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David, is the last dessert in your review not the PBJ? I had both that and the beetroot with basil ash meringue and I think your pic is of the PBJ! Which was awesome.

Alex, you may well be right, but there is a story attached to this. So please let me explain.

As the meal was part of the soft opening it was a set, no choice menu. Therefore no menus to choose from. All dishes however were explained tableside.

Of late I have mostly decided not to take notes and in the main let my photos jog my abysmal memory. Two reasons for this really. My wife just about puts up with the photos but thinks it spoils the meal a bit with me jotting down stuff as well. That is in between checking the photos are acceptable, instead of jumping in and just enjoying the food. This sort of fits in with some of my reviews which are from a punters point of view and not from a paid critic's perspective.

The two dishes seemed too similar so rather than get it wrong I phoned PSS and asked to speak to our waiter. After a while I was in formed he was not in that day and they would try for someone else. No one else was available so they suggested that I try a little later which I did.

Again no one from front of house was available so I was transferred to the kitchen and spoke to one of the commis.

We got cut off. So I tried again.

This time I got Jason Atherton :shock: and was slightly embarrassed to be asking questions before a busy service. He was very good about it and said that the dessert that we had, was the one that I mentioned in the review. So I went with that. Its just possible that he was tinkering about with the dishes and, well, I can't really explain.

We may just pop in over the weekend to put the new lunch menu to the test, and take another look at those desserts up close again. :wink:

Will let you know if we do.

Btw did you enjoy yourself?

What did you think of the place?

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Just wanted to quickly add that I ate here last week (as a Birthday lunch treat) and absolutely loved it - From the relaxed atmosphere, lovely interior, friendly and very helpful staff to the great food. Sure, it may not have been the most delicious food I've eaten so far this year but I loved how the concept and design of the menu brought a sense of fun to proceedings.

As an extra treat to take away, I got some cake all gift wrapped with a "Happy Birthday" note which I thought was a lovely touch by them. It was the cherry top to a fantastic afternoon there and I look forward to going back.

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Just wanted to quickly add that I ate here last week (as a Birthday lunch treat) and absolutely loved it - From the relaxed atmosphere, lovely interior, friendly and very helpful staff to the great food. Sure, it may not have been the most delicious food I've eaten so far this year but I loved how the concept and design of the menu brought a sense of fun to proceedings.

As an extra treat to take away, I got some cake all gift wrapped with a "Happy Birthday" note which I thought was a lovely touch by them. It was the cherry top to a fantastic afternoon there and I look forward to going back.

Yep, read Your Review earlier as I was wondering how you had gone on. Looks like you had some of the dishes that we ate too.

There have been a few changes since both of our visits. The dishes have been juggled about a bit. Main courses have dropped in price fairly significantly. Sharing plates have disappeared from the menu, and some of the starter dishes have gone up a touch too.

Set lunch now looks even better value as that has dropped in price too. Going to give those dishes a good seeing too on our next visit.

http://www.pollenstreetsocial.com/menus.php

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Wow! The mains prices really have come down a bit, but that only makes the dishes more likely to included when creating our own tasting menu (along with a selection of starters).

I've booked a table in July for my sister's Birthday treat but am itching to go back (like you) to try the set lunch, I thought it was good value 3 courses for £25 anyway so the slight drop in price makes it even more appealing. May have try to and sneak in a cheeky trip down to London between now and July..

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That is good news about the prices, I have had my finger on the cancel button all week, after some less than positive

reviews, but that may have swung it!!

I always enjoyed Maze as I have mentioned on its thread and my young daughter still eulogises over Jason's mash potato, which he never revealed to us how much butter it contained??

May have to engage in some empirical research

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i am going with 6 more people tomorrow for lunch, but I am worried about the upgrade of some dishes from a starter/sharing to a main. Mainly the ox cheek and the pork belly :(

But I am not worried at all about the food. Maze was the place that I would go the most when he was there

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As far as I'm concerned, the upgrade to a main means a larger portion, thus more to go round larger groups. So between the 2 of us, we'd probably now do 2 or 3 starters, 1 main then desserts as compared to 4 starters, then desserts like we did last week.

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I always find the size of a dish insignificant, in fact prefer it smaller, providing it delivers on flavour. I believe satiation is better achieved through small impact dishes. Now if they are small dishes and bland that is much more of an issue.

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ok here is my report then

The place looks really nice, very nice interior.

2 of us wanted to make a tasting menu while the other 3 wanted the basic starter main dessert.

Our waiter told us that we can do smaller sized main courses which brought a smile to my face!

We had the squid, foie and the quail from the starters, and we got the monkfish, lamb, pork and beef from the mains. Along with 2 puddings and 1 bottle of water we paid 55 pounds each, which I think it was really good.

The size of the starters was big apart from the squid(which was the one I liked the most!). All delivered on flavour, immaculate cooking. The least favourite from the mains was the monkfish with the paella, just because I am a meat person myself. The beef was really good, especially with that heavenly mash which I need to find out how they are making. Pork belly was really nice, only wanted a traditionally crackling and not the puffed up chicharon. Lamb was probably the best of them all. Portions were a bit more than half of their normal sized counterparts.

The puddings were lovely as well, really enjoyed the tiramisu.

They also had those goody bags for us to take home, a nice variant of the petit four.

I will definitely go again, and all 5 of us said the same.

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By the way, the pork belly was accompanied by a loin chop, not cheek!

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Well its been a busy couple of weeks of dining out and this weekend was the icing on the cake.

I was eager to make an early return here.

I have a confession to make first of all, in that we have been on cancellation status at The Ledbury for this last weekend but decided that I wanted to give the lunch menu here, (all of it) a good seeing too. If the call had of come from The Ledbury I would have turned them down as I was on a mission and had to satisfy my curiosity.

I took loads of photos, just need to sort them out and make a bit of time to post my review as it takes me absolutely ages to post a review even though it takes only minutes to read.

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Looking forward to reading your review (and appreciate the effort it takes in doing so)

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Went here last week, and overall I think Gary and Scott got it spot on.

Overall thought it wasn't bad but for some reason found it lacking the flavours and excitement that Maze offered. I kind of though that PSS would be even more adventuress and clever, however it almost seemed more tame and traditional. Strangely I found it more Ramseyesque than Maze.

Not sure if the whole concept works, and at times it feels as if it is confused over what it is trying to achieve. Is it fine dining or is it relaxed laid back (social) eating? I feel more the former than the latter, certainly evident in the service. Not a fair comparison maybe, but somewhere like Polpo I would see capturing the social concept.

Fowey oysters "hot and cold" was an ok dish. The cold being an oyster sorbet, the warm being, hmm, can't remember. A dish that was not an improvement on the raw product.

Salad Lyonnaise, roasted quail, creamed egg & onion: Actually one of the best dishes, quaill delicious.

Loch Duart salmon, Jersey Royals, avocado: This was nothing more than salmon and Jersey royals really. Nothing wrong with it except just very samey.

Roast Holly Farm chicken, gravy, sage, nuts & herbs, bread mousse: Bread mousse very good, but again very Sunday dinner.

Spiced braised pork cheeks, turnips, onions, celeriac & coffee purée: Good pork cheeks, again a bit tame.

Eton Mess: Was ok.

Smoked foie gras, black sesame, smoked golden raisin: Again, ingredients good, but did not blow me away.

Gave the golden key on the way in and received a little bag with some scones and teabags in them, and that summed up the food experience.

Service was quite intrusive at times to the point of staff being confused on who was doing what, maybe need to relax.

Maybe I had expectations that JA once on his "own" would take his cooking up a notch and let that do the talking. However I think he has slipped down a gear and is maybe over relying upon "concepts" to enhance the experience.

Or maybe I was expecting too much.

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"Or maybe I was expecting too much".

Perhaps you are, but if this does not please you, you are wasting your money going to Heston,s new place (if you have not already been that is).

Did you go by chance on Saturday Lunch as five of the dishes are the same as we tried from the set menus?

We have now eaten about eighteen dishes here on our two visits, and hand on heart, not one has disappointed. Having said that, we are not looking for groundbreaking food, and nor should anyone else.

Do you not think that the "social" element refers to the relaxed "drop in when you like to the bar". Have some tapas. Have a dessert or two, or even see if a table is available in the restaurant for something a bit more substantial and a more ordered dining experience?

Gary should be pleased a bit in that they have reduced the price of the Cote de Boeuf (for two) down to £65 per kilo. There is also a Black Angus steak with duck fat chips and green salad. Yum, Yum.

On our menu apart from the three set lunch options, there was eight starters, and eight mains, not sure how many desserts, as that is a separate menu.

Btw on our two visits we did not get "the golden key" I'm a bit disappointed now, not to be treated the same as everyone else. I shall take it up with the management on our return :wink:

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"Perhaps you are, but if this does not please you, you are wasting your money going to Heston,s new place (if you have not already been that is)".

Not sure about that Dave. I was not expecting Dinner to be like the Fat Duck by any means, and I know that has been HB's tag line since Dinner's inception i.e. it is not Fat Duck PT 2. I enjoyed Dinner for what it was. Thank you for showing concern about me wasting my money anyway.

"We have now eaten about eighteen dishes here on our two visits, and hand on heart, not one has disappointed. Having said that, we are not looking for groundbreaking food, and nor should anyone else".

Good, it seems like you are more versed and experienced in the food of PSS than I am by vitue of the fact that you have tried so many dishes. At the same time David, and I hope you do not take this the wrong way, you can be slightly over enthusiastic in your reviews and being such a positive individual maybe see the good in everything.

I am always looking for groundbreaking food and ground breaking food experiences, and I am unsure why you feel nobody else should? That would be a little boring?

"Do you not think that the "social" element refers to the relaxed "drop in when you like to the bar". Have some tapas. Have a dessert or two, or even see if a table is available in the restaurant for something a bit more substantial and a more ordered dining experience"?Well firstly, I would expect a bar to be the kind of place you could drop into when you like, I always find bars tend to accomodat this idea, indeed it is not really that original? Having some tapas again requires one to pop in and order, not new or original. The last bit seems to refer to seeing if the restaurant has a table free and then booking that table and eating, again sure it is social, but not new. My point is the restaurant is really fine dining and not akin to anything different from that.

"Btw on our two visits we did not get "the golden key" I'm a bit disappointed now, not to be treated the same as everyone else. I shall take it up with the management on our return "

Well Dave as any good behaviourist knows, rewards aim to change and shape behaviours however as you are already sold you do not need the reinforcement.I am sure you get your rewards in other ways.

I have only been to PSS once I wasn't bowled over, maybe next time it could be a different experience?


Edited by RDB (log)

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RDB

Robin,

Good of you to take the time out to respond.

Its good to get other peoples opinions especially on a forum such as this. What is clear so far, is that PSS has certainly divided opinion. However having said that, as the days pass by the reviews seem more and more positive.

I'm flattered that you should view me as a positive individual, its not always the case, but I see no point whatsoever in approaching a dining experience looking for negatives. Thankfully my glass is always half full.

Not all of my reviews are gushing. The Fox and Grapes and Simon Radley at The Grosvenor immediately spring to mind.

In the meantime I am looking forward very much to your take on "Dinner"

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Pollen Street Social, The Return.

Well I was on a mission. To eat our way through the three set lunch menus. Nine dishes between two of us. Quite a task. We could have opted out of the desserts if required as there was an option of two courses, or three. I was really hoping that we would have the stamina to last the course.

My wife was in charge of the order of dishes and she approached it like a trooper, splitting things into a tasting type menu.

I had the Fish Soup from Fowey, saffron & garlic. This was no ordinary soup, it was a clear step up.

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A plump juicy scallop took pride of place in the bowl, next to some distinctive red mullet, and a piece of stone bass. The full flavoured broth was poured around in a bubbling cauldron of loveliness. No small portion here, a proper mansize hit.

One of the other starters was a very similar dish to one that we ate on our first visit, indeed a variation on a theme me thinks. In fact I can see this dish as being a stalwart somewhat.

Loch Duart salmon, Jersey Royals, avocado.

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Nicely presented, clean flavours, an ideal dish for a hot summers day. We enjoyed this as much as on our first visit here.

We both shared the next dish, which has been widely praised, and with good cause.

Salad Lyonaise, roasted Quail, creamed egg and onion.

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Wonderful, sticky, creamed egg and onion sauce. Quail thankfully at last tasting of quail, and I have had some in the past (not here of course)not tasting of the bird whatsoever. I think there was some creamy chicken liver parfait atop the sliver of crispy bread. If you like quail's distinctive taste you will enjoy this dish completely.

Well, three courses in, but the next three are main courses and larger in size so lets see how we cope with those. There was a choice of Chicken, Pork Cheeks, and Crab risotto for main and it sort of made sense to have one dish each and share the risotto. So that is what we did.

As the Spiced, braised, Pork cheeks are a blokey sort of dish, my wife chose them for me, settling for the more ladylike chicken dish herself.

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Propped up by a wall of baby turnips and onions and sitting on a celeriac and coffee puree the sweet Pork looked rather appealing and ate rather well. Not sure what the spice(s) were, perhaps I should have asked. Still nevertheless it all worked and nothing was left on the plate.

Normally I would not choose chicken when dining out, I want game or other product that is not readily available at home.

Roast Holly Farm Chicken, nuts and herbs. again was a step up from the norm. Holly Farm are more noted for turkey production but their chicken is worthy of mention. Succulent, tasty, cooked to perfection. In the wrong hands it would lose some of its pleasure but here it was cooked spot on.

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It was served with gravy, and bread mousse tableside, (I lost that photo) sage, and a tranche of cabbage and some sauted banana shallot, oh and some organic carrots. We both enjoyed this and I slightly preferred this to my pork cheeks, due mainly to the quality of the chicken itself.

The risotto was next and this was a cracker. Cornish native brown Crab risotto was served in two parts.

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The freshest of fresh crabmeat bursting at the seams with flavour. Salty crunchy marsh samphire randomly strewn on top. The risotto was spooned over it from a generous serving dish tableside. Simple but very effective and most enjoyable. The green in the risotto by the way is a delicious seaweed butter.

The question now was. Could we possibly manage desserts. Well we just had too, or we would have failed on my mission.

Choice was, Eton Mess, Chocolate sponge, of Fruta Cru.

Mrs G chose Eton Mess in a glass, wild strawberry sorbet. a very simple but nevertheless refreshing summer dish, which certainly suited the weather outside.

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I had a couple of spoonfuls and it was as light as a feather just what the doctor ordered.

My dessert was 70% bitter chocolate sponge, grapefruit sorbet, tea jelly.

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Perhaps not the most exciting dessert visually, but lets remember its part of a very good value set menu and desserts are only £3.50 each.

The final dessert was Fruta Cru with basil sorbet.

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I loved the presentation of this dish, again summer on a plate, bristlingly fresh fruit, served on a bed of ice, witness the first of the seasons English strawberries, compressed pineapple, compressed pear and almond? and an interesting basil sorbet. Little sugared basil and tarragon leaves draped across the fruit itself. Whats not to like.

This dish was served by Jason Atherton who poured the ginger, lime syrup over the top of the fruit. A nice touch.

I just love it when people get my jokes.

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Well thats it Mission accomplished a marathon well worth the effort, and a relativley wallet friendly treat.

Service again was sweet, acomplished and informed. Jason was frequently surrounded by wellwishers to the kitchen, and the dessert bar. Its clear that he has a legion of fans.

Its unusual for us to return to any restaurant so soon, indeed most we never return too, but I'm really glad we made the effort to return here.

As has been stated above none of the dishes disappointed even though they were on the cheaper set menu. It should however be noted that some are variations on a theme off the main menu, and some I would think will perhaps make their way onto the main menu in due course. In fact some may have been on their already.

I know I mention simple a few times in this review and there is nothing wrong in that. Clean flavours abound in these dishes. No need to overwork top produce.

The bill for three set lunches @ £23.50 plus service, tap water and a bottle of well chosen wine from our expert sommelier was a bargain £105.

Happy eating folks, Happy eating.

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I do admire your eating capacity David! The lunch menu looks cracking value. Good to see the old classics like Eaton mess on the menu, which can at times be a total mess. A nice looking take on the fruit salad too. What are the portion sizes like nowadays? My over riding memory of Maze was whilst the food was very tasty, some of the dishes were so small, they made me laugh out loud to the poor waiter!

Will definately visit when ever we next down sarf.

PS Did you manage to get his autograph this time David?? haha! :laugh::laugh: Sorry David!

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Richard,

Should you not be busy with your mise en place, instead of lurking on these food forums. They are for amateurs like moi, not someone who is actively chasing a Michelin star :laugh::wink:

Portion sizes are most certainly better than Maze, and the mains are what you may expect anywhere I suppose, no complaints whatsoever, and of course we can both eat for England. The Fruta Cru was enough for two, I did ask him if this was the normal portion size and he said yes. I was suprised at its generosity.

Its a cracking way to spend a hundred quid and for me its icing on the cake to be served by the main man.

And no, I did not get his autograph, or come to that a picture with him. Still there's always next time. :biggrin:

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can't help but notice it doesn't look very busy? plenty more reviews to come out though i expect which will change that.

i had a cracking lunch at moro yesterday, never been before and it was very enjoyable.


you don't win friends with salad

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Interesting when I went there were only about four tables occupied in the dining area and a few people at the bar. I was surprised, and thought it would have been jammed to the rafters.

With respect to Moro, I think food is great, but also it has an excellent atmosphere to it.

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can't help but notice it doesn't look very busy? plenty more reviews to come out though i expect which will change that.

i had a cracking lunch at moro yesterday, never been before and it was very enjoyable.

It actually was. Not full by any means, but vibrant, although Saturday lunches rarely are, full that is. The photos were taken at the end of service and we were about last to leave because of the marathon meal. I wanted to take a photo of the dessert bar which was full most of the service but it just seemed a bit cheeky and I thought someone may have objected.

Hope you post a report on Moro, another place I,ve not been too.

We actually got around to visiting Opera Tavern also and it was a cracker of a meal, thoroughly enjoyable. When I have an hour or three I will post it. Yes it does take me that long.

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