In the heart of Notting Hill, The Wordrobe’s Sophie Ritchie sinks her into teeth into the gourmet Golden State
The last time I visited California, I was 12 years old, infatuated with everything from San Fransisco and covered in enough spots to make a leopard’s eyes hurt. At age 25, only two of those statements are still true.
Pomona’s, a hip restaurant nestled in Notting Hill offers a Californian-inspired all-day dining experience. All I remember eating from my visit to the Golden State was hot dogs and Taco Bell (the typical teenager palette) which luckily, resemble nothing to the dishes on offer at this trendy venue.
The man behind the menu is Wolfe Conyngham, who made his restaurant return to Notting Hill in 2017 after several years of culinary adventures across the UK and Brazil. There’s a focus on freshness, sustainability and locally-sourced ingredients. Tick, tick, tick. Sign me up.
I visit on a quiet midweek night to try it for myself with a friend. One hectic tube journey later and it’s a welcoming sight, filled with bright bursts of colour, vibrant interiors and guests clutching cocktails. There’s no Golden Gate bridge, but I’ll let that one go.
What’s great about Pomona’s is that there’s something for both the health-conscious and those that just want to devour. The menu’s split down the middle into Wood & Charcoal or Light & Healthy. After a few weeks of eating Lard & Hearty at my desk, I’ve opted for the latter. My smug insides feel better already.
My friend on the other hand, has chosen the opposite, which I’m only slightly jealous of. We catch up and chortle our way through a light starter of snacks. The creamy Soft Shell Crab with Guacamole (£6) is especially good – and the ripe avocado could impress even a true Californian.
By the time we’ve finished gossiping our way through the appetisers, our mains have made their grand entrance. One of us has Welsh Lamb Rump, Garden Peas, Pea Shoots (£15) the other, Butternut Squash, Cavolo Nero, Cottage Cheese, Almonds (£12). No prizes for guessing whose is whose.
My salad however, is no weak contender. The delicately smooth cheese balances well with the flaked almonds, with chunks of butternut squash adding to the flavour. The portions are well-sized too, and I can only just about spare room for dessert.
This arrives in the form of a small lake of strawberry yoghurt and granola boulders. My spoon swims through it until I’m defeated midway, but it’s the perfect fresh end to the feast. My friend meanwhile, has a gooey chocolate fondant that I eye across the table like a dog looking for a treat.
All of the F words – fun, friendly and fresh. Pitstop at Pomona’s if you fancy pressing fast forward to summer.
Make it happen
Where: 47 Hereford Rd, London W2 5AH
Bookings: Click here to make a reservation