"Near-perfect cocktails and Hawaiian food match up in an unusually attractive venue"Review Rating: Reviewed by T.A.O
If you don’t know Dalston well then the description of Pond’s location might frighten you off. But the former warehouse, fronted up by what appears to be a former builders’ yard is testament to what can be created out of nothing. Located on the far corner of Gillett Square, this is by no means a shabby area – near neighbours include Dalston Jazz Bar and Vortex Jazz Club.
Split into styles, Pond is as creative as you’d expect from the man who brought us the likes of Off Broadway and Duke’s Brew and Que. There’s a little function, a little fashion and a whole lot of style to appreciate. Think exposed brick, red banquet booths and a beckoning solid wood bar that needs your attention, pre-dining. Intimacy is created in the large space by dividers between the booths, which, since this is Dalston, tend to look more like installations.
The bar itself is a new proposition with genius cocktail pop-up the Manhattans Project taking up residency here. We were treated to a range of concoctions created to conjure what I’m going to call, ‘complicated simplicity’. Aged spirits, homemade mixers and blended vermouths are just part of the party as they make the in-depth versions of the classics. Definitely try the monthly Old Fashioned and obviously the Manhattan. In fact, take the Manhattan Flight and try three different iterations of the same drink as you fly close to perfection.
While drinking we cast enviable eyes into the sit-down dining section until we are rescued with Spam fries (yes, that’s deep-fried spam chips, and yes, they’re good), Kalau smoked pork in iceberg lettuce boats and steamed buns with fried chicken. The beauty of Pond is its informal nature, that while the food is delicate and intense and the drinks are prepared with careful consideration, the feel of the place is fun. There will definitely be a return for the full dining and drinking experience.
T.A.O reviewed POND Dalston on Tue 20 Oct 2015Review disclosure: reviewer was invited to review