| Everyday London Life Restaurants

Dining at Altitude: Mr Silver’s Birthday at City Social

I absolutely love birthdays and I tend to celebrate mine all week, if not all month! Mr Silver, however is not bothered about his birthday so I have to get excited enough for both of us!!
And for such a momentous occasion I decided to book a fabulous restaurant for us enjoy a celebration dinner. It was also the perfect opportunity for the next instalment of my Dining at Altitude series, because, obviously the blog is just as important as celebrating a birthday. Mr S loves Chinese food so Hutong at The Shard was my restaurant of choice, and being super-organised I attempted to book two months in advance.
But I couldn’t get a booking….even on a Monday. Ok, so my next choice was City Social, hurrah… I got a booking…and I’m so glad that it worked out that way.
In the week before we were due to go, City Social won a much coveted Michelin Star, so I was very glad to get a booking before it became impossible to get into.
Anyway, on the day of birthday Mr Silver came home from work rather excited for our night out. I’d been teasing him with hints about where we were going…
We had a glass of champagne in the Vera Wang glasses that we’d been given as an engagement present….

…and Mr S opened his gifts. He’d already chosen a fab new Dolce and Gabbana jacket earlier in the week and he was excited to wear it tonight. I also got him tickets to one of the events at the London Restaurant festival, but let’s not kid ourselves, that present was really for me…
Finery doned we headed out and first to the bar for another glass of champers.
 The bar was incredible: the interior was sleek, black and sexy with dark wooden floors.
And best of all, ceiling to floor windows to show off the awesome view.
Do you like the new jacket by the way?
Located on the 24th Floor Floor of Tower 42, City Social is currently the 9th highest restaurant in London. As soon as you through the door the Gherkin towers right before your eyes.

I think our table for dinner was one of the best seats in the house as it was perfectly located to admire London’s famous landmarks.
We ordered a bottle of Bollinger, a champagne that is special to us as we enjoyed a tasting evening at Claridges on an early date of ours…yes, that is how we roll 😉
City Social is the latest ‘Social’ restaurant from Jason Atherton, chef / restauranteur rock star on the London restaurant scene. I’ve already visited Berners Tavern and Pollen Street Social, two of his other six restaurants in London, and I’m very keen to try more. The executive chef of the restaurant is Paul Walsh, previously the sous chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Road, he was also instrumental in the launch of 28-50 Wine Workshop.
The menu of Modern European cuisine was totally fabulous and fortunately we had already decided we were going to be greedy as it is a truth universally acknowledged that birthday calories don’t count.I have to give a shout out to our waiter who was fabulous and incredibly knowledgeable about the menu. We have him to thank for the fabulous recommendations.


The first starter had a Japanese flavour,  yellow fin tuna tataki with cucumber salad, avocado and ponzu dressing. It was a fabulously light way to kick off the meal and I absolutely love the citrussy tang of ponzu.

Roast French quail with cream corn and pearl barley served with crispy pancetta and a red wine reduction was our favourite dish of the night. It was a decent portion size, which was lucky really as I kept of stealing more and more off the birthday boy’s plate.

Because we are greedy we also went for an intermediate course of a small plate of seafood linguine. The shellfish was, of course, perfectly cooked but the beautifully fine pasta was the star of this dish.

Whole dover sole with caper gnocchi and samphire. Sadly, the photo doesn’t do this wonderful dish justice, the lighting is quite dim in City Social so that the view really pops! But despite a dull picture, the sole was beautifully cooked and the gnocchi were plump and fluffy. A citrus sabayon came on the side and our wonderful waiter recommended we only use a very small bit as it was quite a heavy sauce. The sauce matched the fish perfectly, the waiter was correct that only a small helping was required.
We hesitated in ordering the Cornish sea bass as it came with a deep-fried oyster and an oyster veloute, and neither of us are fan of the particular shellfish. But the waiter urged us to as one of his favourite fish dishes…and it was definitely the right decision. The oysters weren’t raw so they were without  the slimy texture that I don’t like and the soft flesh of the sea bass contrasted nicely with the crunch of the oyster and chargrilled cauliflower. The fish sat on a fluffy bed of cous cous, which made a lovely accompaniment.
Again it was a generous portion size, something you don’t often see in such high-end restaurants…and with all this food I was getting pretty full so it was up to the birthday boy to finish off our plates.

We were both very stuffed after all those courses…

‘But we must have dessert,’ I said ‘It’s your birthday!’

I’d been eying up the Apple tarte tatin on the dessert menu, but as it was for two, I expect it would be a very big portion. Instead, we decided to go for the option that looked the lightest:

A stunning yogurt and London honey parfait with figs, goats milk and blackberry ripple ice cream. We were pretty done for after that but just before we left, the waiter presented us with a box containing a cake as a gift on Mr S’s special day!
Mr Silver and I absolutely loved City Social, from the food, to the ambiance to the service. The restaurant has hit new heights of excellence and it was the perfect place to celebrate Mr Silver’s birthday.
And the best thing about Mr Silver’s birthday? It’s a month before mine, and I’ve set the bar pretty high 😉
PS My lovely blogger friend Ashleigh also visited City Social for her OH’s birthday…check out her fab review for further food ideas: Quintessentially Me
City Social
Tower 42
25 Old Broad Street
0207 877 7703
City Social on Urbanspoon