Editor Sophie Ritchie heads to Notting Hill for a relaxing night of ‘Hansom’ cuisine at sunshine-soaked Pomona’s
A brisk ten-minute walk from Notting Hill Station leads me directly to Pomona’s, a colour-clad restaurant nestled seconds from Westbourne Grove.
Filled with hanging foliage, vibrant seating and enough cacti to give Nevada desert a run for its money, I’m eager to visit for an eyeful of the interiors and a mouthful of new Head Chef Ruth Hansom’s cooking.
Having battled with the British weather all afternoon, the manager offers to take our soaked coats before directing us to a table in the centre of the room.
It’s nice, but situated in a rather dim light – we choose the turquoise seating by the pass instead – it’s better lit and closer to the action.
Once settled in with a gin-filled blueberry cocktail, it’s time to peruse the edible offering. The menu, devised by award-winning Ruth, is divided into sections – From the earth, From the land, From the sea, Wood & Charcoal, Sides and Dessert.
It’s a menu designed for sharing – which the waitress reminds us – with the intention of ordering lots of small plates and dividing them between yourselves. Albeit, some of the prices are still costly – £24 for a taste of tuna seems rather steep!
It’s worth noting that upon walking into Pomona’s, the classic TV trope “It’s quiet… almost too quiet” seems a little too fitting. On a rainy Tuesday night, the space is virtually empty… but it seems unfairly so.
The interiors are stylishly cool with sunny LA-inspired furnishings, the staff are charmingly friendly but, in spite of this, the tables are still void of diners.
It’s the plates that should be clear, not the seats beside them. But, it is pouring with rain outside – and maybe that’s why this Notting Hill is more cold than hotspot tonight.
The Food & Drink
We order a few dishes that catch our eye, which we request to come out together (and therefore require an extra table just to squeeze them all on).
Eyes always bigger than my stomach, multiple pretty platefuls arrive before our glasses are even empty. We waste no time in piling our plates with a forkful or two from each – ruining the artistic aesthetic in pursuit of full stomachs.
The Sprouting broccoli, soy, chilli, cashew (£7) is a massive hit – the chunky cashews clash perfectly with the softness of the brocoli. It’s given a kick with lashings of chilli, and before long we’re clashing forks over the last strand.
The Chicory, charred nectarine, fennel, walnut, honey (£7.5) packs less of a punch. It’s pretty, but flavour-wise it lacks character. If the table was a film set, this would be an unnamed extra, hovering about in the background.
If you’re a seafoodie, make sure to order Smiths smokery eel, Isle of Wight tomato, aubergine, tarragon (£13). The smooth eel is arranged like artwork on the plate, complimented with fresh tomato and slithers of aubergine. Eel is the marmite of seafood – but Ruth’s is delicious.
Along with a side of creamy Smashed avocado, chilli, lime, coriander (£4.5) (again, packed with fiery chilli heat) we next try the Soy marinated tuna loin, avocado, charred cucumber, trout roe (£24).
Although intended for two, the portion’s still quite meagre – but it’s beautifully-arranged. I love the way the tuna is positioned like butterfly wings across the plate, with the tender chunks beautifully offset by more smooth avocado swirls. Topped with bright orange roe, it’s my favourite dish of the night.
We pass on dessert and order decaf coffees instead, but there’s a selection of seasonal flavours to try.
If you’re a worshipper of decadence, the Valrhona chocolate fondant, roasted banana, peanut butter ice cream (£7) is bound to hit your sweet spot.
The Wordrobe Verdict
Petite but ‘Hansom’ portions in a colourfully stylish space. The tables may be quiet beside you at Pomona’s, but you’re bound to lick your plate clean when it comes to the clever and expertly-arranged plates.
Make it happen
Where: 47 Hereford Rd, London W2 5AH
How: Phone 020 7229 1503 or click here to make a reservation.