By the same people of Ministry of Food (MOF), Social Square has over 300 items on its menu: all day breakfast, western, Japanese and desserts. Let me confess my prejudice: I prefer small business, they have more heart. But after trying 18 items on Social Square’s menu, the food was surprisingly tasty.
Essential British Breakfast
The all day breakfast is the weakest section because many raw ingredients, like sausage and cheese, come from caterers, and the dishes didn’t look appetizing. Tastewise, they were ok, but I’d prefer going to a cafe.
The Japanese head chef ensures the Japanese food is of a certain standard, given the reasonable pricing. A large assorted sashimi for $36, the tempura moriawase (mixed prawn tempura, above) for $11. The unagi hotstone ($19.80) has an interesting origin. After making sushi, the boss wanted to avoid waste and put remaining unagi in a bowl of rice. Of course, now, the unagi is fresh and not leftovers.
The John Dees ribeye ($18/100g, minimum 300g) tipped the scale for me, making Western food the best section. The angus beef ribeye is grain-fed (180 days), and aged for 4-6 weeks, with marbling of at least 3. It comes middle-rare, but you will be provided with a hotstone plate to cook the beef yourself to your liking. Tip: the way to eat beef of this quality is simply to add salt, which brings out the flavors of fat.
The Western food selection has also a light and refreshing tofu avocado salad with homemade wasabi mayo dressing ($4.50 S, $10 L, above) and a great buffalo wings ($6 for 4 midjoint), which can rival Old Chang Kee. (Come on, OCK wings are fantastic.) Pizzas, like spicy salami pizza ($14.50 reg, $17.50 L), were not bad. But some items needed salt, like the overcooked salmon ($20); and some items tended to be spicy when they should not, like the vegetarian mixed mushroom pasta ($13.90), tasting of wasabi and chili oil.
The desserts were supposed to be their strongest suit. After all, MOF is famed for its desserts. But I couldn’t appreciate abekawa ($6.80, above), oven-baked Japanese mochi, which was overly sticky. A better recommendation is matcha imo ($6.80), hot Japanese sweet potato in red bean paste and matcha sauce with cold soft-serve.
There is bound to have some misses in a plethora of 300 dishes, but the hits outnumber the misses. Besides, where else in this haze and heat can you sit under a tree with a large group of friends and family to dine comfortably?
Thanks, Daniel Food Diary, and Social Square for the hospitality.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.