Sicilian Executive Chef Salvatore Coco has served up nothing short of a culinary masterpiece at Union Social. Located at The Gantry London, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton and just a stone’s throw from Westfield Stratford, he brings a globally inspired food menu with his own outstanding twists.
Union Social could easily pass as modern, swanky coffee lounge, with its luxurious seating, incredible warm lighting, and enviable views across East London. The sleek placesettings give the restaurant away, however, and the deliciously appetising notes from the open kitchen set an excellent precedent for the standard on offer at this new hotspot.
If you’re looking for something truly unique with creative, exotic flair, you’ll be thrilled with the cocktail menu here. Based on bar staples, mixologist Walter Pintus (ex Ritz, Connaught, Mandrake, the list goes on) has ensured there’s nothing ordinary about them. Mai-Pear-Tai takes the classic white rum, almond, and lime elements and adds Comice pear to the concoction. Samba Colada includes a salted caramel surprise, while patron favourites Spiced Pumpkin Punch and Lanna Mule add in British apples and lemongrass vodka respectively.
The small plates travel the world, from Italy with Genovese Inspired Focaccia and creamy Buffalo Mozarella Campana, to Spain with fluffy Prawn and Potato Croquetas with Roasted Garlic Aioli, and Greece with brilliantly Homemade Tzatziki. The bites are rich and flavoursome, and can easily be ordered as a full sharing-style meal, or as a starter.
If you’re looking for the definition of ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ meat, this is where you find it. The Slow Cooked Hampshire Grass Fed Beef Cheeks large plate is mouth-wateringly memorable, possibly one of the best beef dishes we have ever tasted. It comes with Pressed Lyonnaise Potatoes and Toasted Sourdough Crumbs, in an incredibly generous portion size.
For any seafood lover, it’s the Pan Seared Queen Scallops that are the must – served with Confit Jerusalem Artichoke Puree and Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli, they are spectacularly soft and perfectly cooked, the flavours from the smoked paprika oil, scallion, and cilantro working in perfect harmony to make this a real standout.
Other larger plate options include staff favourite Free Range Buff Orpington Chicken Schnitzel, with mushroom gravy, a free range fried egg, and picked red cabbage.
The desserts are indulgent both in flavour and quantity. Union Social’s take on the Classic Sticky Toffee Pudding is essential for anybody with a sweet tooth, with a luxuriously thick toffee sauce and served alongside sweet crumble and Madagascan Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream. It’s the perfect wrap up for an outstanding meal.
What we love about the menu is that it’s concise enough for all options to be executed with care and excellence. There’s no confusion around what experience Salvatore Coco intends for his diners – one of embracing the global flavours with intensity and authenticity. And with a cocktail menu as creative as this, it really does have the entire package.
The food and drink menu is a spark of genius. It has it all – focussed variety, experienced creativity, and consistent elegance – all with the best sourced ingredients and quality. If you’re an East London neighbour, passing through Stratford, or indeed just wanting to indulge in some fantastic food and drink in a modern, sophisticated environment, we cannot recommend Union Social enough.
The Union Social all-day dining and cocktail menus:
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