Pollen Street Social is a Michelin starred restaurant, which opened in 2011. It is run and co-owned by executive chef Jason Atherton. He previously worked with Pierre Koffmann, Marco Pierre White, Ferran Adria and others, before launching his own restaurant Maze in 2001. On the website, it states:
The best produce from across the British Isles brought to London. We follow the seasons and take inspiration from the suppliers who put their heart and soul into producing fantastic ingredients for us.
The restaurant is quite spacious and divided into two halves, as you go through the front door (not pictured) there’s a reception, bar and lounge, which lead through to the dining area (above).
We were attracted by the set 3 course lunch menu, which costs £37, excluding wine. Many of the top restaurants offer this kind of deal, where one gets to sample some of their very best dishes, at an affordable price.
After we’d made our selections from the menu, our waiter brought us a little tray of amuse-bouche – these are single bite sized hors d’oeuvre designed to tempt the palate, while your food is being prepared. On the top shelf there were little tarts containing salmon roe then below left, brioche with cream cheese and right, blackberry and beetroot tarts.
As if the amuse-bouche were not enough, our waiter arrived with a pot of tea!
This turned out to be a fantastic mushroom and parmesan broth.
I had a little Alice in Wonderland moment next, when I looked up and noticed a mushroom in the alcove behind Rick’s head.
The starters arrived when we’d finished our last drop of tea. The pressed terrine of Guinea fowl and smoked pork knuckle, port and bacon jam and root vegetables proved popular. The tiny little vegetables (at the top of the picture) gave off a heady scent of truffle.
To accompany the terrine, they brought us individual pieces of fried bread wrapped in a napkin to keep them warm.
Su had an alternative artichoke starter, not mentioned on the menu.
Su ordered breast of pheasant from the Borders, almond and pistachio crumb, turnip braised in orange with quince and pommegranité. I had a little taste of the pheasant, which was deliciously succulent, from a long slow cooking.
Before pudding, our waiter arrived with tiny slices of pear
and if I remember correctly, an iced crémant, palate cleanser.
Rabina had a sorbet – I think I tasted it, but with all the other delicious food sensations, I’ve forgotten which flavour it was.
tiny little meringues, with a slice of white chocolate on top (on a bed of bitter chocolate crumbs)
and finally little mussel shaped chocolates with a crisp biscuit inside.
We drank a Tuscan Petali Di Rose, Catalici with our starters and mains and I had a glass of French Juançon, La Magendia de Lapeyre with pudding – both complemented the respective courses perfectly. Rabina had a dessert wine like Ice Cider, Leduc-Piedmonte from Quebec in Canada, which aside from apple, had a slight truffley, earthy note. It sounds odd, but the apple and truffle make for good bed fellows.
Throughout the savoury courses we were constantly supplied with warm, fresh baked French and sourdough bread (not pictured). I chose sourdough and was impressed by it’s crunchy, nutty crust. The bread came with fantastic home made butter which tasted slightly cheesy. Speaking of which, there is an £8 supplement for the cheese course – I caught a glimpse the board and it was an excellent selection.
On a trip downstairs I was delighted by the glass walled fridges full of mallard, pheasant, duck and other meats.
I’m sure you can tell by the pictures that we thoroughly enjoyed the food. Service here is impeccable. Our waiters were friendly, attentive and helpful, whilst being completely discreet at the same time. It is not stuffy here. The set menu is worth every penny and more!