Pollen Street Social is a large one star Michelin restaurant that spans several rooms. You enter in the bar area where there is a long counter and a few tables and the main dining rooms are just behind there. The lighting is fairly dim, jazz music plays in the background, there’s lots of art on the walls, the main kitchen is seen through a glass and the dessert kitchen is open to the dining rooms. It has some stools at the counter where one can come just for dessert. Lots of windows look out to the street and the small tables are fairly well spaced, with some utilizing bench seating along the wall. There is a hum of conversation in the room with noise making conversation sometimes difficult. They have been open 7 years but service is still plenty attentive, helpful and friendly. Pacing of the meal was nicely done. They have a large a la carte menu as well as a tasting one. We chose to order a la carte and split some of the dishes.
The meal started with a bit of theater called ‘afternoon tea’. A tiered tray of small bites was followed by a cup of ‘tea’. The snacks included salmon on rye bread with fresh cream, a tart of beet cream and blackberry and a corn muffin with cheese, dill and cucumber. All were nice but none outstanding. Cultured butter was then presented with sour dough bread or French baguettes. The tea was parmesan foam, cep powder and mushroom broth. It looked a little strange but was excellent – a wonderful taste. The flavor really stayed on your palate. Bread was a nice dense and crispy baguette or airier sour dough. Both were fine and perfect to mop us the delicious sauces that were to come.
We split the snails risotto which was made with Braised Dorset snails, woodland rice, morels, garlic and parsley. Flavored with cep mushroom stock and butter cooked Elephant garlic it was nicely seasoned and properly runny. It was absolutely full of flavor and wonderful bits of texture. Highly recommend this dish.
We also split the pressed Norfolk quail and duck liver, root vegetables, truffle and braised quail taco. The first part was like a terrine surrounded by crunchy vegetables, porcini and Romanesco. It was served room temperature and stood out for the contrasting textures. The taco stood out for its flavor. On top was lettuce and mushrooms and inside was the leg meat. It was outstanding but a bit hard to divide.
The kitchen split the pan roasted South Coast turbot with Lincolnshire potatoes baked in turbot stock, morels, wild garlic, vin jaune and chicken skin for us. It was plated with some green asparagus, chicken broth and wild garlic puree. The fish was cooked perfectly and the sauce was delicious. The rich bit of crispy skin added a fun texture as well as taste. The garlic puree was nicely strong and the asparagus divine. It was an amazing and wonderful combination of flavors.
The roasted Goosnargh duck with braised swede, pear, pesto served with a salad of duck leg in Moroccan spices is served for two. They brought the whole thing out after it was roasted for us to see and then took it back to the kitchen to carve and plate. A bunch of herbs is dipped in honey and used to glaze the bird while cooking. The breast meat is served with kohlrabi, chanterelles, pear, rutabega and cep mushrooms surrounded by a lovely sauce. The juice from the duck is used to dress the salad, that contained radicchio, along with the Moroccan spices and sat on top of the leg meat pieces. The honey glaze worked really well with the spices and the duck flavor to make a great dish. The breast meat was nicely rare and juicy. Another good dish.
We had a glass of grappa to go with the final treats of the meal which were white chocolate and yuzu macaroons, almond tart topped with cherry jam and salted chocolate bonbons with praline. All were quite tasty but I was really stuffed at that point. Put this place on your list if you can.