Jason Atherton’s bow has many strings. A big one includes City Social which opened on the 1st of May 2014, taking over the defunct Rhodes Twenty Four. Gary Rhodes’s restaurant occupied the space from 2003-2014 and was awarded a Michelin in 2008. In the same vein, City Social was awarded a Michelin Star, but did it within a year of trading. It’s located on the 24th floor in Tower 42, which means you’ll iconic views overlooking the City. So inbetween hunkering down inhaling food you can sneak a peak of the Gherkin, The Shard and various other glamorous landmarks. The Lincolnshire lad who lived in a caravan in Skegness has done good. The kitchen is run by Head Chef Paul Walsh, a former chef at the Savoy Hotel in 2000 and carried on stinting at the Savoy Grill after their £220 million refurbishment. With its elegant art-deco look & feel it’s perfect for wooing clients, or to have celebratory occasion, or even if you’re feeling flush.
The menu is smart and easy to follow – first impressions count and the bread also creates a good one.
The house red, a french number at £9.5 per a glass was a lovely drop.
Pig’s trotter & ham hock with crispy Lancashire black pudding, apple and Madeira £13. It’s every bit as delicious as it looks, every morsel carrying perfect seasoning and flavour. It’s a very clever take and the classic pork and apple combination, I could have eaten this dish 3 times over!
Tidenham duck breast slow cooked, am arena cherry, pistachio yogurt, five spice, dried vinegar £15. A lovely looking plate but sadly I didn’t get to try it, my fellow diner confirmed it was a tasty dish nonetheless.
Braised Irish short rib, celery, watercress and red wine sauce £36. It had a really flavourful sweet glaze on top and the textural elements were nailed with the crispy onions & crumbs. You can tell the rib had a lot of technique put into it from it’s fork tenderness and those piped celery & watercress buttons look pretty don’t you think? A very well executed plate of food indeed.
Fillet steak from the grill £38 cooked mid-rare with deep purple and ruby coloured lettuce. Those triple cooked chips which I first tried in Berners Tavern were also on point.
Hazelnut plaisir sucré, chocolate syrup, milk ice cream £9.5. Chocolate topped, with layers of crispy pastry, fudgy almond chocolate base and creamy piped hazelnut cream. I heard mix reviews of the City Social but after eating this dessert I made up my own mind and was smitten. It was a game changer and should feature in anyone’s death row desert list!
Clementine parfait, almond cake, cranberry and almond milk ice cream £9.50. Another one I didn’t try but I will live vicariously by witnessing a very clean plate left by my fellow diner!
When did I go? March 2016
The damage: Expect to pay £90-£100 per head for 3 courses dishes and a bottle of nice swill.
The good: Solid accomplished cooking, iconic views and plush surroundings – Jason Atherton does it again. My favourites were the pig’s trotter dish, short rib and the hazelnut plaisir sucré, it gave me pure eating pleasure.
The bad: Not a lot!
Tower 42, Old Broad St, London EC2N 1HQ
Closest tube: Bank/Liverpool St