address: 89 Effra Rd, London, Greater London SW2 1DF
telephone: 020 7737 6800
After making a visit to their tasting night a few weeks ago we went again incognito to see what the place was really like.
Effra Social used to be the home of the local Conservative Club and was recently taken over and re-furbished (?) to provide a rambling retro-style building with an outside set of tables for drinkers, an internal “snug bar”, a large room with a stage and finally a restaurant at the back of the building. I met my companion at the restaurant and I saw every room while searching for him. The most daunting part was crossing the large room as there was a comedy night and there seemed to be a risk that anyone crossing to the restaurant would become part of the show.
The restaurant is in a dark spot at night and it takes a little time to adjust to the dimness. It does make reading the menu a little tough. We chose the mushrooms on toast (sour dough of course) and the octopus and chicory salad for starters. The salad was great but the toast was a bit hard. For main course we had the steak – we asked for blue and it was just right – and a vegetarian pasta. The steak dinner was lovely and the pasta was fine although a bit ordinary. I may just have chosen badly.
Dessert was a complete surprise – Cornflake ice cream and Horlicks ice cream. I am a bit of an aficionado of interesting ice creams and am always disappointed when it doesn’t live up to the description. These two were great and tasted exactly as the menu described. There was no doubt that the cornflake was indeed cornflake or maybe even honey nut. It was delicious. My only slight complaint was that Horlicks ice cream needed a bit more air in it as it was pretty solid (but that is really nit-picking).
The waiting staff were clearly untrained and not confident yet. Removing the bread after a short time and without the other food appearing was a bit of a surprise. Although the plates are large and the tables small so that may be an explanation.
We were definitely satisfied at the end of the meal – safe to say I was stuffed. We would definitely recommend this place – I would just choose something a bit less vegetarian next time.