Original, casual and fun Michelin starred venue within the Atherton Collection serving, with a particular forté for set menus
My third visit to this wonderful, little place. Owing to a heat wave, most customers were seemingly in the sun on this Saturday afternoon however, not a problem at all for us when the air con was in full blast at Social Eating House. Another lovely set menu was experienced on this occasion with creative and lively designs with good flavours and balanced textures but with aspects that had a jab to the kidneys as well…
A couple of points on this visit that were unfortunately not as sharp compared with previous visits: the social mule cocktail was highly bitter which we thought could have done with a verbal warning, a rather notable bone was in my fine trout and the marshmallow with the strawberry dessert was exceedingly sticky and almost glued to the plate and any cutlery that touched it. The flavours were still ok on that dessert but it was difficult to deal with and slighlty unenjoyable as a result. Miscellaneously, I would also be wary of sitting too close to the bar if you wish to be away from noise as you will find yourself needing to pause in between conversations when the cocktails are being prepared.
I got a slight sense on this visit that the full staff compliment was a little dissapointed at the day’s ‘customer catch’ and it seemed to show in a slightly less warm (than normal) service – only slightly, but my nose did pick this up. Otherwise, this and the above points are minor points that can only be spotted when the general product is very high. Another very pretty and flavoursome set menu lunch in general and very good value for £34 with opening cocktail.
Food Grade: 83%
I’m now very impressed with this place. The food was possibly even better on this follow up occasion than the first and I was delighted with the polite service of all the waiting staff – really quite impressive. With more of a buzzy atmosphere it was noticeable (to me anyway) that this venue is growing in popularity seen by the bar upstairs was half occupied by people popping in for Michelin starred snacks and nibbles with drinks. A great concept in itself.
The set menu was had on this occasion between the three of us with the exception of the duck fat chips and duck egg starter which was treated in the same was as Heston’s Meat Fruit at Dinner in that amuse bouches are not done at either place, so I preferred to beef it up by treating their star dish as the amuse bouche to share. The star of the show foodwise on the set menu for this visit was the pollock with a very subtle soy and giner sauce as well as the supporting puree and jus to accompany the pork main. The ham pasta and salmon starters were polished and totally pleasing. Both desserts from the set menu were delicately done and the a’la carte dessert of hot white chocolate, vanilla crumble and rhubarb was truly wonderful.
The value for money here is an absolute given with the 3 course set menu being £23 and 2 course set menu £19 – exceedingly good on this front. The Jason Atherton choice of Sauvingnon Blanc was priced at £39 and for the pleasing effect was also very satisfying for value for money as well – bravo all round to Social Eating House.
Another belter of a visit and I would actually say that this is the text book 1 Michelin starred venue that would make anyone who is either intimidated by Michelin starred restaurants, or views them as a solely expensive affair, to re-evaluate this thinking, as frankly Social Eating House ticks numerous boxes that fashionable and over priced venues do not.
Food Grade: 85%
A genuinely lovely experience had here at Jason Atherton’s recent addition to his ever growing Empire. I actually preferred the flavours here compared to the flagship Pollen St Social, most notably the duck egg and duck fat-cooked chips dish and the mackerel tartare in a jar for £5 as a side, which was also wonderfully fresh. Once you have managed to navigate round the very oddly designed website and found the reservation link, it is much easier to gain a seat here than Jason Atherton’s other ventures and frankly I would make this a priority so it works in the diner’s favour! If you don’t mind the absence of much light and the dark décor this is a lovely little place which has a real ease about it and would be perfect for a drop in lunch or even a casual dinner, but with genuinely great food.
Food Grade: 82%
Location (Click google logo for directions)