Jason Atherton opens his long-awaited solo venture, Pollen Street Social in London's Mayfair today.
The former chef-director of the Michelin-starred Maze group of restaurants, who left Gordon Ramsay Holdings last spring, will serve a modern British menu showcasing influences from around the world.
General manager at Pollen Street Social is Michael West, who previously worked with Atherton at Maze, where he was restaurant director.
The restaurant is divided into two separate dining rooms, with the 45-seat Social room offering a no-reservations policy and serving a bar and tapas menu. The 60-seat main dining room will offer a more extensive menu as well as London's first stand-alone dessert bar, where diners can watch pastry chefs in action. Meanwhile, the basement floor will house a private dining room offering views of the main kitchen.
A wide choice of snacking plates (priced between £8.50 and £12.50) will be available, with dishes including cauliflower and squid, roasted squid consommé; Welsh goats' curd, red beet in salt crust, pine nuts; and BBQ mackerel, cucumber chutney, frozen AJo blanco. More substantial snacking plates will include braised Irish ox tongue'n'cheek, salt-baked carrots, horseradish; 24-hour Suffolk pork belly, fermented apple sauce, nuts, beer reduction; and red mullet cooked over olive stones, olive consommé, white and green garlic.
Meat and fish main courses will feature Scottish turbot, Catalan paella, sprouting broccoli, pork-ham fat; and ginger pig pork chop, braised pork neck, beetroot, hops, seeds and grain as well as a simply prepared fish or meat dish of the day.
A lunch and pre-theatre menu is priced at £22 for two courses or £25 for three.
Atherton said: "Pollen Street Social can be summed up by its name. I want it to be a social restaurant where the surroundings and atmosphere are as vibrant as the food. People will have the freedom of choice to have what they want, even if it's just a dessert."
By Kerstin Kühn
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