Social Eating House, Soho, London
Outstanding brown bread, rich wheat flavour, soft with a very crisp crust. Probably one of the best breads I've had at a restaurant recently, perhaps only a tiny notch down from the fine-grained bread at Restaurant Story,
The duck smoked ham was very pleasant -- white and ruby stripes of duck contrasting a bites of frissee. Good chips, cooked in duck fat, for a wonderful crunch on the surface and smooth interiors, without any grainy quality. Nice for dipping into the yolk of an egg, battered on the outside with breadcrumbs, firm whites and soft yolk, barely runny. An aroma of truffle.
A Cornish bream had crispy skin and moist soft flesh, over a smooth artichoke puree that quietly fumed with truffle oil as well. Topped with artichokes and thin slices of carrots, and saffron farafelle, golden in colour with a good note of saffron, and just al dente.
Went well with Viognier from Domain de la Janasse, that carried a balanced sweetness and acidity.
Cherry-ade and peanut ice creams were a little subdued in their flavour, but made a sensible combination with cherry jam filled doughnuts, which were roughly in the same league as the ones from St Johns, if a lot smaller. A scatter of blackberries, a gossamer of a tuile -- seeming more like a very thin slice of bread with cherry coloured dotted.
A very pleasant meal with nice refined touches from the kitchen. Slightly pricey -- the starters average £10 and main courses average £20-ish, but certainly not bad value on the whole.