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|Address:||8-10 Pollen Street, London W1S 1NQ|
|Tel:||020 7290 7600|
|Price: £73.00||Wine: £24.00||Champagne: £60.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 6-10.30pm|
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
I can see why Pollen Street won SM's Restaurant of the Year Award. The atmosphere inside couldn't be more of a contrast with its tiny, quiet, Victorian novel, blink and you'll miss it side street setting: contemporary, clean lines dominate everything from the seating arrangements to waiters' outfits; it's positively alive, humming with buzzy chat; cool, without being “cool”. We all had the feeling that this was THE place to be. Food really lived up to expectations: I tentatively tried the ox cheek & tongue which has now banished all childhood memories of greying, chewy cuts, being instead tender, melt-in-the-mouth beefy-ness with well thought through flavours in the accompaniments; the boys looked very happy with the kilo of beef they shared (and I'll get a second third opinion on that from The Dog when she gets the leftovers today); starters didn't blow us away but the tiramisu with rich hot chocolate got a chorus of Oohs from all 3 boys! The little extras let you know you're in a place which is still “high dining” (absolutely delicious and original amuse bouches/palate cleansers/petit fours) with a wine list which was a slightly intimidating tome. It was good to see The Man Himself in the kitchen, behind a glass wall like a man in a zoo, checking all the dishes and, charmingly, shaking many hands who came in to see him up close. Service was generally good although a bit absent and cool at times; I prefer the smiley approach of the sommelier lady and the man who takes your money, but perhaps that reflects on their jobs. At £70 a head for 3 courses, bottle of mid-price wine, drink before and after, I think it was good value for a night of fine dining. They are going to need to work hard on maintaining the informal feel which is the restaurant's purported raison d'etre as there are small signs (credit card required for booking plus follow up calls, we need your table back by 10.30pm stuff, occasional cool service etc) that it could start getting a little too big for its boots, but for the moment, those boots are very big.