RestaurantsLondonMayfairW1

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June 2020: Post-Covid reopening - August 1.

survey result

Summary

£113
£££££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“If I want a guest to feel special, this is where I always choose to go!” – Jason Atherton’s “first class” Mayfair HQ is “a great all-rounder with a very nice, light touch to its approach”: most particularly its “clever and immaculately presented food” served “with flair”, but also its relaxed-yet-upscale ambience. “It’s not cheap but – to quote another famous brand – quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten”. “Amazing cocktails” too.

Summary

£113
£££££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“If I want a guest to feel special, this is where I always choose to go!” – Jason Atherton’s “first class” Mayfair HQ is “a great all-rounder with a very nice, light touch to its approach”: most particularly its “clever and immaculately presented food” served “with flair”, but also its relaxed-yet-upscale ambience. “It’s not cheap but – to quote another famous brand – quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten”. “Amazing cocktails” too.

Summary

£101
£££££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Well deserving its accolades” – Jason Atherton’s smooth Mayfair HQ combines “consistently great quality cuisine” (in particular the “wonderful tasting menu”) with an “impressively relaxed atmosphere” and “cool design” and is truly dazzling to its large and enthusiastic fan club. On the downside, “deep pockets are needed”, and the service can be “slightly erratic” (although is generally “excellent”).

Summary

£101
£££££
3
Good
2
Average
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Slick” and “always buzzing” – Jason Atherton’s first Mayfair building block of his expanding restaurant empire mixes “serious” cuisine (“exquisitely presented dishes on a different level to most you encounter”) with a “relaxing but smart” atmosphere that lives up to its ‘Social’ branding. Mind you, even fans note that “it can be very expensive”, but – on most accounts the pain is “worth it for that special occasion”.

For 30 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at Pollen Street Social?

Restaurant details

Highchair,Portions
12
No dress code
60

Prices

  Cost Availability Courses
Menu1 95.00 Always available 4
Menu2 135.00 Always available 9
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £30.00
Filter Coffee £2.50
Extras  
Service 12.50%

Harden's says...

Pollen Street Social W1

The first solo London operation from Jason Atherton, the man who made 'Maze' for Gordon Ramsay; the formula - innovative, without it any way being startling - is nicely pitched, and already attracting a strong Mayfair following.


The unassuming Jason Atherton is one of the most able chefs to have made his name as part of the Gordon Ramsay stable - Maze was for many years one of the few undoubted stars in a constellation too often sustained by hype, and by Michelin. (Where one stopped, and the other began, we wouldn't like to say.)


Leaving aside a 'name' restaurant launched last year in Shanghai (obviously), this is the first restaurant Atherton has established on his own, (and, it appears, largely with his own money). So it was rather a surprise when early-days reviews on his new Mayfair premises were rather mixed. With one exception we'll come to later, however, our experience - a few weeks after opening - was of consistent high standards.


Initial impressions of the space are comforting: quite no-nonsense, by local standards, handsome enough, but without any fancy finishes. The menu style turns out to be pretty much in keeping - this is not a restaurant where you get bombarded with amuses and inter-courses. Our test meal: a lunch for two, offering the opportunity to check out most of the three-options-a-course set lunch menu.


The bread, seemingly home-made, made a very good initial impression, and the starters impressed with their precise timing - asparagus, for example - and their clarity and freshness. 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.


The cod main course - a smallish piece, presented in a soup-type dish under a white froth (or, more technically, a peas and cockle emulsion) - appeared to the eye as simply a white swirl. Of the taste, however, the recipient made no complaint. The other main course, a lamb rump, presented relatively conventionally, was difficult to fault.


Given that this is a restaurant which boasts an - innovative - dessert bar, it was curious that it was only at the final stage that the meal showed any sign of faltering. Both of us were enticed by the prospect of the strawberry and tomato gazpacho. By common consent, however, the black olive sorbet that came with it only detracted from the whole.


By the time of coffee and - first freebie of the meal! - chocolates, however, the impressive form which otherwise characterised our visit was comfortably re-established.


See the Review
8-10 Pollen St, London, W1S 1NQ
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Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm
Thursday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm
SundayCLOSED

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