So far it looks like 2013 is shaping up to be the year of the French bistros and brasseries. The trend started in full earnest in 2012 when Zedel opened its doors. Since then a host of new French bistros and brasseries have hit London, such as The Green man and French horn, Balthazar and Bouchon Fourchette just to name a few. The trend looks set to continue and in fact two high-profile new French restaurants opened this week (Little Social and Brasserie Chavot); we decided to visit both Little Social and Brasserie Chavot in their coinciding opening week.
Little Social is the brainchild of famed chef Jason Atherton, whose Pollen Street Social has proved a huge success with the London foodsters and Michelin. Little Social (which is located directly opposite Pollen Street Social) offers a completely different dining experience from the haute cuisine at Pollen Street Social. The theme here is rustic French and they pull it off well at Little Social. From the quaint French interior to the rural dishes on the menu everything perfectly fits within this picture of a local French bistro.
When we visited Little Social we tried the following dishes:
- Crayfish risotto (8/10)
- Foie gras terrine (8/10)
- Poutine (8.5/10)
- Braised ox cheeks and bone marrow (8.5/10)
- Pork chops (8.5/10)
- Apple crumble (8/10)
- Chocolate Moelleux (8/10)
We enjoyed all the dishes we tried at Little Social. The stand-out dish was the Braised Ox cheeks with bone marrow. The flavours of the dish are spectacular (best ox cheek I’ve had in many years) and the dish could have been served in any Michelin star restaurant. However, it is not without fault. The amount of meat that goes with the dish is insufficient (about 75-100 grams), but once this is corrected we would count it as one of the best dishes of the year so far.
The service at Little Social is spot on and genuinely on of the best in London. This is particularly impressive considering that the restaurant had only been open for a few days when we visited it. Preliminary indications are that Little Social succeed in winning the hearts of the fickle London foodies and with a few tweeks may get up their with the likes of powerhouses such as Koffman’s and Bistrot Bruno Loubet.
The total bill at Little Social came to £125 (including service charge, two glasses of wine, a non-alcoholic drink and bottle of water).
The food rating for Little Social: 8.5/10
Service rating for Little Social: 9/10
Overall rating for Little Social: 8.5/10
(Overall rating is based on personal taste, opinion of the ambiance and price).