Little Social is a French bistro based in Mayfair and it’s the creation of Jason Atherton – who owns Michelin starred Pollen Street Social (right opposite) and Social Eating House in Soho.
It was a lovely looking restaurant with “ox-blood banquets” and booth seating. It all felt very French; framed French posters hung on every inch of the walls and there was a tres French CD playing in the background. We half expected the waiter to come out wearing a beret and comedy moustache!
Some bread and aggressively salty butter got things off to a lovely start; the white baguette being my favourite.
It wasn’t the cheapest of menus but everything sounded tasty. To start I opted for the raw Orkney isle scallops, chilli, garlic, cucumber, avocado purée, orange, lemon and coriander (£15.50). It was the most expensive starter on the menu but you got plenty of scallops for your buck and their quality was sublime. The cucumber provided some freshness which cut through the rich avocado purée. This dish looked and tasted great.
My gentleman companion went for the roasted quail breast, with confit leg, sautéed foie gras, cherries and young almonds (£14.50). The quail was delightfully moist and tender and the foie gras was some of the finest we’ve ever tasted. The cherries provided sweetness and the almonds added texture which all worked together perfectly.
For main I opted for the braised Irish ox cheeks, roast marrow bone, sourdough crumb, carrot and horseradish mash (£22). This was one seriously tasty plate of food; the ox cheek was as tender as it gets and the breadcrumbs added texture which was a nice touch. The mash, with it’s light hint of horseradish, was so smooth that I forgot for a second it was made from potato. Once I scooped the marrow out of its bone it melted into the gravy adding to the rich loveliness of it all. A side dish of broccoli (£5.50) was much needed and perhaps a little on the pricey side – it was after all only broccoli.
My gentleman companion went for the roast halibut “BLT” (£23.50). This featured portobello mushrooms, smoked bacon, braised baby gem lettuce and sauce bois boudrin. The fillet of halibut was massive and so soft and flakey and the thick wedge of bacon was smokey and delicious. A truly brilliant blend of flavours.
Before desserts I got the chance to go into the kitchen and meet head chef Carey Docherty who’s such a nice bloke – I love having a nosey in restaurant kitchens! He’s worked at Zuma, Maze and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay so knows a bit about cooking!
We decided to share the pink peppercorn meringue, lemon and lime curd and passion fruit (£7.50). Pink peppercorn meringue? How bizarre. But it really worked and had an almost perfumed flavour which contrasted the tangy passion fruit sorbet brilliantly.
We were kindly sent out an extra dessert as a gift from the kitchen; mara de bois strawberries, lemon balm syrup, black pepper sable and yoghurt foam which was available from the set lunch menu (£25 for three courses). Again, this had an unusual blend of savoury flavours which worked perfectly as a dessert. A little shard of meringue added texture to the peppery yet creamy sable which was a great companion for the sweet strawberries.
The food we ate at Little Social was seriously tasty, it’s not particularly cheap, but you get what you pay for. Lovely staff, lovely food and lovely surroundings. Au revoir Little Social, I’ll be sure to return.