Restaurants & Bars

Pollen Street Social [London]

ManInTransit | Apr 19, 201106:14 AM     10

In an uncharacteristically cool fashion I managed to get a reservation for the opening night of Jason Atherton's new place on Pollen Street last night.
It's a very clever menu that lets you do a la carte, or design your own tasting menu or just select a whole host of plates. Sharing is very much encouraged and 'London's first dessert bar' breaks up the meal and allows you to not only watch the pastry chefs but also look directly into Atherton's kitchen.

Tomato and Tomato was a light fresh salad of yellow, red, green tomatoes, an intense tomato gazpacho-like sauce and herbs with an incredible tomato sorbet. Still lacked a little something, it was advertised with vanilla but I didn't really pick that up.
The cured salmon was extraordinary with the texture of smoked salmon but with salmon skin jelly on top and a herring roe cream.
The Full English Breakfast won't surprise anyone who tasted Atherton's famous BLT. It is a deconstruction with tomato and mushroom purees, a 90-minute poached egg, bacon and a white bread foam. Wonderful dish.
Red gambas, seaweed tea consommé, dumplings & ginger sounded extremely exciting but was in the event a bit of a letdown. Two prawns meant it was done in a second and the theatre of the consomme dripping through the basket to the excellent dumplings didn't really make up for it. I think I was disappointed as the description was so good.
Two meat dishes, Pork Belly and cheek and Ox tongue n cheek (geddit) were both sensational, so rich and the cheeks were wonderfully tender with the lightest crackling I've ever tasted - the consistency of a soft prawn cracker. Hard to imagine how these could have been better.
A radish salad that accompanied the meats was disappointing although it had samphire, which I love, which rescued it.

For desserts there is a trio of mini desserts that isn't on the menu which you can request. It includes a 'ham, cheese and herbs' which is actually watermelon, candied goat’s curd and basil sorbet. This was brilliant and classic Atherton - so clever but yet so tasty. The tiramasu, PBJ (Parfait, cherry jam, creamed rice puffs, Sangria mousse, blood orange granita, curd milk jam) and a rhubarb and ginger vanilla cheesecake were all very good as well.

On the night of the 50 best restaurants - and I'm sure fellow CHs will appreciate this - we were slightly starstruck to see Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz and Daniel Boulud wander past us and into the kitchen.

We didn't hold back - two cocktails, one bottle and two glasses of wine, dessert wine, 7 courses to share, a trio of desserts, an ALC dessert and coffee. Total bill was £230 but we could have cut that down by £100 if we'd been being careful.

In conclusion this place is superb, if you liked Maze under Atherton you will love this. There are hits and misses but it is without doubt a hugely exciting opening and I can't recommend it enough.

This may sound like a puff piece and I am unashamedly an Atherton fanboy as Maze was the first real eye-opening restaurant I went to, but objectively PSS is every so slightly hit and miss but very very good.

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

How to Cook Swordfish: 5 Tips for Success
How To

How to Cook Swordfish: 5 Tips for Success

by Patty Lee | If you're looking for a good swordfish recipe or just wondering how best to cook it, you're in the...

The Absolute Best Fish to Grill, According to an Expert

The Absolute Best Fish to Grill, According to an Expert

by David Watsky | It's summer backyard BBQ season and for some lighter fare, you might be wondering about the best fish...

How to Pick the Perfect Pineapple
How To

How to Pick the Perfect Pineapple

by Sarah Perry and Jen Wheeler | The best pineapple offers an experience like nothing else, but how do you pick the perfect ripe pineapple...

13 Perfect Peach Pies to Bake While You Still Can This Summer
Recipe Round-Ups

13 Perfect Peach Pies to Bake While You Still Can This Summer

by Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy and Jen Wheeler | We poked, prodded, and sniffed our way through the virtual produce section of the internet to pick...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.