Test Drives

Pomona'sSea bass, saffron pearl couscous, cilantro gremolata

What can you tell me about Pomona’s? 

West Coast-inspired Pomona’s in Notting Hill quietly opened their doors on Hereford Road last December. Taking inspiration from David Hockney’s 1970’s Malibu period, the light and vibrantly coloured interiors at Pomona’s make them a welcome addition to this leafy neighbourhood.

Where is it?

Westbourne Park is endowed with a selection of top restaurants - Hereford Road, The Ledbury, and Marianne are all nearby. However you can’t fault locals who perhaps are after something decidedly more casual.

Is there a bar?

Funny you should ask. The bar at Pomona's - which features an original and inventive selection of ‘Western influenced’ drinks - has also recently introduced a series of cocktails to celebrate the new David Hockney exhibition at the Tate gallery. We made it our duty to try a few. The collection includes pastel-bright creations such as ‘Grand Canyon’ - A carrot Negroni - Gin, campari with home pressed carrot juice adding the sweetness. We also gave the ‘Bigger Green Valley’ a shot. This combines vodka, citrus, Chartreuse and fresh cucumber and goes down faster than a glass of cold-pressed veggies.

It’s also worth mentioning the happy hour where guests can get 2 for 1 cocktails every day from 5-7pm. All the more reason to secure that 6:30pm booking

cocktailfeatureGrand Canyon - A carrot Negroni

And where should we sit?

Set across one floor, walking into Pomona’s feels like walking into a sunny Californian conservatory. There’s space for 120 and we’re interested to see what happens when the team open up their courtyard in the coming months.

What’s on the menu?

Executive chef Gareth Sanderson has pulled together an inspired menu with plenty of West Coast flair - apparently heavily influenced by his travels along the Californian coastline. Whilst we did notice a few similarities to another well established Australian all-day establishment just around the corner, there are some standout dishes.

We’d recommend diving in with a selection of Crudo and some Small plates - the Steak tartare, shredded kimchi, lardo toast and celery sprouts (£8) and some Smoked mackerel rillettes (£8) are a good a place as any to start.

From here you can stay in the shallows with more small plates - the Eggplant Parm (£6) and Charred radicchio with quinoa, hazelnuts, baby spinach and parmesan (£7) will keep you company. However if you want to go deep, a couple of meat and fish dishes will sort you right out. The prices over this side ratchet up pretty swiftly but we found the Sea bass, saffron pearl couscous, cilantro gremolata (£18) a well portioned dish. If you’re dining with a homesick expatriate or just after something a little more classic then The Pomona’s cheeseburger, home fries and daikon slaw (£16) should do the trick.
And for dessert?

If you’d like to maintain the illusion that Pomona’s is all about virtuous, healthful plates then you’d best stop scrolling here. Of the four desserts on the menu – there are no healthy options. Embracing this we grabbed a wonderfully rich Valrhona chocolate cremeux (£7) with olive oil and truffle salt (not as odd as it sounds) and their Caramelised croissant (£7) – which we’d happily eat again for breakfast.

puddingCaramelised croissant

Any other drinks?

We’ve mentioned cocktails above, but given the theme we should also mention their stellar selection of ‘Zero-proof’ and home made soft drinks. Pomona’s sodas come in three flavours whilst we think we could definitely enjoy a couple of Pineapple and Jalepeno fizzes on a hot summer’s day (whenever that is).

Overall

Rather than diving in head first, Pomona's dips its toe in and paddles through the Californian food & drink scene with some scenic pit stops along the way. It’s nice to see restaurants are brightening and warming up their menus, drinks and interiors once again and in this regard Pomona’s is well and truly leading the charge.

Pomona’s is at 47 Hereford Road, London W2 5AH. Find out more about Pomona's.

Hot Dinners was invited to Pomona’s. Prices correct at time of writing

 

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