Review

Pollen Street Social Hot


8-10 Pollen Street, London W1S 1NQ
Latest critic review: September 10, 2013
Critics' score: 7.5 out of 10 Users' score: 4.5 out of 10
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Jason Atherton has opened his first solo venture in this former Mayfair pub. He's keeping the idea of small dishes and promises 'fine dining with a twist'. The 60 cover restaurant has have two private dining rooms, a large bar where a tapas-style menu will be served, a gin trolley and a dessert bar.

Reviews

Critic Reviews

Chris Pople Cheese & Biscuits
Reviewed on September 10, 2013
"...we did enjoy ourselves. And for every misstep to linger on there was always that pea starter, the hay-smoked quail, the fish main courses and that incredible banana and chocolate ice cream dessert to rest happily in our memories." READ REVIEW

Marina O'Loughlin Metro
Reviewed on July 27, 2011
"All we required was a table for when it was booked, maybe a martini and a good dinner. What we get is a meal composed of more misses than hits and a prolonged bout of inept and uncaring service."
READ REVIEW

Matthew Norman Telegraph
Reviewed on July 23, 2011
"Atherton, formerly of Ramsay’s Maze, is not merely a sensational technical cook, he is one of those culinary alchemists who can transform what looks like base pretension on the page into solid gold in the mouth." READ REVIEW

Richard & Peter Harden's
Reviewed on June 17, 2011
"Both first courses – particularly one presented on a black plate, and featuring chilled beetroot mousse, as well as mackerel and horseradish cream – were a picture." READ REVIEW
Estimated score
Critic's score: 8
Zoe Williams Telegraph
Reviewed on May 29, 2011
"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." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 6
Giles Coren Times
Reviewed on May 21, 2011
"Highlights early on were the smoked foie gras on a plate microdotted with little black and gold blobs of black sesame and smoked golden raisin, and a dish of cauliflower and squid on a clear roasted squid juice of El Bulli-ish inventiveness." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 8
John Lanchester Guardian
Reviewed on May 14, 2011
"There were no low points and a competing series of highlights, among them an unbelievably good main of halibut served with a paella of extraordinary intensity." READ REVIEW
Estimated score
Critic's score: 9
AA Gill Sunday Times
Reviewed on May 08, 2011
"The problem here isn’t that Atherton can’t cook — plainly, he’s inspired, though not plain enough, and rather too inspired. These plates suffer from the most common defect of trendy kitchens: nobody eats them before they get to the customer." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 4
John Walsh Independent
Reviewed on May 07, 2011
"Max's roasted Scottish halibut, exalted by a yummy mussel sauce, twined itself around asparagus, and battled with a side-dish of Catalan paella. These were vivid and extravagant flavours I'd travel miles to experience." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 8
Richard Vines Bloomberg
Reviewed on May 03, 2011
"Pollen Street Social is a work in progress and I’m giving it a maximum four stars because I believe it’s progressing toward excellence." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 10
Lisa Markwell Independent
Reviewed by May 01, 2011
"It's been a slow-cooked curate's egg of a meal. I want to come back to sip a cocktail and eat Dingley Dell pork cheek tapas at the bar. Or save up to make the most of the very good wine list and a simple starter and main in the restaurant." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 7
Guy Dimond Time Out
Reviewed on April 28, 2011
"The atmosphere is relaxed, but the effort that has gone into creating this elegant, very metropolitan restaurant is clear. Everything moves with a slick efficiency and confidence both behind the pass and front of house." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 10
Fay Maschler Evening Standard
Reviewed on April 21, 2011
"There is so much that is positive about Pollen Street Social. It is brimming over with gastronomic ideas... But the lower ranks of staff need to loosen up and go with the flow." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 6
Stephen Farmer View London
Reviewed on April 20, 2011
"Serving food of this quality in a venue that doesn't stand on ceremony should ensure that Atherton not only keeps his legion of fans happy, but also attracts a whole new horde too." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 8
 

User reviews

Average user rating from: 2 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
4.5  (2)
Ratings (the higher the better)
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Visiting for a Saturday lunch expecting much but getting little. Over three and a half hours to serve the set menu, this being made worse by newer arrivals being fed far quicker.

Portion size isn't necessarily an issue but with their prices and the interminable waits between courses it is. The food itself suffered from being tepid and surprisingly dull.

The sweets at the end may be fun if you have had a good meal, but to me seemed off. I want to be fed during the meal not after it!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Loma Wood Reviewed by Loma Wood December 03, 2012

Sub-par experience

Visiting for a Saturday lunch expecting much but getting little. Over three and a half hours to serve the set menu, this being made worse by newer arrivals being fed far quicker.

Portion size isn't necessarily an issue but with their prices and the interminable waits between courses it is. The food itself suffered from being tepid and surprisingly dull.

The sweets at the end may be fun if you have had a good meal, but to me seemed off. I want to be fed during the meal not after it!

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While the food is good and the presentation is modern, there is nothing that is particularly innovative about it. Service isn’t spectacular either, with junior waiting staff nervous and unclear on their roles, and haughty senior staff who don’t seem to care at all.

Another problem with this bistro concept is that Pollen Street charges like a proper one star. Not even the gift of ‘cake in a box’ will cheer you-up when you realise you could have gone somewhere better for the money.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Reviewed by vialaporte November 01, 2012
Last updated: November 05, 2012

disapointing one star....can't be one

While the food is good and the presentation is modern, there is nothing that is particularly innovative about it. Service isn’t spectacular either, with junior waiting staff nervous and unclear on their roles, and haughty senior staff who don’t seem to care at all.

Another problem with this bistro concept is that Pollen Street charges like a proper one star. Not even the gift of ‘cake in a box’ will cheer you-up when you realise you could have gone somewhere better for the money.

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Map and more information

Swap Start/End
Address8-10 Pollen Street, London W1S 1NQ
Telephone number 020 7290 7600
Telephone numberAverage price: Expensive
Michelin star 1 Michelin star
trainOxford Circus
Bar area

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