The Commune Social

Open Hours: Tues-Fri 12:00-2:30pm and 6:00-10:30pm; Sat 12:00-3:00pm and 6:00-10:30pm; Sun 12:00pm-3:00pm

Phone Number: 6047 7638

Price Range: 100-200rmb

English Address: 511 Jiangning Lu

Chinese Address: 江宁路511号,近康定路

Metro: Line 7 Changping Road

Website: www.communesocial.com


I honestly didn’t know what to expect arriving at this restaurant – rumor had it that this was one of the hidden gems that only a selective niche of foodies knew about. The joint was opened by British chef Jason Atherton, who’s famously known to have worked as executive chef in Verre Dubai during his time with the Gordon Ramsay Group. Atherton’s collaboration with design group Neri & Hu in creating this tapas restaurant has been generating buzz within the expat community.  

Upon entering the restaurant, I was instantly impressed with the unfamiliar vibe given off by the interesting interior design. The rustic steel shelves holding tin containers, tarnished silverware and flickering candles, the unpainted and exposed high ceilings and the single dim light bulbs hanging above each table all rendered a minimalistic industrial vibe. It reminded me somewhat of a gastropub with the stark, yet cozy ambiance. 

We were quite intrigued with their elaborative drinks menu. What do you do when there are three types of sangrias to try? Easy, try them all. 

 Back left: Rose Sangria; Front: Red Wine Sangria; Back right: White wine Sangria (38rmb each) 

Back left: Rose Sangria; Front: Red Wine Sangria; Back right: White wine Sangria (38rmb each) 

Both white and red were a bit strong for me, but I loved the rose because it was fruity and alcohol flavor was almost undetectable. The creamy foam at the top didn't hurt either. Definitely recommend. 

Next, we ordered appetizers. The first that arrived was the Sea Urchin with Pepper Butter on Ciabatta (58rmb). 

They got everything right. From the slightly toasted bread, to the creamy pepper butter to the fresh sea urchin. Highly recommend.  

Second appetizer was the Yorkshire Pudding with BBQ Beef Brisket and Kohlrabi Remoularde (68rmb). 

This was one of the highlights of the night. Coated with a crispy outer shell stuffed with thinly pulled, tender beef brisket marinated in sweet BBQ sauce. Highly recommend.

Our first tapa was the Sea Bass (88rmb) (I apologize for not remembering the exact name of this dish). 

Note that this dish was served cold. Fish was flavored with a thick creamy sauce. Apple slices gave an added sweetness. Nothing too special.  

Next was the Crab Omelette with Ricotta, Pepper, Coriander and Chili Salt (68rmb). 

Highly disappointed. Even though the crab scattered at the top was fresh, its flavor was overpowering whereas the omelette itself was bland and tasteless. Definitely not worth ordering. My friend ordered the Barley Paella (88rmb). 

Although he was not a big fan of the barley I found it to be a nicer texture than just rice. This really just comes down to personal preference. Note that the seafood within this dish came out to be very fresh.

And last but not least we have the Char Grilled Iberico Pork and Foie-Gras Burgers with Avocado and Pickled Cucumber (98rmb).

I cannot rave enough about this dish. The well-marinated pulled pork combined with the foie-gras sandwiched between two crisped breads won me over. To my delight, the accompanying avocado sauce was creamy enough that it melted like butter in my mouth. Do yourself a favor and order this when you come.

 The bill came sandwiched in a personal little sketchbook journal that customers can write in while their cards are being processed. 

The bill came sandwiched in a personal little sketchbook journal that customers can write in while their cards are being processed. 

Overall, the highlights of this dinner was the unique interior design, the Yorkshire Pudding, the Grilled Iberico Pork and Foie-Gras Burger and the signature Sangrias. But kindly note that all our dishes came in small portions so you may want to order many if you're feeling hungry.