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8-10 Pollen Street
020 7290 7600
Secreted beside a discreet Mayfair alleyway since 2011, Jason Atherton’s imperious Michelin-starred flagship, Pollen Street Social, remains “bang on the money” – a “masterpiece of fine dining” and a worthy winner of the SquareMeal Restaurant of the Year 2017. Step through the glass door and the good vibrations hit you straight away, while the clean-lined metropolitan dining room shows its cosmopolitan class with dramatic lampshades and eye-catching arty exhibits. Atherton may oversee a global empire these days, but he still puts in the shifts at PSS, and is often to be seen at the pass – a world-class hands-on restaurateur in his rightful place. Culinary influences and cross-fertilisation abound, but everything is underpinned by indigenous ingredients, from a witty Cockney riff involving smoked eel, buttermilk, beetroot reduction and jellied eel to South Downs fallow deer with pear, cocoa and chocolate vinegar or “staggeringly good” Lakeland lamb with beetroot, blackcurrant, savoy cabbage and a mini hotpot on the side – scintillating, exuberant food of the highest order, with maximum flavour delivering maximum satisfaction. To start, the ‘fruits of the British sea’ is a delirious array of maritime delights presented on a special stand – we love the oyster ice cream dressed with an oyster leaf, the lobster cocktail, and the Orkney scallop with pickled radish and jalapeño; to finish, the dessert bar promises close encounters with the likes of Brogdale pear sorbet, goats’ cheese ice cream, honey and bee pollen. Service plays it ‘social’ without ever losing its professional cool, and there are treasures galore on the ever-expanding wine list curated by the group’s whizz-bang sommelier Laure Patry. “Few places are such a treat” concludes one admirer of Pollen Street Social– amen to that.
This is not a list that does anything unusual – but it is about as rock solid and professional as you could wish. At 500 bins, it’s not a small list, but nor is it stuffed with wines that won’t sell. And while there might be a few trophy wines for clients with deep pockets, there is no shortage of fairly priced stuff, too. A third of the white Burgundies, for instance, are around £50 or less. Free of fuss, simple to use and error free, it’s a really good example of a no-nonsense list.
SquareMeal Award - Restaurant Of The Year
SquareMeal 4 star
Best Value Gourmet Lunches
Best Restaurants for Cheese in London
Best Modern European restaurants in London
London's Hot 100 Restaurants
Best in Mayfair
Best restaurants for business
8-10 Pollen Street
020 7290 7600
Oxford Circus Tube Station 207m
Bond Street Tube Station 492m
Hanover Square Gardens 99m
Argyll Street 159m
Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 6-10.30pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 1
We booked here hoping for a celebratory annual evening, we left having barely eaten! Table was booked for 8.30, we eventually sat down at 9.15. The wine waiter was very attentive and our drinks turned up quickly - he seemed to visit us very regularly to ‘top up” our glasses. The starters arrived and were mostly disappointing, the raw scallops were swimming in a tasteless cold dressing. After an hour waiting for our mains, having asked numerous times what was happening, our mains turned up all of which were stone cold. The General Manager couldn’t have cared less...we left just gone 11.00 having barely eaten and were still required to pay for our drinks. Something must have happened in the kitchen because everything about the experience was awful.
If this is how the ‘Social Group” run their restaurants, we as a group will never return.
As an aside the table next to us were regulars and they had a similarly poor evening and they made a comment that when Jason is not there the quality always drops...might be worth confirming his presence before dining there...
We have since tried to get an explanation fro the restaurant as to why it was so awful and our emails have been totally ignored. It is very clear that they have very little or no interest in dealing with people that have walked away unhappy..
Food + drink: 4
I've probably eaten here a dozen times, we wife a time or two less. But every time we come we leave with smiles on our faces having enjoyed very good food in a restaurant that is stylish but certainly not stiff. We tend to eat out at lunch and mostly vote for the set lunch. Its becoming quite difficult to find high-end restaurants where the set lunch food echoes the quality and imagination displayed in their a la carte. But this is not a criticism that it would be fair to levy at Pollen street Social. The dishes that four of us enjoyed this week had been carefully thought out and displayed imagination as well as quality. Twelve dishes, twelve winners, and I'd like to add that the breads, amuses bouches, petits fours and especially the mushroom tea as a pre-starter were all delicious too.
The thing that does surprise me just a bit is that in the time we've been coming here, Mr Atherton's scope has widened enormously and he now has more than a few restaurants. Unlike many such "groups" this has been achieved with no noticeable drop in standards at the flagship.
Whilst we keep getting dishes of this quality there is no question that we'll return.
Food + drink: 5
One of the most refreshing things about my visit to this fine dining establishment in London was that there was no time limit on the table.
This allowed time for a drink at the bar before eating.
Portion sizes are quite small but exquisite and delicious. There are so many amuse bouches and pre- and post-desert delights that you will not leave hungry. It's a special place with a price to match but well worth it.
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