Ours is a place of nostalgic French-Mediterranean culinary traditions, where memories are curated amidst playful murals and handpicked artistry. Rooted in whimsical oeuvres, here at Socca, we celebrate food, flavour, family and friendship.

When Socca opened on Mayfair’s Audley Street, it had big shoes to fill as successor to the venerated Richoux cafe, which had occupied No. 41 for a century before closing in 2021. But if anyone can rise to the challenge it’s French Michelin-starred chef, Claude Bosi (of Bibendum in Chelsea), and culinary entrepreneur Samyukta Nair, who have teamed up to bring a new Riviera-style bistro that’s attracting faithful locals.

The interiors’ sea-and-sand palette conjures Cote d’Azur vibes, with blue banquettes, honey-coloured wooden floors beneath timber panelling, and shell-shaped lampshades that disperse warm, seduction-mode lighting. Bosi’s menu riffs on French Mediterranean comfort food, his melt-in-the-mouth starters including raw tuna slices with shallots and tangy sauce balanced by the black pepper rim, and crab on taramasalata slathered on bouncy chunks of focaccia. The langoustine with lemon and sunflower seeds was forgettable, but the Provençal-style socca pancakes – perfectly toasted, with an aubergine, shallot and pepper chutney – hit the spot. Stealing the show was the lobster mains with orecchiette drenched in a creamy bisque, followed closely by the grilled prawns stroked with citrus butter. Other standouts include the turbot, cooked to perfection in butter so aromatic it made the Romesco sauce redundant; while Bosi’s richly flavoured ‘mum’s tripe and cuttlefish gratin’ is an elevated take on traditional home cooking. Socca has strong land legs too, the marinated lamb chops pairing well with (over salty) mescal salad. The excellent desserts were reassuringly heavy on the classics, like warm chocolate coulant and tarte au pomme with vanilla ice cream. Those who prefer their sugar in liquid form will knock back the exquisite La Colombe d’Or cocktails (Seven Tails XO, lemongrass and ginger cordial, apple and celery bitter) like there’s no tomorrow – just remember you’re in Mayfair when the bill arrives. Noo Saro-wiwa


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