Monday 18th April 2011
So I feel slightly weird walking the streets of Soho on my way to sample the first opening night of Jason Atherton Pollen street Social. Weird because I really don't want to go- not really interested- not my job to sample restaurant on their first night- but I do it for Perm; I find him somehow attractive and good company.
He booked a table for 2 and has offer to take me there. He wants to be the first to review the place as a blogger so he can climb the ultimate blogger scale list and become, hopefully, the most read restaurant blogger- in front of professional weirdo blogger Andy Haller; re tweeted by Hardens and ignored by Gilles Coren.
Perm is good company; if not a bit gauche- he takes a while to relax- probably far too intelligent for his own good,. Anyway, the good thing about him is that he knows exactly what he wants; and tonight he wants to eat. he is starving. He hasn't eaten for 18 hours so I guess he is going to love everything as long as it removes its appetite. Sure to be a good review I am thinking. Lucky Atherton- I wasn't that well received by Perm when he visited us.
The front of the restaurant is impressive- Large bay windows surrounded by black walls- very original I said- Perm wonder if I am serious- probably takes me for a retard and leads me into the restaurant. he hasn't stop tweeting for the last 3 minutes- as if he has already started to post his review... The reception is small and the girl seems to be standing in front of hundred of keys and mail boxes- don't know why. The bar is there half full- I can start feeling the tones of the restaurant- wood, little bit dark, exposed light bulb, contemporary British Arts on the walls... Polpo meets Scotts. A good mix I think- no- no serious!
We sit down on a round wooden table- they use linen napkins- very nice. The waiters are not good looking; that is annoying. The menu is brought to us and we order 1 orange juice and sparkling water. Suddenly, Perm said he wants still water- too late I can't cancel my order- shit! we will never drink 2 bottles of water I am telling myself! wasted money. I am too tight. The menu is divided in 4 sections: cold, warm & hot, main course and vegetarian. The waiter tells us that eating at pss is all about sharing! I tell Perm- back to 98 and Asia de Cuba is here again! Don't think he gets it-too young and too starving I guess. So Perm orders many, many dishes. This guy is going to ruin me I think. meanwhile I indulge on the amazing sliced Pain de Campagne and the delicious butter.
The food arrives. It is complicated, micro leaves and sorbet are everywhere, the aim is very high. Everything is truly delicious for a first night. (Fair) Details of the food in Perm Blog.
I decided to visit the toilets: marble and wood= wow! (lounge music from Buddha Bar- not classy) I think.
On my way up I get stopped by another blogger- she tells me that she is here to be the first to review the restaurant as a blogger. I needed to tell Perm- quick- she decides to take a picture of me in front of the hanging meats downstairs. Not sexy- she will learn. I run back up to urge Perm to hurry writing his review.
We order pudding and then I feel like the room got electrocuted; everyone seems to be stressed; I see chefs looking across the kitchen window; waiters and managers going around trying to look busy. I wonder if Kate & Will have just walked into the restaurant; I turn around and guess who is here? The mother of all food blogger The inspirational and ultimate restaurant decider who made and destroyed everything that worked or failed in the world: Fay Maschler- Mama!
I felt really bad for the team; I know how much it is stressful to have her on your first night and wondered how Jason is copying in the kitchen. I am sure he is doing an amazing job. I ordered a delicious espresso; paid with my card , which they had to process the old way ( I thought : great it can't be declined like that!) Paid the bill- kind of cheap for the quality of the cuisine.
And we left. Didn't regret one minute visiting Pollen street Social after all...