Tuesday, 27 May 2014

City Social

Social expansion

City Social, yet another London opening from industry heaveweight Jason Atherton, on the back of the flagship Pollen Street Social, Little Social, Social Eating House and Berners Tavern, Jason now has 5 restaurants in London and is slowly expanding his restaurant empire like his former boss Gordon Ramsay. City Social set on the 24th floor of Tower 42 in the city, offers sky dinning experiences with a live band on my visit.

City Social
Views of the city

The decor is smart and well spaced, the design managed to get all the tables with a lovely view and we got great seating facing the Gherkin. There were only an al la carte menu on our visit and it might make sense given the high percentage of customers would be city workers where usually money is not much of an issue for them.

Cumbrian beef tartare, sour dough crouton,
goat’s curd, truffle dressing, dried vinegar

For the first time Jason's restaurant offers pasta dishes and I was keen to see how they would deliver, I ordered the risotto of cep with crispy veal sweetbread. The risotto had real bold and earthy flavours with a fruity and mild tone from the truffle cream and maderia glaze, it was indeed an impressive dish as both texture and taste were spot on.

Risotto of cèps, crispy veal sweetbread, and Madeira glaze
Warm fruits of the sea, linguini and shellfish cooking juices

Line caught Cornish sea bass was cooked to perfection, the meat was soft and moist with an interesting combination of cucumber and cauliflower which delivered freshness to the palate. The oyster veloute and crispy fried oyster offered a creamy and crunchy texture, everything wasexecuted wonderfully but it was unfortunate the fish wasn't seasoned enough, otherwise it could well had been one of the finest sea bass dishes I've had in London.

Line-caught Cornish sea bass, deep-fried oyster,
cucumber, sea fennel, oyster velouté
Middle white pork loin and braised belly,
girolles, black pudding, cider gel

My dessert of rum baba was pleasing to the eyes and tasted just like I was hoping for. The summer berries offered real freshness and sourness which lived up my palate, the rum baba itself was finished with a thickened daiquiri cocktail which contained strawberry, lime juice, rum and sugar. It was a simple dessert yet totally delivered in taste.
Bourbon vanilla custard tart, nutmeg and milk sorbet
Rum baba, English Summer berries, strawberry sorbet

The overall lunch experience was good but not to the level that I would consider to be excellent. It is still a few steps below Pollen Street Social and not a great deal of difference to Little Social or Berners Tavern. But given the higher price tag and the less heart warming services I had received compared to other Jason's restaurants, I don't think I am likely to return.

Food 3.5/5

Executive chef: 
Paul Walsh

What I paid: 
£60 per head

Average cost without drinks and services:

24th Floor, 25 Old Broad St, London EC2N 1HQ


City Social on Urbanspoon

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