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Restaurants & Bars

Pollen St Social - What's all of the fuss about? [London]

AWaiting | Oct 15, 201205:40 AM     12

I've read so many glowing comments about PSS that I thought I'd try it out due to a last minute trip down to London and them having a table free for lunch on Saturday.

Just to place things into context, I had the starter/main from the lunch menu and 2 (yes, I like to sample or pig out as my wife calls it) deserts from the main menu. I had also had a fantastic meal the previous night at Alyn Williams which almost creates a benchmark. Having said all that, I just couldn't get the fuss for the food that was served.

The starter was lime cured mackerel with bbq'd cucumber, beetroot and horseradish cream. It sounds lovely but lacked any great flavour and the only things that I found vaguely interesting was the horseradish which brought some zest to the dish and what appeared to be a lime salt. It seems like some techniques are just used because it's a bit trendy. BBQing a cucumber still leaves you with a watery veg, it's just now got a bit of burntness on it which really does conflict with the taste of cucumber.

The main course of best end (?) of marsh lamb and slow cooked mutton was disappointing. The best end was sinewy and very chewy whilst the mutton was dried out and was everything that I come to expect from mutton in restaurants but that goes against everything that I know that it can be when cooked well. Again, there was a burnt salad ingredient (lettuce) served on the side which did work better than the previous course and I enjoyed the mint sauce and the lamb jus.

In contrast, the desert bar was interesting and did give you something to remember. In particular, I thought the PBJ (peanut butter jelly) desert was great with nice contrasts in the texture and flavour.

The staff were lovely and laid back (like the whole restaurant) and there are also some interesting wines by the glass; having said that I paid around £100 for me alone (admittedly with a pre meal drink and a glass of wine with each course but no coffee). For that price and based on the reviews that I'd read, I don't know if I've missed something or if I just got it on the wrong day. I was told that they had 120 covers that lunch and it feels much more like that kind of busy, bustling, slightly higher than average turnover type restaurant than the one garnering the reviews and awards that it is.

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