Fillet, Sheep’s Ricotta Potato, Monk’s Beard, Garlic and Parsley (19.50), Roasted Halibut, Spring Cabbage, Gremolata, Roasted Shellfish Juice (23.50) and tempting desserts such as: London Honey Almond Sponge, Goats Curd Ice Cream, Orange or Szechuan and Sea Salt Baked Pineapple, Lime, and Coconut.
Our creatively plated dishes tasted fresh, exciting and certainly has us intrigued to come back for more. We experienced relaxed and friendly service in what seemed to be comfortable, slightly sexy settings (dark walls, Neon signage on the way downstairs – very Soho). Inspired by the buzz surrounding the resurgence of Soho, Atherton’s vision has been to create a restaurant where diners can enjoy the key elements of the current London dining scene: “I want it to be a social restaurant where the surroundings are as vibrant as the food. People will be able to enjoy a good meal that is good value.” There is clearly a team of masters at work here, from kitchen to front of house and design (by Russell Sage Studio). We felt a balance of relaxed professionalism, a quality of produce and a little wink to a mischievous Soho.
The first floor bar, called the Blind Pig, has a similar low lit, relaxed but lux feel with antique mirrored ceilings and reclaimed wooden chairs. In the bar, mixologist Gareth Evans has created a menu of signature drinks – we have tried none but hope to remedy this on our next visit!
We’d like to go back and do a proper review once the place is in full swing; experience a more realistic view of the restaurant, pay more attention to the taste of the food rather just taking pictures of it. On this occasion we understandably had a lot of attention in our direction – 10 bloggers – all avidly snapping their (and each others) plates… not a environment.
We loved playing with the Windows Phone – Nokia Lumia 920. It definitely takes better quality images than our current smart phone cameras which we use/used for our daily blogging and snapping etc.
Entertaining: This looks like it is set to be a Soho must try. Relaxed enough for after work, special enough for a celebration if you haven’t been before and good enough for client dinners. The real treat, we think, is in the basement that houses the dining space/ kitchen with a 15 seat wrap-around counter. An informal set menu is available.
Lumia 920 tutorials on You Tube were quite helpful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UNEgZe5ca0
Social Eating House/ 58 Poland Street / Soho / W1F 7NR. Please check directly with the restaurant for opening times.
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