Teasingly nestled between Milk & Honey and Lucky Voice Karaoke in Soho (which is already a good start for anyone who enjoys playing “Let’s Have Fun”) lie two heavy, wooden doors.
Look above the door to the left, and you’ll spot an old street sign which says “Social Eating House”. It says that because this place used to be a house, now it’s used for eating, and it’s for sociable people. Like you.
Most of the time.
Walk under the sign and you’ll be greeted by Jason “Pollen Street Social” Atherton’s latest creation: a dimly lit beehive of bistro-esque activity, where wooden booths, copper-topped tables and leather banquettes are industrially cocooned by exposed brickwork and battered walls. Here a team of chefs led by Paul Hood – who you can watch hard at work by bagsying a stool at the “Employees Only” dining bar downstairs overlooking the vast basement kitchen – are serving up Michelin starred, English bistro-style fare with a few international twists.
There’s Scotch beef shoulder fillet with ‘egg jam’ and nasturtium; roasted turbot with cep, lardo and mushroom tea; and raw mushroom salad with pickled girolles – all topped off by peanut butter parfait or hot chocolate moelleux (essentially a lava cake)…
…But as you’re still thinking about that other door, let’s go outside again.
The first thing you’ll see on returning to the street is a rusty ‘OPTICIANS’ sign hanging above where the door on the right should be… but isn’t. Because this door’s set back from the street, having been sneakily hidden at the rear of a shadowy concrete enclave before being curiously adorned with the blindfolded head of a golden pig.
Enter, climb the stairs, and you’ll emerge into the Social Eating House’s first floor bar: a world of dark brown leather and concrete; of pork sliders and chipirones; of blues, barmen in braces and cocktails like the Cereal Killer, the Japanese Slipper and We Speak No Americano.
Also, Lucky Voice is open ‘til 3am.
NOTE: Social Eating House is open Mon-Sat for lunch (12-2.30pm) and dinner (6-10.30pm). You can book online right HERE – or read more about The Blind Pig bar.
Social Eating House | 58 Poland Street, W1F 7NR
Making a night of it? Check out the Best Bars in Soho