I like food, of course I do, we need it but why have something you need without enjoyment. I need shirts but do I buy cheap badly fitting ones, no I get something that will last and makes me feel comfortable like a second skin. So when a celebratory trip to a restaurant's chef's table comes up in conversation as a gift, I will not say no. The restaurant dear reader was the Social Eating House, found on Poland Street Soho on the streets of London.
The chef's table does give you visions of a table on four legs in the middle of the kitchen where you eat with the chef. Now Paul Hood is a nice guy, but his food is why we are here, so sorry Chef, get in the kitchen and prepare. In reality, the bar style seating looks out at the impressive engine of an all out culinary machine and is pretty awe inspiring, and that is before the food even arrived. We seated ourselves at 7:30 and it would have been out of the ordinary not to have a quick glass of champagne before we got going.
Now to the all important part, the food, which was spanned across nine courses, we missed out the cheese course, which is an option. I knew the food was going to be good, Michelin star and all, but I was not prepared for this and it came in right at the start with a Brixham Crab and Parsnip Remoulade. It was a tiny little cracker with crab on it to the untrained eye, namely my own. But then the ten ingredients were listed off by the chef who prepared it. I suddenly felt like I shouldn’t be here, with the thought of ‘how do you get all that in there?’, let me out, I'm an imposter and clearly do not deserve this. But my god it was good.
Dessert was Cultured Jersey Yogurt, Apple Pie (I am simplifying this) ending with Macaron and jellies, with coffee to finish. It was one delight after another, even judging our fellow diners for the night who seemed not to care about the food or what went into it. Thankfully we had enough enthusiasm for all especially as we slowly got more drunk, a side effect of a night like this. And as we said our goodbyes and the bill was paid at a time just after midnight I felt like family.
Apart from my gratitude for my friends and wife who took me here along with the praise for the pure genius of food and all involved along with the same to the sommelier, I would like to applaud the music choice of classic hip-hop for the evening, surprisingly went really well.