Pollen Street Social, Mayfair, London

Dessert menu from an impromptu visit to the Dessert Bar at Jason Atherton’s Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social in Mayfair, London:

Pre-dessert (berry and frozen yoghurt)

English strawberries & elderflower, matcha tea, white chocolate sorbet

Goat’s milk rice pudding, goat’s cheese ice-cream, oat & milk crumb, honeycomb

Petit fours (frozen lollipop and chocolate)

Aurelia, Mayfair, Review

14 Cork St  City of Westminster, W1S 3NS – now closed

Aurelia_restaurantJust a stone’s throw from the Royal Academy is Aurelia London, a Mediterranean restaurant nestled in the heart of Mayfair.

The restaurant is named after Via Aurelia, the historic route which spanned across the Mediterranean, from Rome down to Santiago de Compostela. The food pays homage to the same landmass, where rabbit and swordfish appear alongside plenty of olives, garlic and anchovies.

Everything is light, delicate and calling for glorious sunshine and ice cold rosé.

You can go as formal or informal as you like and sharing is definitely encouraged – this is no stuffy Mayfair restaurant.

A selection of breads and the house olive oil begins our lunch at Aurelia London. The peppery notes in the oil did well to indicate that it was an extra-virgin olive oil of sound quality – a good start.

Crisp, thin slices of octopus rostie, sprinkled with a light dusting of chives, soon arrived atop boiled new potatoes, skins still on. The hint of heat in the mild Galician flavours were offset by the cool tuna carpaccio which served as the other starter.

The carpaccio, doused in a slightly sweet sauce, rested on top of a finely shredded bed of salad was topped with yet more chives.

The food at Aurelia London was rustic but good; rather like the restaurant’s interiors which were lined with little portraits and vintage photographs, all reminiscent of little bistros in the Côte d’Azur. It has just the right amount of kitsch to put you right at ease.

For mains, monkfish a la Provençal offered an interesting contrast against the pappardelle with rabbit ragu. Tomatoes, olives and plenty of parsley made a delicious sauce, well matched to the relative firmness of the monkfish. The rabbit ragu, with a shaving of creamy cheese, was more reserved in flavour but well placed for the wintry London weather.

After two well-portioned but light courses, there was still plenty of room for dessert. Carefully arranged red wine poached pear with ice cream and warm chocolate fondant with orange compote provided the answer.

The menu at Aurelia London, filled with Mediterranean flavours, managed to be both wintry and light. All was washed down with fresh mint tea and all just over an hour.

It’s not committed to a single cuisine but with so many restaurants specialising in smaller and smaller niches, Aurelia London is probably one of the few places that’s still focusing on a wide region and doing it well.

It’s obvious really; if they’re packed on a Monday lunchtime, they must be doing something right.


(First seen on Bon Vivant)

Nino Franco prosecco at Babbo, Mayfair, dinner

Menu from a dinner at Babbo Restaurant in Mayfair with Nino Franco Prosecco to sample some Italian food matched with the wine (rough English translations bold and in brackets):

Tagliere di bresaola Chianina (Platter of Chianina bresaola)

Zucchini fritti (Fried courgette)


Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Rustico

Carpaccio di tonno (Tuna carpaccio)

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut

Con crema de melanzane e indivia (With cream of aubergine and endives)

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Primo Franco 2012

Tagliolini al aragosta e scorza di lime (Noodles with lobster and lime zest)

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Vigneto Della Riva Di San Floriano 2010

Rombo con purea di polenta affumicata, carciofini e romanesco (Turbot with mashed smoked polenta, artichokes and romanesco)

Grave di Stecca Brut 2010


Valdobbiadene DOCG Superiore di Cartizze 2012


Bo London, Mayfair, Chef’s Special lunch

Menu from a lunch at Alvin Leung’s Bo London (now closed) in Mayfair to sample the new Chef’s Special (Read ten facts about Bo London here):

Dead Garden – green onion, lime, avocado, enoki, morel

Bed and Breakfast – smoked quail egg, crispy taro nest, oscietra caviar

Cloud – black sesame ponzu, mackerel, ginger, rose

Foie Gras – lettuce wrap, “Abby’s” sauce

Scallop – crispy woba, jolo, sugar snap pea foam

Steak and Kidney – xiao long bao, avruga

Suckling Pig – peas, sichuan vanilla apple

Bai Jiu – ice parfait, caramel, passion fruit

Coconut – trifle

Petit Dim Sum


42Raw, Mayfair, Review

6 Burlington Gardens  City of Westminster W1S 3EX 42raw.co.uk

Salad at 42 Raw

London’s restaurant scene isn’t short of Scandinavian influence, and this is another concept to hail from Copenhagen. Recently opened as a café/restaurant at the Royal Academy, the idea is that everything it serves is either raw or “cooked” to below 42ºC. The menu is filled with healthy lunch options (it’s only open to 6pm) that are boxed up and ready to be taken away. Raw noodles of carrot and courgette are served in a sauce made of curry, chilli, ginger and coconut oil, while the “lasagne” is made up of courgette slices, tomato sauce, nut pestos and baby spinach. A Thai soup is unique on the menu for being both hot and delicious, but the rest, unfortunately, leaves us cold. Still, if you’re in a rush, their selection of healthy juices will certainly give you a boost.


(First seen on Scout London)