89 Effra Road
Phone: 020 7737 6800
Neighbouring popular hot-spot the Hootenanny, the Effra Social is not your average restaurant or bar. Outside it resembles a residential property. Inside it looks like the done-up wheat mill that the teens in Footloose decorated for their clandestine dance party. Church hall style furniture fills the old sports club while piano sheet music is randomly pegged to fishing wires that hang haphazardly overhead. On a Saturday night, the large hall is packed full of people to the point that several of them are sitting so close to us we assume they might be joining us for dinner. There’s no room for any Kevin Bacon worthy dance acrobatics, though there’s music playing and the DJ is setting up, so I’d say there might be dancing later on.
Most people are ordering bar snacks: homemade scotch eggs (£2.50) or hand cut chunky chips (£2) but we opt for a proper sit-down dining experience, which, somewhat incongruent with the old school surroundings is really very sophisticated. The staff are excellent, very professional but still friendly and laid back. The menu is high quality and simple, with five options for snacks and starters and six choices for mains and desserts. The artisan bread and oils comes with a mushroom-infused sea salt that is strangely fantastic. The 10oz Scottish Rib eye steak (£14) is mouth-watering, served with roasted tomato, hand-cut chips, herb butter and rocket salad. The house white is a good quality South African wine, which at £13.50 is hardly going to break the bank.