Pollen Street Social

Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Pollen Street Social

Gold Award

Pollen Street Social is the jewel in the crown of Jason Atherton’s global restaurant empire. Having held a Michelin Star since 2011, it’s safe to say diners come here with high expectations.

As with any restaurant, it’s the team who give you a first taste of what to expect. The buzzy bar and cosy dining room are run like a well-organised ship. One team member seamlessly segues into the next so that you are warmly looked after from beginning to end, and despite the meticulous service, each person’s personality isn’t quashed, making guests feel like they’re making real connections.

At £95, the à la carte isn’t cheap, but it feels like good value with a choice of two dishes for each of four courses topped up with abundant ‘tasters’ between courses and petit fours. This is food that aims to please by offering up intense plates of flavours with a good measure of presentational fun.

One of Atherton’s signature serves is ‘fish and chips’, but not how you know it. A layered, crisp confit potato stack is meticulously shaped into a rectangle and dusted with wince-inducingly sharp vinegar powder before being topped with a cod emulsion. This salty seaside treat smells and tastes like the best chippy you’ve ever had.

Other courses present an oyster ice cream that manages to encompass all the power of the sea, and a beef dish with meat robust enough to stand up to its sweet and sticky miso, aubergine and molasses accompaniments.

The old adage that three’s a crowd does not apply when it comes to desserts here, when the trio of treats is brought to the table one after another. Our favourite? A guessing game of six identical white ice creams. Only once devoured will the waiting staff reveal the surprising flavours.

When it comes to drinks, sommelier Agnieszka Swiecka wields her trolley around the dining room ensuring everyone has what they need, making glasses refill as if by magic while explaining in detail her different recommendations. An apricot-bright rich Riesling kicked things off for us while a buttery Sauternes closed proceedings with the perfect amount of sweetness.

One caveat: inventory shortages can on occasions leave you disappointed when trying to order a second bottle of the same wine from the list. But overall, consider high expectations effortlessly met.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Fun, Glamorous, Lively, Romantic
Other Awards
One Michelin star, SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Chef’s table, Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions

About Pollen Street Social

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 award in 2011 and 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.

Provenance is absolutely key to Atherton, who believes that a menu can only ever be as good as its ingredients and has taken the time to foster long-term relationships with suppliers across Britain in order to obtain the very best produce the UK has to offer, from Colchester crab to Buccleuch beef, Jersey oysters, Orkney scallops and Goosnargh duck from Lancashire.

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 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. 


Does Pollen Street Social have a Michelin star?

Pollen Street Social has one Michelin star.

Helpful? 0

Are there gluten-free options on the menu at Pollen Street Social?

Yes there are gluten-free options on the menu at Pollen Street Social.

Helpful? 0


8-10 Pollen Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 1NQ

020 7290 7600


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue 12:00-14:30
Wed 12:00-14:30
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue 18:30-21:30
Wed 18:30-21:30
Thu 18:30-21:30
Fri 18:30-21:30
Sat 18:30-21:30
Sun Closed


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91 Reviews 

Christina P

06 August 2019  
I love it here the food is so good and it has a great buzzing atmosphere.

Debbie T

26 July 2019  
Whilst expensive, the food quality and service always makes up for it and the experience of dining is always excellent.

David U

26 July 2019  
Fantastic menu, food and service. Good wine list.

Sean C

08 July 2019  
The first and still the best for lunch with a cellar that excels!

Dick B

04 July 2019   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 5
A lovely lunch

It would be hard to fault the food at Pollen Street Social. It was interesting, delicious, beautifully presented and, with the addition of canapés and petit fours, abundant. And all for a very modest lunchtime price. My only criticism was the vast number of serving staff, although certainly not of the service; there were so many people rushing around behind me, I was in danger of getting dyspepsia. Furthermore, it all added to the noise of the restaurant, which, together with the strong accents and soft voices of our servers, meant that I hardly ever heard their descriptions of the food they were putting in front of me.

Donna F

28 June 2019  
Amazing food and ambience. Service not too fussy and love the pudding bar.

Ghazi H

28 June 2019  
Wonderful food, wonderful service..imaginative cooking in a lovely atmosphere..good wine list with a wide selection...high class, expensive but worth it.

Angie P

28 June 2019  
Fabulous food, great service, very relaxing, very innovative, good value.

Christine B

28 June 2019  
Great food- with so many little extras inbetween courses.

Sonia T

28 June 2019  
Incredible food, wonderful service in an unpretentious setting.
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