socca brings a taste of the mediterranean to mayfair

Restaurant manager Zac Grego shares his love of Mayfair village life from the bistro’s stunning interior

The origin of socca – a pancake made from chickpea flour – is disputed. Some cite Roman soldiers using upturned shields as makeshift pans to make food on the go, others say the recipe was created when Nice was under siege by Turkish forces. Whatever the history, today the crispy, deep-fried flatbread is a staple throughout the Mediterranean – best served with a glass of chilled rosé in the sun. 

This is where Mayfair’s new French-Mediterranean bistro derives its name. Conceived by restaurateur Samyukta Nair of LSL Capital and Michelin-starred chef Claude Bosi, the restaurant brings patrons a taste of the French Riviera from its South Audley Street location. From langoustines with lemon and sunflower seeds served with socca and aubergine tartinade, to ‘My Mum’s Trip & Cuttlefish Gratin’, the menu finds the perfect balance of seasonal simplicity and Mediterranean decadence.

The interior – inspired by La Colombe d’Or and the Villa Santo Sospir and designed by local practice Fabled Studio – places hand-painted murals alongside hanging works influenced by Jean Cocteau and Raoul Dufy. Traditional accents include a bar topped with Breccia Violetta marble work, whimsical lamps and scallop shell wall lights. Together the colours, art and design choices create an authentic, sophisticated atmosphere.

After lunch, we chatted with restaurant manager Zac Grego about the bistro, Mayfair village, and his love of the area.

Socca’s restaurant manager, Zac Grego. Photos: Greg Morrison

Can you tell us a bit about Socca’s interior design?

Zac: I think it’s absolutely stunning. Especially when the early evening sunlight passes through the window. Having these artworks in an area of Mayfair which celebrates art and has lots of art galleries is really nice. And a lot of the local residents appreciate that as well. I think the colour palette is gorgeous.

You know, the guests, they always say it’s shocking that we’ve only been open for a few months. Because the furnishings and the room feel so warm and inviting. It’s quite apparent because guests keep coming back. It’s lovely.

What are your favourite dishes at Socca?

Z: Our menu is seasonal but a couple of my favourites are the Orkney scallops and our tender slow-cooked lamb shoulder.⁠ On our drinks menu my go-to is the Villa Santo Sospir and Phocea cocktail.⁠

What do you like about working in Mayfair?

Z: I like that we’re in a neighbourhood that has forged its own community within London. I’ve grown up in London, and every neighbourhood is its own district within the larger city.  Working here, you get a direct view of what daily life in Mayfair is actually like. I’m always seeing art installations pop-up – last winter, there was the absolutely gorgeous Ever After Garden in Grosvenor Square, where you could go and put forward a message and attach it to an illuminated rose, in memory of lost loved ones. Then you have Berkeley Square, so you get to see everyone from the offices coming out at the same time, enjoying the green spaces and the parks together. Something else that’s quite wonderful is that this area is a mixture of residential as well as business use, so we get a lot of guests in here that have already been many times.

Yes, that local community feel really comes through here. Do you have any other recommendations for where to eat in Mayfair?

Z: Jeru, a Middle Eastern fusion restaurant. And the interiors are absolutely stunning. It’s sophisticated – not gimmicky. I find that now with social media, there’s a battle to provide something that’s Instagrammable. At Socca we want to attract guests who appreciate the art form of food and spaces – I find Jeru is also achieving that.

You can find about more about Mayfair’s best restaurants here and find Socca on Instagram @soccabistro.
Photos by Greg Morrison.

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