Dinner at City Social, London

Can you guess where we went for dinner with these bad-ass views?

First, let me set the scene. It’s the day before Boy’s birthday, and being the most thoughtful girl in the world, I decided to plan a surprise evening for him to celebrate together. Isn’t Boy a lucky one? It’s half because I’m just a big sweetheart, and another half that I get way too excited about other people’s birthdays than I probably should. Another reason to drink champagne and eat cake, right?

I decided to meet him at a bar right around the corner. It’s called The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, and it’s in a fridge in The Breakfast Club by Liverpool Street Station. No, seriously. The door to it is a fridge.

You have to go inside The Breakfast Club and tell the hostess that you’re here to see the mayor. She’ll then lead you through the fridge door and down the stairs. Exciting, no?

And voilà. You’re at a ‘secret’ bar. Way to get cool points with your friends who don’t know about it.

Boy was late so I decided to go ahead and get a table. He didn’t know anything about the place or the hidden bar, so I texted him to go inside and “tell the waitress you’re here to see the mayor”. There was no signal downstairs and he took so long that I knew he wouldn’t get what I meant or do it. It was only after we’d emerged from the bar to head to dinner that his reply came through, “yeah, the mayor of shit-chatsville”. Fantastic.

Anyway, I was panicking over time (we had 15 minutes in the bar at this point) so I just went for it and ordered for him. I crossed my fingers (although I knew I was pretty good at knowing what he likes after our competition at Sub 13) and ordered him the Golden Hind – Kamm & Sons, Plymouth Gin, lemon, red grapes, fresh sage, pressed ginger and pressed apple. He loved it. Pshhh, too easy.

I got myself the most interesting thing on the menu, the King Yellowman’s Answer, which was the Rumfest Winner 2012 (I like rum). It was a mix of Blackwell Rum, roasted pineapple with cinnamon sticks (yum), honey, espresso and a freshly pressed pear juice. With a garnish not to be messed with. Turns out this garnish was FIRE.

It was amazing. My low-tolerance and limited time to drink it meant that I was stumbling a little to the restaurant approximately 10 minutes later. It’s a freaking nice place though, so I had to put my game face (i.e my sober face) on.

He tried to guess where we were going the whole time, but since this place had only been open for 10 days at the time, he had absolutely no idea about it. Sucker. It was City Social, Jason Atherton’s new restaurant. It was sophisticated and sexy, two things that my now-peachy face was definitely not portraying at the time.

Oh, and did I mention the views?

I made a special request for a table by the window since it was for a birthday, which they kindly managed to arrange. After my excitement of how pretty the view was, we ordered a bottle of wine to calm myself down. We got a South African wine in honour of Boy. We always have this thing about who picks the best wine (I hate to say that I have tragically let him down on one-too-many occasions, but when I get it right, I get it right), but tonight I hit the jackpot with my choice.

Then came the bread. And I want to say butter, but it was more like something whipped by angels. It was light and fluffy and creamy, more like a butter foam.

Now for the good stuff. Everything looked so good, so as always, we decided to splitsies. We went for one cooked and one uncooked choice. The cooked starter was the Roasted French Quail with peas, broad beans, pancetta and sauce diable.

We then went for the Yellow Fina Tuna Tataki with cucumber salad, radish, avocado and ponzu dressing.

Of course, I needed to get a picture. Food, a view and some cleavage. Boy took a winning shot.

We nearly kicked ourselves when we got home and didn’t take a picture together. I suggested it as a half-joke (haha but no, really) where he kind of dismissed it as a joke, so we dropped it. Maybe I’ll photoshop something.

It’s okay though, because I got more pictures of food – hooray! For the mains, I couldn’t resist the sound of Creedy Carver Duck with boulangère potatoes, English berry chutney and shallots.

Boy got the Rack of Romney Marsh Lamb with Braised Shoulder Shepherd’s Pie, which was recommended.

Here’s the shepherds pie…

Drooling yet? The food was good – I think I expected a little more because of all the hype and since I’ve been to one Jason’s restaurant in Singapore, Pollen. The presentation was gorgeous, I think I just had slightly higher expectations in order for the taste to be really something. The pot of shepherds pie was our favourite though. Who knew shepherd’s pie could be so delicious? I guess when you make it with braised shoulder.

I had to order dessert. I had to do it. The Apple Tart Tartin with vanilla ice-cream and caramel sauce was for two people. It was meant to be. It was calling to me. Boy didn’t get much of a say.

Hello, beautiful.

The tart was incredible, I just wish the ice-cream was a little better to really make it sensational!

As always, a green tea detoxes my sins. Actually, I think I may have gotten a peppermint tea to help me digest my food…

Boy got himself a macchiato. What a man.

The restaurant was lovely and gave Boy some truffles for his birthday treat. We ate these two days later at 3am, and, I kid you not, these are the most delicious truffles of my life. MY WHOLE LIFE. I’m tempted to call them up and ask if I can buy a whole box of these. They are incredible. I don’t even know what else to say. They’re just amazing. It’s like God licked each one of them before putting them in this box.

Boy and I stayed and chatted until a ridiculous time, where we didn’t actually realise that we were the last people in the restaurant. The manager was super sweet and decided to take us on a little tour of the place, and showed us both private rooms (gorgeous) and the massive kitchens. A kitchen with such ridiculous views – I can’t think of a better place for a chef to work.

Happy and full and a little drunk (at least I was), we tottered into the lift, into a cab and headed on home. A successful surprise? I think so! BOOM.

It’s really worth a trip – the ambience and place itself is breathtaking. Just a tip – when you go to the loos, go to the end stall and you can look over the most gorgeous views of London as you do what you gotta do #PooWithAView.

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