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Pollen Street Social, West End

We wanted to go through a few bits at work over lunch and being a Monday we thought we would give Pollen St Social a go. It certainly looks the part from the outside and is a vast improvement of a site that used to be the Pitcher and Piano. The two very tall girls behind the desk were able to find us a table in their large bar as the restaurant was full. Our first table was assembled from two round tables so a bit difficult to manage so they moved us to a corner seat with square tables. We settled in and ordered some drinks. I noticed the drinks menu came before the food menu the accent is very much on upselling. Our beers were very pleasant and my over colleague enjoyed his glass of house wine.

We decided to go for the set menu though one of us had a starter and main whilst we went for main and desert. The waitress helpfully suggested that if we were in a hurry they could bring the starter and two mains together followed by the main and two desserts, this worked well. they bought out some nice sourdough bread with butter and olive oil and butter concoction which was delicious. The first courses arrived, my colleague enjoyed his salmon which was a sort of sushi reworking but a decent portion. We went for the lamb chop and lamb shoulder which was very nice. Not a massive portion but just right for lunch. Lots of nice meat, sauce and mash. I wanted to pick up the bones and clean them off like I do at home!

We were in the mood for another drink so decided to get a bottle of the house white which was OK but not amazing. The main and desserts followed. My colleague really enjoyed his hake which was served in a bowl with an emulsified sauce. He got the ever helpful waitress to pop back with some more bread which helped his dish go down nicely. My lemon meringue dessert was OK, it looked very nice and the finish on the plate was beautiful but it didn't pack enough punch for me. If you are using lemon and lime I really like to taste them. The owner/chef Jason Atherton popped in half way through our meal so it was nice to see he is on site.

We followed up our meal with some nice coffee and the bill. The meal for 3 came to £140 which I thought was toppy especially as we had eaten two courses each off the set menu. It turned out the house white weighed in at a hefty £33.50 which is going some for house wine. Actually all the drinks were expensive which pushes this place out of the realms of casual dining for me. I can eat and drink around the corner at "Wild Honey" for less. All in all a nice place though and worth a return visit but special occasions only.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Overall rating
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 6

been back since for a drink in the bar area which is very nice

Pho, West End

Kua'Aina, Oxford Circus