About the award
Each year the AA independently inspects hundreds of restaurants across the British Isles. This award, introduced in 2000, recognises restaurants that provide cuisine of a truly excellent standard, as well as demonstrating innovation and ambience and providing a high standard of hospitality.
Close to Farringdon tube station in the heart of Clerkenwell, Jason Atherton’s latest opening is a restaurant inspired by a Japanese-style sharing plate concept. Translated as ‘social’, Sosharu is based on the informal Izakaya restaurants of Japan and it’s a buzzy place with casually dressed staff and a separate cocktail bar and private dining area.
With an open pass between the kitchen and main restaurant, diners can watch as the chefs cook small plates of beautifully crafted Japanese specialties, including sashimi, tempura and dishes cooked on the hibachi grill.
From the cold section of the menu, scallop tartare with fresh peas, sesame and lemon purée is one enticing starter, perhaps followed by grilled lamb cutlets, roasted onion and sesame and red miso. Sukiyaki Wagyu beef, glass noodles, young leeks and shiitake mushrooms is one main course inspired by the classics.
There is a stunning wine list which is designed with the food in mind, along with an excellent selection of Saki. Downstairs there’s a 40 cover cocktail bar called the Seven Tales and Kisetsu, meaning season, is a separate intimate dining space with its own kitchen where 10 diners are offered a bespoke daily changing menu chosen by the chef. Great vibe, buzzing atmosphere and with huge appeal to broad markets makes this a worthy winner of AA Restaurant of the Year for London.