what the critics say
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.'
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.
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.
Comment on this reader review
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.
Comment on this reader review
Food 5 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 3
Friday, March 01, 2013
what the bloggers say
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.
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
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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