Pollen Street Social has been at the top of our ‘to do list’ for quite a while so we had high expectations when we finally got the chance to go. Pollen Street Social is located in Oxford Circus off of a back street; even the taxi drivers cannot drive up the narrow street.
Pollen Street Social is Jason Atherton’s restaurant and it is award winning for its nuevo cuisine. We walked in to the large and airy bar area which had a number of tables scattered around. The restaurant had large windows on one wall that over looked the small lane. It was light and airy with white walls and light wooden tables that were covered with crisp white linen table clothes. The bar took up the back wall and served a whole concoction of drinks with exotic spices and ingredients.
We were welcomed to the restaurant by a well trained cocktail waiter who talked us through the extensive drinks list and suggested alternatives to suit our tastes. This place is created to impress and any faults are not only not accepted but not even an option. There is also the main restaurant but you will have to book a couple of months in advance for this prime location. We were happy with our spot however as it was casual, airy and perfect for a relaxed social occasion. We ordered an absinthe flavoured drink that was combined with egg white and lemon; it was bitter, creamy yet deliciously light and fragrant.
For starter we ordered the ‘English Breakfast’ which sounds atrocious but we cannot recommend it enough. This petite starter revolved around a poached egg that sat in a tomato consume and was topped off with pancetta lardons and morels. It was a sight for the eyes and was delightfully moorish. They did not have the wine we wanted to go with this special meal so we asked if they could recommend anything similar; we were then expertly given a Chilean Malbec which was delicious though a little harsher than its cousins tones.
For the main course we ordered the beef tongue, cheek and fillet served with roasted onions and carrots. This came with a creamy beef stock gravy and was beautifully presented leaning into the centre of the plate. The tongue was flavoursome, the cheek just melted in the mouth and the fillet was delicious. All of the beef cuts were perfectly cut, cooked and seasoned. We could not fault this at all.
For dessert we ordered the selection of sorbets that came out on a slate platter and was served with a creamy dressing and honey comb. This was light and flavoursome. The attention to detail in the presentation really struck me with this dish, as again each swirl of sauce, scoop of sorbet and nougat was placed expertly with an artist’s eye to detail. All of the dishes were a work of art and Michelin standard.
We ordered espressos to finish and the waitress came out with a chest of draws that included a selection of macaroons. We chose the green tea and rose flavoured ones. These were soft and chewy in the middle and had been obviously freshly made. As we paid we were given a selection of homemade nougat and white chocolate covered almonds. We were truly stuffed at the end of this meal.
Pollen Street Social is perfect in every way; it is smart, artistic yet relaxed. This place could easily be mistaken for a Michelin restaurant and we can honestly say that this has beaten a number of Michelin restaurants that we have been too. Its relaxed quality also lends itself well to the atmosphere and we can see why this place needs to be booked so far in advance.
Pollen Street Social cannot be given any less than:
Food Atmosphere Service