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Pollen Street Social


This is approximately the third time, I've written down my feelings about Pollen Street Social. The first time, my blackberry deleted what I wrote and the second time blogger did. Clearly, this is a sign from God telling me I should not be writing about my wonderful experience. Oh well, as long as the next sign isn't in the form of being smashed by a bus, I'm going to give it a go anyway and avoid any bus routes for the next week or so.

I wasn't that excited about my trip to Pollen Street Social,about as excited as I am to be writing this for the third time, after reading some not-so-great reviews. The Boyfriend, on the other hand, had been on his yearly run earlier that day and was thus both hungry and slightly high on endorphines. PSS, as I will call it from now on, is in the heart of Mayfair and failing to call early enough on the day the booking lines opened, we were perhaps the 4999 out of the 5000 people that called that day, we were resigned to eating at 6pm, probably a good thing given that the Boyfriend exhausted from the 30 minutes of strenuous activity earlier in the day passed out at 9pm anyway.
Now, maybe I'm alone in this, but in London at least, I never really appreciate air conditioning until its gone. Unfortunately, on the night we visited PSS, it was noticably absent. Apparently we were just unlucky, and it was being fixed the next day but it did mean that we spent the meal sweltering. Aside from that the interior was okay.Very sleek with lots of pale wood everywhere. If I'm perfectly honest it looked a lot like my local Loch Fyne. The dessert bar, pictured below, that everyone was so excited about , looks just like a normal bar and if I'm perfectly honest I never managed to work out quite what its purpose was.

The menu can be "done" two ways. Either a simple starter and main course, or you can make your own tasting menu, where you can choose a couple of starters and mains are served as half portions. The Boyfriend and I jumped for the latter.
The bread we began with was unremarkable but the something that came with it was a slightly more interesting addition.
Foie Gras, black sesame, smoked golden rasin came next (£12.50). I thought this was perhaps the most interesting foie gras dish I had in a while. Most restaurants I feel rely on the fact that foie gras is awesome no matter how you serve it. It takes a concerted effort to make foie gras taste bad, although some restaurants have mastered it, most people just leave it alone. Not Jason Atherton, no. The dish was perfect in that rather than downplaying the role of the foie gras he managed to accentuate it perfectly. The rasin sauce that accompanied it applied a hint of sweetness which was balanced perfectly by something else (I couldn't work out what it was as much as i tried), the sesame was far too smoky when tasted by itself but added something extra to the dish as a whole. In addition to this, the whole thing looked nice and the portion was pretty generous.

The Boyfriend very much enjoyed his Cured Salmon, with avocado and smoked herring roe cream (£11.50), it reminded me alot of a similar dish I ate at L'Atelier which can be seen here.

The Full English Breakfast (£9.50)  was the dish I was the most apprahensive about. I assumed the whole thing would just turn into an runny mess with the egg taking over everything. Suprisingly, it didn't. The egg was balanced by the tomato, and the bacon and bread added some vital texture. It was good but now the novelty is over I probably wouldn't order it again.
The Esabeche of Quail, chicken liver cream, nuts and seeds, was outstanding. After trying it both The Boyfriend and I simultaneously asked - Why dont we order quail more often? I have no idea what the "nuts and seeds" which accompanied the quail were but they were incredible.
My half size of halibut with Catalan Paella, sprouting broccoli, pork-ham fat and mussel stock wasn't the prettiest dish in the world. Perhaps this was because the paella was added at the table rather than in the kitchen. Why? I have no idea because it really didn't achieve anything as far as I can tell. The broccoli and asparagus also looked a bit random on top of the Halibut. The plate was also too small for the amount of food it contained. Aside from these small details however, the flavours were gorgeous and the fish tender.
Roasted John Dory, artichokes prawn bisque, gambas, sea kale (£25.00) for the Boyfriend. The Boyfriend adored this dish, the sea kale balanced the dish well and the "green paste" was amazing apparently. No complaints and an ever so sleepy smile.
In my excitement about my Traditional English rice pudding, hay ice-cream and lime jelly (£7.50), I failed to take a picture. It was amazing. The went through the whole adding the rice pudding at the table, which was again un-neccesary. The hay ice cream tasted more like vanilla than hay, but the lime did a lot to break up what would otherwise have been monotonous sweetness. We finished with chocolates which were extraordanarily good, look so much of the meal.
The Bill came to £90.00 a head, as alcohol, both champagne and wine pushed the bill up a lot. Given the quality of what we ate and attentiveness of the service, this seems pretty reasonable. 

Pollen Street Social on Urbanspoon


Reader Comments (2)


Reading your blog. Good times. Added you to my blogroll cos you deserve it. Keep up the good work!


May 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterarbaggs

Thank you! That's very nice to hear!

May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLivstoeat

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