Pollen Street Social: what the critics say
4 May, 2011
Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social is one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year—and the first reviews are in.
“The food at Pollen Street Social is wonderful. Exciting, inventive, delicious,” says the Independent’s Lisa Markwell. But she has reservations about the restaurant’s layout and menu, which features small plates as well as main courses and desserts served at a much-vaunted dessert bar. “Navigating the menu is as tricky as navigating the room.” Some dishes also miss the mark. “It’s been a slow-cooked curate’s egg of a meal,” Markwell concludes. “Atherton’s (admirable) aim is to offer flexibility, but if the menu causes anxiety rather than freedom, then things need a tweak.”
In the Evening Standard, Fay Maschler has similar issues with the small plates. “Diminutive amounts, served in awkwardly large dishes, made divvying up fractious and the frequent summoning of bread a necessity.” But there’s a lot to like about the restaurant too. “There is so much that is positive about Pollen Street Social. It is brimming over with gastronomic ideas.”
Food bloggers like the ambition of Pollen Street Social too. Matthew Fort says: “Everything about Pollen Street Social has been thought about, meticulously thought through, polished to precise effect… It’s almost a meditation on what a restaurant ought to be.” Fort has already been twice. “Each visit confirmed that Mr Atherton is one of the most remarkable chefs cooking in the UK at the moment, and that makes him one of the most remarkable in Europe… Pollen Street Social will be the hottest place in town for the foreseeable future.”
To read the full reviews, see the Independent, Evening Standard and Matthew Fort.
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