"The Cali-inspired Pomona’s has recently had a new boy take the reigns..."Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
Admittedly, I rarely venture past Marble Arch for many an occasion, but with the veritable smorgasbord of restaurants popping up throughout the likes of Bayswater, Notting Hill and Portobello recently, my tastebuds have been leading me westward more frequently than ever before.
The Cali-inspired Pomona’s has recently had a new boy take the reigns. Former River Cottage chef, forager and presenter, Mark Lloyd brings with him an exciting new menu with sustainability at its core, featuring the best in local, seasonal produce with rustic, simple cooking. With a range of small plates and big dishes, breakfast and brunch classics including bacon and maple pancake and dishes with a twist, like beetroot hash with chilli, fried eggs and sauteed potatoes, it’s worth making a pitstop more than once to make the most of the menu. Cosy, but casual, the vibe is welcoming if slightly akin to a canteen, with its stainless steel tabletops.
I visited solo on a Wednesday evening and, despite a few wayward looks as I pulled out my book and settled down to dinner alone, savouring every mouthful in a way that’s easily overlooked when distracted by conversation. Freshly made warm foccacia with lashings of butter kicked of proceedings followed by a plate of fallow carpaccio, surprisingly delicate - I was expecting a heavier venison flavour - finished with truffle, pickled roots and pecorino. My main featured highly underrated ox cheek, so tender it fell apart at the slightest touch. Accompanied with a celeriac puree and smoked apple, king oyster mushroom, truffle and beer sauce, it was a dish of pure autumnal comfort food, though the mushroom, a tad chewy and flavourless, seemed somewhat surplus to requirements. To be honest, a mammoth place of ox cheek and its gravy could have stood up for itself without any of the trimmings. I finished with a perfectly proportioned creme brûlée, served with crumbly homemade shortbread, washed down with a glass of crisp Marlborough sauvignon blanc.
I do feel the comforting menu is slightly at odds with the Californian vibe of the space, it’s not quite the cuisine one would expect when crossing such a threshold but you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Throughout the new year, Mark will also be hosting a number of special events and workshops at Pomona’s with themes including foraging, butchery, wild food and fish, as well as a series of guest chef supper clubs.
Laurel reviewed Pomona's on Mon 07 Jan 2019