Pollen Street Social

8-13 Pollen Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 1NQ - View on a map
Telephone: 020 7290 7600

Pollen Street Social Restaurant In London
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Overall 8.3
Food 9.0
Service 8.0
Atmosphere 9.0
Value 7.0
Based on 1 reviews

what the critics say


Matthew Norman - 9/10

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - The hot oysters, cooked in a piquant Japanese stock, were great. But the ice cream, which on arrival I feared might cause him a stroke, was sublime in its sharp, saline, zingy purity of flavour. 'That,' he said, 'is a taste sensation.' So was my escabeche of quail, glazed in a subtle and savoury barbecue marinade and served with a medley of crushed nuts and seeds, tiny pickled onions and girolle mushrooms and a gloriously delicate chicken liver cream on thin, crunchy toast...''Our committee,' I motion that, after Heston Blumenthal's Dinner, this is the second best opening of the year so far.'


Zoe Williams - 6/10

Sunday, May 29, 2011 - We fell into the gentle rhythm of being unmaddened but not minding: the barbecued mackerel was surrounded by twiddly bits - a cucumber chutney, some frozen ajo blanco, a scallop - but failed to lift the spirits. The slightly virginal theme of the accompaniments, which I suppose was intended as a counterpoint to this oily, macho fish, served rather to underline how unexciting it was...It turns out the site used to be a Pitcher & Piano, which explains the atmosphere. The food is more exciting to look at than to eat.

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We have just returned from our first visit to Pollen Street Social, I surprised my wife with a birthday treat.

The restaurant is nicely decorated with a very relaxed atmosphere.

We ordered from the a la carte menu, I had the smoked haddock starter with hens egg, it was nice but I was surprised at how small the portion was, I could have quite easily finished it in 3 mouth full's.

For mains I had the lamb, what can I say about this dsh!! Truly OUTSTANDING, cooked to perfection with beautifully cooked garnish and a lovely sauce.

I would return just for the lamb.

My wife ordered from the vegetarian menu, she had the English breakfast for starters and gnocci for mains, she was absolutely delighted with both courses.

Service was very good, very attentive. Every staff member was friendly and courteous.

We will happily go again and take our friends with us.
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Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7
Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pollen Street Social was fast becoming our favourite restaurant until they blew it when four of us went last Tuesday.

Being left waiting with no-one to greet us wasn't a good sign on arrival and, sure enough, it went downhill from there.

Frankly, it was pretty average cooking with nothing like the skill displayed on previous visits. Even the amuse bouches were they same as two months ago.

Service was poor with several requests having to be repeated because they weren't followed up. The waiter overlooked one dessert request because he never wrote our orders down. Why, for goodness sake, do restaurants not insist waiters write it down. It's just showing off and it never works.

One of us requested a simple grilled sea bass as her main course and, on settling the bill, we told our waiter that we were disappointed with how the dish was presented. His attitude was quite startling, as if it was our fault for going 'off piste'. No sign of 'I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your dish' - just a defensive knee-jerk response. Someone needs to teach him customer skills.

I know that even the best places can have off nights but this was a sheer drop from the exquisite experiences we've has previously.

I wrote to the General Manger explaining our disappointment and, par for the course, I've not had the courtesy of a reply.

They are busy with several new restaurant projects at the moment and it very much looks like they've taken their eye off the ball.

We won't be returning in a hurry.
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Overall rating 4 stars
Food 5 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 3
Friday, March 01, 2013

Went on Friday 6th of December as a four-ball, the whole experience was outstanding. From the amuse bouch to the desserts (and yes you get a free pre-dessert, dessert), the quality of the food superb. My friends and I dont want airs and graces, but fine food that wows you and makes you say "How did they do that?". Hence we have no qualms about trying each other's food, so I can safely say that all starters, mains and desserts were wonderful. We paid £492, now in anybody's book thats serious money for a meal, but I would go back tomorrow if I could get in. Trust me, this is a high quality establishment, with informative staff and original, great tasting food, beautifully presented. There are plenty of places to eat in London, but I have no hesitation of putting this on my list, for when I return to The Smoke.
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CHARLIE - View all reviews by this user
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 10 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9
Monday, December 10, 2012

We went there on a Monday and it was packed. The food was excellent, really outstanding but the service was unattentive and very slow. It took them 45 mins to take our food order and we waited 20 mins for dessert. At that price range I expected better service but the food certainly did not disappoint.

Pollent Street Social is worth it, just don't go there in a hurry.
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Alessandra Almeida-Jones
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 10 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Its a year since I was there, and in the meantime the menu has changed from a "small plates/mix and match" orientation to a more traditional starter/main dessert structure.

The food hasn't changed much and after a series of visits to actual and "nearly" one star restaurants in the last month we agreed that this provided us with the best meal.

As elsewhere we ate the set lunch, which at £25.50 for three courses is cheaper than we've found at less highly rated restaurants. Overall the bill for two with coffees and a bottle from the lower end of the list came to £104, not bad for what we ate.

It wasn't hard to choose our meals from the three alternatives available for each course. My wife enjoyed her asparagus salad and was particularly fond of her incredibly flavoursome heritage tomatoes. My terrine of ham hock with some fois gras was possibly the weakest of my courses, but nevertheless tasty with a fairly powerful picallili which accompanied the hock well, but did tend to swamp the small amount of squid decorating the terrine. My main of hake in a cockle bisque with baby leeks was well cooked, but I wish I'd had my wife's mutton, which was delicious and served with a marvellously intense jus. Desserts were both deconstructed takes on traditional 1960's desserts, lemon meringue tart and Black forest cake respectively, both with well-flavoured sorbets alongside. Both were very good, but the lemon meringue was the better.

Pleasant, nicely timed service and help from the pleasant sommelier. Good bread and an excellent creamy cod baccala to go with it.

We'll certainly go again. Increasingly I'm feeling that the set lunches are being constrained in ingredient cost by the prices restaurants feel they need to charge, and maybe we'll try the a la carte next time.
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David Henderson
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8
Saturday, June 09, 2012

Outstanding food. Every ingredient on the plate was there for a reason. Each dish was interesting without being unduly complicated. The squid starter was a particular hit with the four of us, but really we loved all our dishes. Of the desserts, the coconut panna cotta stood out. Great wine list and plenty of choice under £50. There were a few blips in the service -- the two steaks ordered different temps served to the wrong people being one of them -- but they were minor and everyone was very helpful. The sommelier for our table was particularly good. Our table was by the kitchen which is closed by glass and the room was full and buzzing on a Tuesday evening. We'll definitely be back and bringing more friends.
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Dan - View all reviews by this user
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

what the bloggers say

Cheese and Biscuits

Cheese and Biscuits - 7/10

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - Both main courses were superb. A bright white slab of perfectly-tooked turbot, skin crisped-up just so, resting on earth bulgur wheat and cardamom purée, was nigh-on irreproachable. And my own curried monkfish, moist and meaty and exact, won similar praise. Steer away from crustaceans and towards the fish is my advice...So there are, undoubtedly, many reasons to visit Pollen Street Social and many ways of ordering yourself a fantastic meal. But there are also enough duds lurking around that ordering yourself a fantastic meal is by no means a given.

Essex Eating

Essex Eating

Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - The egg, slowly cooked sous vide was at first off putting in it's apparent rawness but, just then, it broke, a golden pool of yolk starbursting through the bright green liquid wild garlic, and it tasted amazing. Combined with the soft Hake and the salty, curry spiciness of the puffed rice it was beautiful...I absolutely loved Pollen Street Social. The food is beautiful, inventive and delicious. The set lunch menu could be used as a case study in how to perfectly utilise cheaper ingredients and turn them into something amazing.

A Rather Unusual Chinaman

A Rather Unusual Chinaman

Thursday, June 23, 2011 - The mains saw me sharing the pork and lamb dish, but I can't say they wowed me too much. I liked most of the trio of Dingley Dell pork, although I was utterly perturbed by the gunk underneath. I have no idea what it was, or what it was meant to taste of, or indeed what it was doing on the plate... From what I saw of PSS, it was enjoyable but pricy and I was much kinder about PSS in comparison to the people I dined with. I guess the astronomical expectations had let me down with a mediocre meal.

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