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The latest Jason Atherton restaurant, serving pimped-up Japanese ‘pub’ food.
Please note, Sosharu has now closed. Time Out Food editors, December 2018.
You know how Kris Jenner names daughters? As in, Kourtney, Khloe, Kim, Kylie and Kendall (where have you been, living under a rock?). Well, that’s how acclaimed chef Jason Atherton names his restaurants. He likes to keep things ‘Social’, from Pollen Street Social to Social Wine and Tapas, or my personal favourite, Social Eating House. Luckily for Atherton, that’s where the comparison with the Kardashians ends, because unlike the internet-breaking attentionistas, the Social family are restrained and intelligent, and this latest baby is no different. What is different is the cuisine: Sosharu serves modern Japanese. But then, you’d already guessed that.
They’ve done the smart thing and carved up the room’s industrial proportions using suspended wooden beams (kind of like eating in a giant four-poster bed) and Oriental lattice screens for intimacy. Do check out the counter bar (outstay your allotted two hours and you’ll be moved here anyway), so you can watch metal-chopstick-wielding chefs arrange the fiddliest of ingredients with astonishingly steady hands. It’ll make you want to jump up and challenge them to a game of Operation (don’t: you’ll only lose).
Every plate is a thing of beauty, its flavours as intriguing. Take the must-order ‘open’ tuna temaki, (pictured above): a twist on a traditional handroll, the seaweed wrapper comes tempura-battered (it really works) and set into a ‘U’ shape, much like a hard taco. It’s then filled with perfect sushi rice, raw tuna, shredded scallion, salty fish roe and radish slivers for a riot of colour, texture and flavour. And that’s before you even add a squirt of spicy mayo, which comes in a teeny-tiny catering bottle for maximum cuteness. I also loved the chicken skewers: one of ‘skin’ (crisp, fatty, delicious), the other a dense ‘meatball’, both served with a glistening whole egg yolk suspended over yakitori sauce (you mix this all up, then use it as an ultra-rich dipping sauce). Only scallops, overwhelmed by their too-sharp accompaniments, were less than perfect. But that’s me being picky.
Service is flawless – though you’d hope so at these prices, which for what’s essentially pimped-up izakaya (Japanese ‘pub’) food is definitely on the expense-account-or-special-occasion end of the scale. Still, you get what you pay for – right down to the awesome pre-warmed loos – so if you’re looking to splurge, Sosharu won’t disappoint.