This is the next in Jason’s ever growing Social empire that spans six cities, and is his seventh restaurant in London. I’m an Atherton fan, followed Jason since Maze days (been to all but City Social) and think his London restaurants are great. I don’t know what his books look like, but all this expansion (and superb interior design) must mean it is pretty healthy.
No expense has been spared to create this space that has internal wood beams which take inspiration from the interiors of a traditional Minka house. It is beautiful and premium, as are all his Socials, designed by Shanghai studio Neri & Hu, which also did Pollen. I love that they brought over those automatic washlets by Toto (toilet paper finally becomes redundant), and spent more time than I should, fiddling with the remote in the restroom. There is also a bar called 7 tales in the basement and as is now the fashion, there is a restaurant in the restaurant, a 10 seater kitchen counter serving a seasonal omakase called Kisetsu which should reveal itself next month.
Naturally Sosharu is connected to the sharing theme of the rest of the Social restaurants, but with an interesting departure offering an Izakaya menu, the Japanese equivalent to pub or bistro for every man comfort food.
What got me really excited is the man on the pass, Alex Craciun, long-term chef with Jason, formerly sous at Pollen, who Jason has groomed to tackle this ambitious undertaking. Alex was sent to Japan for a year to study the cuisine. He was with the Kyoto Culinary School and also stinted with a couple of true Kaiseiki institutions including national treasure Murata san at Kikounoi in Gion-Maruyama, Kyoto and Yamamoto san’s revered Nihonryori RyuGin located in Roppongi, Tokyo.
Kyoto is laden with tradition and is an excellent place to take inspiration for food. I have tender memories of saba sushi, unagi, tofu, Nishiki market, Pontocho alley and no doubt, Alex will showcase what he’s learnt with kaiseiki when Kisetsu opens.