So my parting words from my last blog on Little Social was to try Pollen Street Social, or as it happens, my friend expressed her interest in trying it next… less than two weeks after, we had the opportunity as she flew back into London again.
A late lunch was booked, which makes this the second late lunch I have had at Pollen Street Social! First to arrive, I was greeted and shown to my table, this time in the main dining room whereas previously I had only been seated at a table in the bar area, both on a previous late lunch and for afternoon tea. The staff at all of Jason Atherton’s establishments continue to show their warmth and friendliness in their interaction to make you feel welcome and at ease.
The main dining room: the artwork distracted me 🙂 , but I at had time to also notice and appreciate the crisp pure linen table cloth and napkins and, the useful low table/stool to place my handbag on – there is a superstition I learnt from some Brazilian friends: to not place your handbags on the floor unless you want bad luck!
Menus and water served, I perused the menus and observed my fellow diners as I waited for my friend to arrive. A mixture of people: those on business lunches and women who lunch on one side, with the Asian foodies on the other. I guess I could categorise myself as from both factions on this occasion.
My second lunch experience at Pollen Street Social and still it did not give me a chance to choose a la carte. The daily set menu still held my attention. Two courses for £28.50 or three courses for £33.50, a pretty good deal for the choices don’t you think?
I was drawn to the pumpkin and parmesan soup and then the Cumbrian duck. My friend spotted the slow cooked egg, courgette, basil and parmesan soup with smoked sea trout, confit lemon and crispy pigs ears. She decided that was the definite dish to try, and followed that with the roasted cod. We didn’t go for wine as we didn’t think it would mix well with travel fatigue, so kept to our still water.
The signature snacks soon arrived, my favourite being the goats cheese churros! A seal of approval from my friend (a relief on my part especially after how much I had gone on about it!) and we did our Asian thing of snapping photographs of our meal :).
Catching up with gossip, our starters soon arrived, and what a beautiful colour! They definitely did not disappoint either as we both agreed that the visual presentation was not only fantastic, but the tastes were as well. Each individual flavour, and combinations of the flavours all married very well. The last time I had this experience was when I was at The Ledbury, enjoying their tasting menu there which I have blogged previously on.
I can definitely tell you, the crispy pig’s ears worked well with the dish!
For the mains, I continue to love the presentation of the dishes – it always takes a long while before actually trying the dish out due to the continuation of numerous photographs being taken. The ability to distinguish individual tastes and combinations carried through to the main dishes, my only thought was the sourcing of the duck – the breast meat was a bit tough and I don’t think it was the cooking that was at fault, but the actual duck breast itself. I can imagine if the texture would be such that it melted in your mouth, the dish would have been outstanding. A slight discussion to whether or not the orange was a bit too sweet, for me the bitterness and sweetness balance each other out effectively.
Thankfully the dish proportions were just about right for us to consider including the dessert option though my friend had pre-determined that by making her choice known at the beginning of the meal to the waiter! So should one opt for the dessert option? … But of course! On order was the caramelised milk chocolate cream with peanut sable, apple & yuzu sorbet, and for me, macerated cherries in passion fruit, sour cherries & yoghurt sorbet, orange and basil. How can one go wrong with dessert looking like below?
As an added ‘course’ we were also treated to yoghurt with a strawberry coulis and frozen cucumber purée that we sipped through a straw. I was reminded how refreshing this combination is!
It was almost 4pm by the time we finished lunch, much the same time as my last lunch experience here at Pollen Street Social. Both very enjoyable, both times the staff were attentive and welcoming and even understanding at our need to capture an image at the least of each dish with our various cameras. I like the patience they have with their customers!
So, which Jason Atherton restaurant to try next?
Here are more images from a previous lunch that I had here at Pollen Street Social.
Pollen Street Social
8/10 Pollen Street
London W1S 1NQ
020 7290 7600
Open all day from 11.30am – 12am
Reservations are taken for bar tables, offering full menu options
Counter seats are available on a first come, first serve basis
Lunch – 12pm – 2.30pm
Dinner – 6pm – 10.30pm