The name is momentarily offputting, since social isn't much used as a noun. It's meant to denote relaxation, unsnootiness, a place that isn't a temple of gastronomy...It's noisy, casual and customer-oriented in its attitudes: if you want a cocktail and a bit of tapas, you can stop in the bar; if you want a trad three-course meal, you can do that; if you want just a steak, you can have one; if you want to create your own tasting menu, go ahead. If you're bored with the evolved traditions of fine dining, you're going to love this place.
It really is ‘social’ too, so start with a cocktail in the “ever-so-cool” bar, a taster of the invention and attention to detail to come. Main man Jason Atherton is opening restaurants at breakneck speed, but this is his special project and the focus of his “imaginative yet approachable” cuisine: scallop carpaccio with kohlrabi, pomelo, yuzu jam, black olive and samphire is an austerely simple assembly of bracing flavours, while playful complexity shows.
Atherton, formerly of Ramsay’s Maze, is not merely a sensational technical cook, he is one of those culinary alchemists who can transform what looks like base pretension on the page into solid gold in the mouth...Well, I asked the World’s Fussiest as the bill arrived, what do you reckon? “Just superb.