Restaurant review: City Social
PUBLISHED: 14:27 19 December 2014
Sky’s the limit for chef’s tower triumph
24th Floor, 25 Old Broad St
Tube; Liverpool Street
T: 020 7877 7703
Mains: from £18
Wine: from £29 a bottle
Disabled access: Yes
Children welcome: Yes
Along with most London diners, I’m a big fan of super chef Jason Atherton so I was pretty excited about heading to his latest venture, City Social – even more so when it bagged a Michelin star just before my visit.
It occupies the entire 24th floor of a rather unlovely looking city tower, but once you get upstairs through the dedicated lift it all fits into place.
It’s a sultry, moody, art-deco inspired space incorporating restaurant, bar and private dining.
The first thing that hits you is the jaw-dropping view: you’re eating on a level with some famous London landmarks, and the booths have the nice touch of facing out to the skyline.
Despite being big and busy, it managed to feel intimate, with attentive yet unintrusive service and a delicate hubbub around you.
The prohibition-era cocktails were immaculate, as was the wonderful bread and butter selection – always a good sign of things to come.
Mr Atherton, along with executive chef Paul Walsh, have created a seasonal looking menu, heavy with game and fish, divided into cooked and uncooked, pasta and rice, mains and a grill section.
The guinea fowl terrine was wonderfully dark and moist, with a delicate hint of truffle and fantastic textured skin crisps with smooth parfait on the side.
Good as it was, this was knocked into a cocked hat by the salmon, which had all the inventive playfulness associated with Mr Atherton’s food.
Smoked to within an inch of its life, it arrived at the table in a sort of butter dish, which when opened allowed the most wonderful woody, piney aroma to waft across the table.
Dished up on a bed on celariac spaghetti and finished with a small helping of caviar, the taste was of a sublime fish and woodland combination, as though the salmon has just swam upstream to the forest to spawn before being hooked.
For the mains: the venison was a deep, and mysterious affair, with roasted fillet served pink and a shoulder slow cooked for days on end to melt in the mouth, and chestnuts and red cabbage to complete the autumnal extravaganza.
Also very impressive was the Dover sole – filleted for me (I’m lazy), the firm flesh came with slightly stodgy, but nicely tangy caper gnocchi and a light, lemony, citrus mousse to balance the whole thing out.
A suitably enthralling (and smelly) cheese board rounded proceedings off. City Social is a thoroughly impressive addition to Mr Atherton’s empire.
It’s ideal date fodder, and as they are holding space for walk ups on New Years Eve, it would be a magical way to ring in 2015.
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