I’m not sure where the ‘social’ part of Reform Social and Grill comes from, but the gentleman’s club vibe they are trying to achieve does come across – burgundy button-backed banquettes and mahogany furniture; job well done. Having barged my way across Oxford Street I sought refuge at Reform Social and Grill. The white pillared entrance gave a sense of occasion to a rainy Saturday, with the restaurant itself feeling easy-going and tucked away (in the best way).
As I walk to my table I always like to peer at other diners’ food. Burgers, steaks and Yorkshire puddings were definitely order of the day, but for us, it was Yorkshire puddings. The holy bowls have been given the limelight and reinvented as sweet as well as savoury – what better companion to take with me than my best friend, a true Yorkshire lass.
Three savoury Yorkshire puddings on a wooden platter were brought over to share. As delicious – and photogenic – as they were, they were admittedly hard to cut in two, so unless you can agree on who gets what, order a couple of plates. The salt beef with tangy horseradish was my favourite, perhaps subconsciously because it was the most traditional, but the award-winning ooziness of Tunsworth cheese with truffle was a close second. Smoked salmon with creme fraiche and chive completed the trio.
A main course of haddock with crisp new potatoes and poached egg was a lighter alternative to the speciality grills on the menu – had it not been for the Yorkshires, we definitely would’ve plumped for something more hearty, the burgers in particular looked impressive. A sock-blowingly strong Negroni with rosemary-infused Beefeater Gin hydrated us, along with a caramel-infused Old Fashioned, complete with a serving of popcorn.
Puddings were, you guessed it, Yorkshire in nature. Just like pancakes, why have we never considered sweet Yorkshire puddings before?! Caramel chocolate pooled perfectly in the centre (again, troublesome to share), and was our favourite of the sweets. Banana and custard worked well and a strawberry jam-packed (literally) afternoon tea inspired creation had a huge ice cream sized scoop of proper clotted cream on top.
The Yorkshire Pudding menu has attracted a lot of attention during its run and deservedly so. People love something a little different and although originally intended for February only, the restaurant are now making it a permanent feature on the menu. Forget the 7th February – now every day can be British Yorkshire Pudding Day.