Jason Atherton’s City Social has won the BMW Square Meal Award for Best New Restaurant autumn 2014. The award was presented to the restaurant on Wednesday 1 October. City Social opened in May this year, on the 24th floor of Tower 42.
It is the third time that one of Atherton’s restaurants has won a BMW Square Meal award: Pollen Street Social was Restaurant of the Year in 2011 and Social Eating House took Best New Restaurant in autumn 2013. Square Meal editor Ben McCormack said, ‘Jason Atherton is currently the chef with the Midas touch and he instinctively knows how to give diners a good time. City Social is a spectacular venue that combines sky-high food quality with dizzying views of the Square Mile and the skyline beyond.’
Atherton’s other London restaurant launch of 2014, Typing Room in Bethnal Green, was also on the BMW best new restaurant shortlist, along with Fera, Kurobuta and The Palomar.
Atherton (pictured above with BMW's Byron Dudding) said of his win: ‘A BMW Square Meal award makes a big impact on your business. People appreciate the honesty of a Square Meal review.’
Readers praised City Social for service, food and value for money. “Once again Atherton delivers an experience that borders on perfection”, said one fan. Another added, “if you’re in the City and want something special, then this is the place”. And, “here you get the view, the service, the food and even reasonably decent value for money”, a diner concluded.
Asked whether he was spreading himself too thinly, Atherton, who has opened five London restaurants since 2013, said: ‘The thing is, it’s very important that people understand that I can only do so much. I don’t need to have my name above the door in every restaurant, they each stand on their own merits. I’ve got talented chefs in my kitchens; City Social is executive chef Paul Walsh’s kitchen. He has a share of the business and you can feel his heart and soul in the restaurant. But 60 per cent of the time you’ll still find me at Pollen Street Social.’
Atherton is also set to open two new restaurants in 2015.
This is Square Meal’s 30th award for best new restaurant and the 15th year that BMW has been its sponsor. With former winners including such established classics as Zuma, L’Anima, Scott’s and Arbutus, the BMW Square Meal Award is an accurate barometer of a restaurant that is going to stay hot not just until we present our next award in six months’ time but for years to come.
Click here to read our review of City Social
Click here to see the full list of past winners