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|Address:||8-10 Pollen Street, London W1S 1NQ|
|Tel:||020 7290 7600|
|Price: £70.00||Wine: £25.00||Champagne: £60.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 6-10.30pm|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
I feel rather late to the party with this: everyone has reviewed Pollen Street Social and, given most of them have enjoyed the experience, I did wonder what I can add, but never one to let that deter me here goes!
It’s wonderfully simply decorated; for once the designers don’t seem to have gone over the top – cream walls, wood floors and those wonderful fish bowl lights that look like they’ve come from a 50’s sci-fi film.
The staff are fantastic, they seem to know and understand everything that is on the menu, get on with delivering with a minimum of fuss or intrusion and things arrive as expected without confusion. When one dish was sent back on account of it’s having truffles, undocumented on the menu and unwanted by one of our party, there wasn’t a second of difficulty.
The atmosphere is buzzy – some might say loud – and that’s probably the biggest downside of the whole experience. Tables are too closely packed and too many hard surfaces give lots of reflected noise – still I did learn how to negotiate a business deal in India via the table next door – so not all bad as long as I ever find myself doing business in India! Personally I’d rather they took out 10% of the tables and added 10% to the prices – they’d not lose out by doing it and the experience would be just a bit nicer.
But the key to dining out is really the food and that didn’t disappoint. The evening we went Jason Atherton himself was in the kitchen – a bit of a novelty for anywhere with a ‘celebrity’ chef as I think I’ve probably been in one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants more recently than he has been, but a very pleasant one.
I started, after the usual round of bread, pre starters (which are a slightly curious mix, tasty, but hard to deal with e.g. the lightest pork scratchings ever) with Jerusalem artichoke velouté, celeriac, chanterelles, wet walnuts (and those undocumented truffles) – it was fantastic, light and with every single flavour being distinct but working together rather than overwhelming each other. This was followed by Atlantic halibut “bourguignon”, bacon, mushrooms, onion, red wine – a slight mis-description given the onion was a shallot and the bacon was more akin to pork belly, a crisp, fatty square of heaven – but absolutely fantastic; often fish, even in Michelin starred restaurants, can be bland but here it was a star attraction. Dessert was White chocolate and coconut panacotta with mango, pistachio oil and lemongrass granita – again a whole mass of flavours but each one discernable and distinctive.
Value for money was perfectly reasonable – roughly £90 per head for 3 courses, wine, water, service and a drink to start. Would I return – yes 100%; it's fantastic food and service and not fussy, precious or obsessed with how clever it is – just please take a few tables out!