Very dear friends were visiting from Dublin last weekend and I wanted to take them somewhere special for dinner. Somewhere with a good view and where you’re guaranteed good food – a perfect opportunity to try City Social. The seventh London restaurant by Jason Atherton, this one is an absolute stunner. Located on the 24th floor of Tower 42 in the City of London and having been to the previous restaurant that was in the same location, I was keen to see how different the space would be. City Social takes up the entire 24th floor and the 360 degree views of London are just incredible. I have also just loved every single one of Jason’s restaurants. Surely I couldn’t go wrong.
Inside, the restaurant is dark and sexy. A complete contrast to the bland dining room that was there before. We were seated immediately and while looking over the menus, we were absolutely thrilled to see chef Michel Roux Junior and his family stroll past and be seated at the table one over from us. I get so star struck it’s ridiculous! But if someone like him was dining here then it had to be good, right? And boy, was it good!
To start I had the Cumbrian beef tartare, sourdough crouton, goat’s curd, truffle dressing, dried vinegar (£14.00) I’ve never had beef tartare before, even though I am a major carnivore and don’t mind the sight of an underdone steak, the thought of raw meat just makes me slightly nervous. But when I saw the dish going to another table, it really piqued my interest. That and the fact the other dish I was interested in was ordered by my friend. Damn her and damn my self-imposed rule for not ordering the same thing as anyone else! Anyway, the beef tartare was not in the traditional style. No egg yolk on top, no onions, capers or cornichons; but what you did get was a gorgeous goat’s curd that added a lovely creaminess to the iron-rich raw beef. The truffle dressing and shavings added a woodiness and I loved the crunch of the sourdough crouton. I enjoyed my first foray into raw meat territory and I will definitely try it again.
The Better Half (TBH) and ‘our man John’ ordered the Pig’s trotter and ham hock with crispy Mrs Brown’s black pudding, apple, and Madeira (£12.00). Whoever Mrs Brown is, she makes a mighty fine black pudding. A very tasty dish with lots of different textures and flavours. Both men thoroughly enjoyed their starters.
My friend Kendra ordered the Heritage and heirloom tomato salad, burrata, chilled tomato consommé, frozen basil (£13.00). This dish looked like summer on a plate. The various colours of the tomatoes, the bright vibrant green of the basil and the milky white burrata all looked so pretty and the taste that I had was very good.
For my main course, I wanted something light considering the relative richness of my starter. So I chose the Dorset John Dory, mussels, grilled leeks, marinated tomatoes and bacon powder (£28.00) It was delicious and I really couldn’t fault any of the cooking. It was everything I thought I felt like eating at the time and would thoroughly enjoy under normal circumstances.
But then….The Côte de bœuf for two served with duck fat chips, salad, béarnaise and peppercorn sauce (£77.00) ordered by Kendra and ‘our man John’ arrived. I had plate envy on a major scale. Don’t you hate it when that happens? A glorious hunk of well cooked beef was delivered on a wooden plank, with two sets of perfectly crunchy duck fat chips, salad and two sauces. The tastes of béarnaise and peppercorn sauces I had were rich and creamy and fiery in the case of the peppercorn sauce. Totally sublime.
TBH ordered the Creedy Carver duck, boulangère potatoes, English berry chutney and shallots (£28.00). The duck breast was cooked pink and was succulent. The boulangère potatoes were extremely buttery and the English berry chutney brought a lovely sharpness to the dish. He enjoyed his dish, but between you and I, I think he also had a bit of plate envy for the Côte de bœuf!
I forwent dessert, but TBH ordered the Bourbon vanilla custard tart, nutmeg and milk sorbet (£8.00). Of course I had to have a taste. It wasn’t overly sweet and the bourbon added a lovely spiciness to the custard tart.
Kendra ordered the white chocolate mousse, caramel hazelnuts, salted caramel ice cream (£8.50). The taste that I had was lovely, but far too sweet for a non-sweet eater like me. She absolutely loved it though and made particular mention of the salted caramel ice cream.
Service was pleasant and professional and our total bill came to £344.25 including service. If you’re looking for a restaurant that is sure to impress on every level, then I highly recommend City Social.
Until we eat again!