Address: 58 - 59 Poland Street, W1F 7NR (MAP)
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus (Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Line). Buses.
Website: www.socialeatinghouse.com. Follow them on Twitter.
The food. It was a total coincidence but, the same week I booked a table at Social Eating House, this european bistro was awarded with its first Michelin Star. Is it that important? Not really, but I’m not going to deny that, after hearing a lot of good things about this place, my expectations were even higher. As we went on a Saturday afternoon, we had the lunch menu, which consists in three courses, with two different options each. As a starter I had a very creamy butternut squash soup combined with truffle and different seeds that was absolutely beautiful. The veal Holstein that followed was, without a doubt, my favourite part. The contrast between the sweetness of the tomato and the sourness of the capers was perfectly balanced, not to mention the quality of every ingredient. The portions were generous enough or, at least, bigger than I thought they would be. In fact, I have to admit I struggled to finish my amazingly creamy chocolate fondant. It was fantastic the way the textures worked in every dish and how complex the flavours were, matching with a fantastic presentation. The wine list is very good, but next time I’ll try some of their cocktails, that looked stunning. Some vegetarian options, but not in the lunch menu.
The place. This is the perfect example of a charming and welcoming place. At the entrance, there’s an old-fashioned style cocktail bar that makes everything look very glamorous and decadent, without being too pretentious. The main space is a clever mix of brick walls, leather banquettes and beautiful wooden furniture, in contrast with some contemporary pieces of art. And there’s a lot of room between tables! One of the nicest places I’ve been in London. Absolutely lovely and full of personality.
The service. Terrific, from beginning to end. The staff was incredibly nice and professional. And I really appreciated that they let us enough time between courses, so we never felt rushed. It was a fantastic 2-hour lunch.
The value. The lunch menu is £19 for two courses, or £23 if you feel really adventurous and don’t want to miss one of their incredible deserts. Including the drinks and gratuity, the total cost would be around £35-40, which I think is a totally fair price. Everything about Social Eating House screams “attention to detail”, and the experience was so good I’ll pay that again and again. Would I come back? Absolutely! I can’t wait to try their dinner menu (and their cocktails!)