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A smart British brasserie, part of Jason Atherton’s ‘Social’ empire.
What’s in a name? Well, if you’re the team over at Social HQ, a lot, apparently. Part of super-chef Jason Atherton’s Social empire, this restaurant, known – and loved – for six years as Little Social, was relaunched in May as No 5 Social, which has since been distilled to just ‘5 Social’. Keep up at the back, please. What matters is this: it’s dishing up the same winning combo of quality food in a smart but relaxed setting, only with a shift in style. Gone is the French bistro fare, in its place, modern Brit with a splash of Euro. The room is lighter, too: now elegant, rather than handsome. The sage-and-brass colour scheme is terrifically on-trend, while the walls are lined in wicker, like something fashioned from the off-cuts of a load of conservatory furniture.
The menu is a chic take on simple Brit brasserie fare. We loved the meaty scallop starter, sat over a puddle of frothy, tangy, champagne-laced sauce. Main courses (no small plates here) were almost as good: from a juicy and comforting Josper-grilled iberico pork chop with a peppery, bacon-studded crust and slivers of pickled onion, to a crisp-skinned fillet of Cornish cod over langoustine bisque and new-season mash, topped with smoky mouthfuls of thickly puréed provençale veg. It’s just a pity that the most inventive dish we tried – a hand-cut beef tartare stuffed inside a cannelloni (pasta tube) – was over-seasoned, over-soft and, well, a little weird. But service remains superb, there’s a great-value prix fixe (£19.50 for two courses) and the mostly-booth seating is a call to linger. Next time, make mine the cheesecake for two.
5 Pollen St
|Transport:||Tube: Oxford Circus|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £150.|
|Do you own this business?|