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Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social: Right Up My Street!

Friday, September 25, 2015

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I am lucky to have many great memories of dining out; however, my evening at The Pollen Street Social was truly unforgettable – not only due to the occasion, but because of the sophisticated atmosphere, the impeccable service and the exquisite food.When my family brought me to the chic black doors of Jason Atherton’s Mayfair restaurant as a surprise for my 21st birthday I had mixed emotions – great excitement, as Jason Atherton is my favourite ‘Great British Menu’ chef and his Pollen Street Social has been on my ‘Must Go To’ list for a long time, but as usual I was apprehensive about finding a complex, unintelligible menu with hidden ingredients that would aggravate my food intolerances.Tired of being the ‘difficult’ customer or the diner with food-envy, I decided to have an evening off, eating whatever took my fancy (whether it be dairy or gluten) and pay for the consequences later… but, the consequences never came!The food was so light and fresh that I devoured every meal and complimentary ‘chef special’ (of which there was an abundance!) without any pain or discomfort. I am not saying that this will be the case for everyone, and I certainly do not recommend this approach for those with serious food allergies or intolerances; however, Jason Atherton’s food is so deliciously delicate, the bold and refreshing flavours can be enjoyed without an ounce of stodge!After ordering a range of classy and creative cocktails, we were treated to a selection of beautifully presented ‘chef special’ canapés, including silky-smooth mushroom tea, brewed and poured at the table; zingy celeriac and beetroot tarts with blackberry; smoked salmon on rye with caviar; and fluffy sweetcorn fairy cakes with dill and cucumber.Every dish was playful, yet retained intricacy and taste. My starter of Devon squid cooked in cauliflower, roasted squid juices, ink rice and sea herb was one of the best starters I have ever eaten – a fantastically fun and flavorsome ‘risotto in reverse’, my only complaint was that I didn't have a spoon to spoon-up every last drop of the juice! For a main course, I was treated to a plate of succulent halibut, Orkney sea scallop, potato, leek and cockles with a side of new season garlic risotto – it was truly mouth-watering.

Pollen Street Social dishes

Even at this point, I found plenty of room for the refreshing complimentary pumpkin granite with vanilla foam and caramelised honey, and an ice cream cone filled with custard and blackberry jam topped with apple sorbet coated in white chocolate, before digging into a delightful plum and apple parfait.Writing now, I cannot believe that I was not uncomfortably full to the brim, but I wasn't – Jason Atherton’s food is perfection, full of sensational flavours that leave you with a warm, satisfied feeling. What’s more, it was all served by attentive, entertaining and knowledgeable staff.I cannot wait to return and try the tasting menu to experience as much of Jason Atherton's cooking as possible!

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