I recently had the opportunity to have lunch with a guest at Pollen Street Social, as I had heard so many rave reviews from clients and candidates alike. The restaurant has now been open for a year and Jason Atherton has certainly put Pollen Street on the map. Situated in Mayfair not far from Oxford Circus the site comprises of a large lounge bar and restaurant area. The kitchen has a kind of showcase feel to it, as it is glass walled and enables you to see the chefs in action which adds to the fun.
The open-plan dining room is designed in a confident and undistinctive manner with wood and banquette seating, and contemporary works of art on show. Pollen Street feels that it is meant to be fun, informal and customer-friendly and personally it dually delivered. It’s the polar opposite of what we’ve come to expect of ‘fine dining’ and we both thought it was brilliant. Stuffiness, formality, hovering waiters, and intimidated customers are not part of the game plan here.
We chose off the a la carte and sampled starters of Cornish crab vinaigrette with Nashi pear and cauliflower, and also Light cured shetland salmon, avocado, with frozen almond. Both were excellent and absolutely delicious. For mains we had the West Country ox cheek with tongue, sirloin & horseradish and my guest had a generous portion of Black Angus rib-eye, ox-tail, charred egg plant, with smoked potatoes. The flavours and what I would consider the subtle cooking were magnificent, and we both left feeling we had eaten a well balanced and sufficient lunch. My guest commented on the efficiency of the front of house staff, and there were plenty of them. They were attentive, friendly and helpful from the minute you set foot in the door, and delivered a great service and customer experience.
Would I recommend Pollen Street? Yes I would. It is a superb dining experience right in the heart of London and delivering what people expect and I hope is around for several years to come.