Restaurant Review: Pomona’s

Leonie Lee heads to Notting Hill for dinner at the newly opened Pomona’s…

Slightly further west of London than we are used to venturing, we find ourselves in the heart of Notting Hill. We might be just off fashionable Westbourne Grove, but we feel like we’re standing in a little piece of south California.

New bar and restaurant Pomona’s is California-inspired, and serves all day long. Executive chef Gareth Sanderson’s menu is packed with locally-sourced, fresh produce. With a firm focus on the healthy, clean and brilliant flavours of the West Coast, the restaurant is right up my street – metaphorically if not geographically.

My similarly health-minded boyfriend Ben has already had a good look through the menu online, and has been enthusing over the sound of the cheeseburger with daikon slaw.

The venue

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Travelling from street to table takes us through a glorious, richly planted courtyard, and we’re sidetracked by a pre-dinner visit to the American bar for a quick Pina Colada and a glass of Malbec.

My cocktail is a thing of beauty – and hands-down the best Pina Colada I’ve ever had; the inclusion of house-dried pineapple nothing short of genius. Within two sips, I’m on first name terms with Arunas (the chap who made it), and swiftly declare him to be my new best friend. I’d like him to make me five more, but our table is ready.

The restaurant itself is decked out in a bright and beautiful mix of pop arty yellows and turquoise. As we take our seats at a steel-topped table, we fancy ourselves transported to 1970s Malibu. The whole place has a fresh, warm feel that’s far removed from the bitter winds and icy roads we left outside.

The food

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We’d have been happy had our waitress delivered anything at all from the menu, but choices have to be made. Despite their generous size, our ‘small plates’ vanish very quickly – we sample shredded Brussels sprouts with Spenwood cheese and hazelnuts, and sweet potato toast with avocado, coconut labneh, and lime and coriander gremolata. The latter combination is a dream one, and I could eat the dish all over again were our main courses not en route.

The mellow, musky flavour of saffron in the pearl cous cous accompanying my sea bass perfectly offsets the sharpness of a coriander gremolata. Judging by the contented air of silence that hangs over our table, Ben’s Ginger Pig hanger steak, charred endive and horseradish gremolata is similarly well-received. Just before we’ve scraped our plates clean, we remember to exchange a few bites.

By now, we’re both pretty satisfied, but the lure of a caramelised croissant and prune pie with crème anglaise proves too much, and we opt to share a single serving. After two mouthfuls, I’m already regretting the decision, because it’s so good that half a portion is certainly not sufficient.

In preparation for leaving the warmth of South California for the cold winds of West London, we wash the croissant pie down with a glass of Prosecco – already vowing to return soon with friends so we can work our way through every single one of Pomona’s sharing plates.

Where: Pomona’s, 47 Hereford Road, London, W2 5AH
Bookings: To make a reservation or find out more, phone 020 7229 1503 or click here

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