“There is no sincerer love, than the love of food” – George Bernard Shaw
So reads the header of Jason Atherton’s latest menu. Food quotes are always a bit bum-winky/gag inducing but I can just about forgive Jase because he’s done it again. Course he has, he’s always bloody doing it, but does his new tapas place off Oxford Street pack the same punch as the other “Social” branded establishments? I’m going with ‘ISH.
Where: 39 James St, London W1U
What’s it like? A …..Czechoslovakian ….wine shop? I’m sure there are passers by who’ll be surprised to find such incredible food in this unremarkable looking, dimly lit little bolthole. I mean it’s really dark. It’s the Hollister of eateries. Someone actually turned the lights off at one point putting us in total darkness so my first point is don’t go if you’re scared of the dark.
Food: The menu’s split into egg, cheese, meat, fish and veg (see below) and the night’s highs were brought about by the seafood rice which I’m gonna be talking about for a very long time, the pan fried duck egg, the jamon, manchego toastie with quail’s eggs which are a bit of fun more than anything and the Cumbrian lamb.
Least favourite was the fois gras burger and chipirones (baby squid) as they were both on the bland side. Not the finest Iberico I’ve ever eaten either but definitely hit the spot alongside a lovely glass of Pollen Street red.