The Bicycle Diaries

Renae, IR student, London.

Birthday Lunch @ Pollen Street Social


I had wanted to book either the Ledbury or Pollen Street Social for a birthday dinner but alas, being a Saturday, they were booked out. I did, however, manage to score a lunch spot at PSS and given the rave reviews and the promised relaxed dining experience, I was very excited.

I had very high expectations and I guess I set myself up for disappointment. And disappointed I was. It’s not that it was bad, it just wasn’t very good.


It started off badly with my pink lemonade mocktail thing. Kinda disgusting to my tastes since it has pink grapefuit it in. It would have been much better with strawberry or raspberry. A similar drink I had at a bar near Tottenham Court Road made with elderflower cordial was delicious. The food itself was nice and nicely presented. But restaurants that serve nicely presented good food are a dime a dozen. To be fair, we only got the set lunch and G’s dishes were better than mine, but I had other reasons to be disappointed. I was very let down by my dish of Roast cod with squid and beans in a consomme/broth. The last dish I had featuring squid and beans was in La Boqueria in Barca and that was pure heaven for me. The one here at PSS was just blah. Nothing special, and overseasoned. And I like my food salty. I found the restaurant ambience unwelcoming and stuffy, like a lot of the fine dining restaurants of old. It’s not that the waiters weren’t professional or attentive, they were. It’s just that they lacked warmth and genuine enthusiasm. If I could describe the service in two words, it would be: tepid and awkward.

Maybe I was just spoiled by the Ledbury. I wouldn’t even rate PSS as highly as my experience at Galvin at Windows. At least that had nice views and an amusing French waiter.

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