Pollen Street Social is Jason Atherton’s restaurant that will change your perception on fine dining with a casual bar where you can sit around and mingle with a no-reservations policy. I was particularly lucky to get a weekend reservation for 3 a week before we were slated to go because weekends were completely reserved till April! It is a place where I can say with conviction that I will definitely go back. The set lunch menu is very value for money, and being starving students (ok not that starving admittedly) we went for that to try more dishes & the best part was the starters, mains & desserts were in threes, so 3 of us could share everything.
The service was very attentive and the staff, extremely friendly. The service was prompt and while clearing the courses they always asked how the food was – VERY GOOD THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
smoked hake, poached egg, wild garlic, curry puffed rice
cornish mackerel tartare, seaweed salsa verde, pickled turnip
terrine of pork knuckle, piccalilli, wild herbs, squid and coco beans
The starters did their jobs to open our appetites, I was so chuffed by my mackerel tartare & even Nick who doesn’t eat sashimi said the tartare was pretty good. I’m sorry I cannot recreate the taste in your mouth but.. I was amazed that it was not fishy at all considering it is mackerel afterall, and this tartare was very, very light despite the dressing. Nick’s dish tasted like.. pork porridge. I have no other way to describe the taste. It is all so amazing how various ingredients can come together and create such a distinct taste.
roasted cornish cod, mussel bouillabaisse, crab and winkle vinaigrette
pork belly, spiced pork cheek, pear puree, sprouting broccoli, lardo potatoes
braised irish ox cheek, smoked mashed potato, salt baked onions, ox tail and marrowbone
I love how food is a show at PSS & how waiters will explain your dish patiently. My cod was accompanied with this mussel broth and the kind waiter took the chance to explain he was pouring the mussel broth into my dish before he did so. Peter says the potato mash is ‘DAMN GOOD’ and I concur. I’m not a fan of potato in this form but I think they might have passed it through a processor to get it so smooth. Nick’s pork belly was ADUFHKJ#Q)(UROI (this is me speechless) and Pete’s ox cheek was so tender and so well marinated. Sigh, I’m recreating the meal in my mouth now. Also my cod with crab and mussel broth was like eating fish in the best seafood broth ever. I haven’t had this good fish since Floods in Weymouth, but I’m sorry Floods, the best seafood experience this academic year goes to Pollen Street Social. The thing is, I can’t believe they do both meats and fish so well. Definitely deserving of all their accolades!!!!
yorkshire rhubarb sorbet, pistachio financier, ginger
70% bitter chocolate pave, vanilla ice cream, smoked vanilla crumbs
Desserts were a bit disappointing but by no means, terrible. I think the starters and mains have stolen the show so much so that I was expecting to be blown away by the desserts. I took a pistachio cake with rhubarb while the boys had the chocolate pave. It was.. pretty forgettable I think. The pistachio however went very well with the rhubarb sorbet it was accompanied with and I was really quite impressed at how two exotic foods can complement!!! I would recommend ordering desserts from the dessert menu instead because of all the rave reviews I have been hearing about the awesome dessert, especially the PBJ.
The service here is top notch and the servers are very attentive – always stepping in to refill glasses, sweeping crumbs off our table, bringing over a bag stool for Nick’s paperbag.. making the effort to ask how the meal was, and turning away while Pete keyed in his PIN for payment. It is the little things that count. Everyone was friendly and all smiles and I really love PSS, it is non-snooty, casual enough and the food, mindblowingly good & value for money.
Pictures taken by myself with Peter’s camera.
2 courses, £22; 3 courses £25.50; including a bottle of water and service charge, we paid £90 for 3 people.