Our first restaurant review of the year is Social Wine and Tapas, which we dined at late last year. I love tapas restaurants and Shiima doesn’t mind them, long as the restaurant has dishes she’d enjoy. Usually though, tapas restaurants don’t so I end up going for a solo excursion. But the social wine and tapas online menu and Instagram account looked really promising. It still wasn’t easy to convince her though, as she didn’t enjoy her experience at City Social, but eventually I succeeded 🙂
Social Wine and Tapas is, as the name states, a tapas restaurant with a keen focus on its wines from the renowned Michelin starred chef and International restaurateur Jason Atherton. It’s located on James Street in Marylebone, but it’s much closer to Oxford Street. The restaurant has two floors and we were sat in the basement floor. The restaurant is beautiful and does a really good job making you feel like you’re in the belly of a wine cellar.
The menu arrived and it was different from the menu that I used to convince Shiima, and this was not good! Lol. Especially because the only chicken dish was gone! And, in case you don’t know, she only eats chicken lol. She wore a smile though and we searched the menu for other dishes.
What we ordered
We ordered pardon peppers, pan con tomate, ham croquettes and cheese croquettes to start. Pan-fried duck eggs with chorizo jam, brioche, and avocado; and crispy duck egg with confit leg, grains, and trompettes from the Eggs section.
For mains, I ordered grilled octopus with spiced chickpea, chorizo, and feta; and pork ribs. Shiima ordered rose veal burgers without the pulled pork, and chargrilled carrots with burnt aubergine, miso, and walnut pesto.
Review of the food
The pardon peppers, pan con tomate, and both croquettes were all delicious. Especially the croquettes, which were both amongst the best we’ve had.
The brioche that my pan-fried duck egg was served on was incredible. Really, it was that good. In my opinion, the brioche made the dish, although I felt the dish was lacking the chorizo flavour.
Shiima really enjoyed the grains and confit duck leg, but wasn’t a fan of the duck egg itself.
My pork ribs were average. I don’t remember enjoying it, but I ate it all. I enjoyed the grilled octopus dish, especially as I love humus – “spiced chickpea”. I would’ve like more octopus in the dish, but it is tapas lol.
Like the pork ribs, Shiima’s veal burgers were just all right, although it easily could’ve been better if the bread wasn’t so dry (brioche! lol). Shiima was full at this point, so I ate the chargrilled carrots alone, and it turned out to be the best of the mains. Especially because the “burnt aubergine” was delicious taramasalata.
No dessert, as we were really stuffed at this point. Maybe next time, because there were quite a few intriguing desserts.
Our Social Wine and Tapas experience was truly middling. The restaurant is beautiful and the service was good, but the food was rather hit or miss. I would go back again though, because there are quite a few other dishes I like to try. I recommend for anyone who likes to enjoy wine with a meal at a relaxed yet beautiful restaurant. It’s also ideal for a date. The restaurant is moderately expensive though, so do bear that in mind.
Cuisine: British & Spanish Tapas
Dress Code: Casual
Shiima’s Star Dish: Cheese Croquettes
Amen’s Star Dish: Ham Croquettes
Price: £30+ (excluding alcohol)
Rating: 3 out of 5
Social Wine and Tapas
39 James Street, London
Book at OpenTable,
or call 0207 993 3257