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Congratulations to Social Eating House, which has won the BMW Square Meal Best New Restaurant award. The second of three new openings this year by Jason Atherton (pictured, right, with Square Meal editor Ben McCormack, head chef Paul Hood and the BMW team), Social Eating House landed on Soho’s Poland Street in April, wowing diners with its sure-footed style, cool vibe, and accomplished kitchen, run by Paul Hood.
We at Square Meal can’t remember the last time we had such a bullish shortlist of new restaurants. This summer had impressive new projects from big-hitters including Bruno Loubet’s Grain Store and Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Café. There was also strong competition from hot homegrown talent such as young gun Tom Sellers’ Restaurant Story, and Ross Shonahan’s Flesh & Buns, this year’s most fun opening. But worthy as all of these contenders are, none could hold a candle to the reputation that Social Eating House has quickly carved out for itself.
Conscious of the expectations weighing down on Atherton’s Soho venture, Hood welcomed the award. ‘We’re out to prove that we can match the standards of Pollen Street Social, so this is great,’ he said.
Atherton was also delighted to add this new BMW Square Meal award to his gong for Pollen Street Social, which won Restaurant of the Year in 2011. ‘Square Meal is a very powerful tool in our business,’ he said. ‘When readers see a restaurant with a Square Meal star or an award, they think, “I’ve got to try that”.’