This March, The Social Company will be opening their seventh London restaurant and this time it’ll be in Clerkenwell. Following on from the likes of Berners Tavern, Pollen Street Social and City Social, Sosharu will be a collaboration between Jason Atherton and Executive Head Chef Alex Craciun (previously sous chef at Pollen Street Social).
Unlike anything Atherton has done before, Sosharu is the next step for The Social Company and will see the restaurant serving up casual yet refined Japanese cuisine using seasonal British ingredients. To ensure that Alex knew everything there was to know about Japanese cuisine he did his homework and we mean seriously did his homework. He didn’t just read up or practise over here, nope he relocated to Japan to spend a year studying at the Kyoto Culinary School and also worked at two restaurants, Kikunoi (under Chef Yoshihiro Murata) in Kyoto and RyuGin (under Seiji Yamamoto) in Tokyo.
The menu will feature small dishes with sections dedicated to different specialities such as temaki, hibachi grill, yaki grill, tempura and sashimi. Innovative dishes will include chashu pork belly, udon, king oyster; bream sashimi, shichimi, crispy potato; scallop, yuzu butter, fresh nori and puddings include apple pie, miso butterscotch and white sesame, chocolate and miso caramel.
Shanghai based studio Neri & Hu (they designed Pollen Street Social) are looking after the interiors, which will play with ideas of Japanese domesticity. Framed by an abstract timber structure reminiscent of traditional minka houses, the ground floor will conjure the experience of sitting in a Japanese home.
A daily changing, bespoke tasting menu will be served in the separate dining space, Kisetsu which will feature its own kitchen. The menu will follow the omakase tradition which loosely translates to mean ‘trust the chef’ and diners will be seated around the kitchen counter with the menu served in a fine dining style. Kisetsu, if you don’t know, means ‘season’ and in honour of this the interiors will change seasonally.
Head into the basement and you’ll find Seven Tales cocktail bar. The 40 cover bar will be emulating the night-time atmosphere of Tokyo, with the walls covered with unique wallpaper illustrating Japan’s golen age movements in the early sixties. The drinks menu will be inspired by Japanese culture and philosophies. The Munenori’s Mojito be a twist on the mojito made with cold-brewed matcha, nigori, Cuban run, tonka bean and absinthe whilst the Yugen will contain rose vermouth, citric acid, hibiscus salt and sparkling sake.
Later in the year, Atherton will open his next restaurant in Nova, Victoria’s latest development – it looks like 2016 is shaping up rather well!
Sosharu: Opens 7th March, Turnmill Building, 63 Clerkenwell Road, Clerkenwell, EC1M 5NP, www.jasonatherton.co.uk