After seeing many photos from Pont St appear on social media following a Zomato meetup, I had to head down there and see what all of the fuss was about!
I rang Pont St to make my reservation at fairly short notice and to check if anything on the menu was halal. The very sweet front-of-house was extremely helpful. It would normally be possible to pre-order halal chicken (48 hours notice needed), however, I’d left it a bit late for that. She reassured me that there were many delicious and popular vegetarian and seafood dishes on the menu. Alcoholic beverages and pork items are served at Pont St.
Pont st is a contemporary restaurant situated on a perfectly manicured Chesham Place, a stones throw away from the infamous King’s Road. The restaurant itself is situated within a boutique hotel called the Belgraves. Head chef Sophie Michell is Britain’s youngest female executive chef. Her CV showcases her experience at top establishments such as Le Gavroche, the Lansborough and Greenhouse. She even worked as a private chef for supermodel Claudia Schiffer and stars like Leonardo DiCaprio! Sophie’s travels to the Mediterranean, Australia and America have allowed her to develop a personal style favouring health, simplicity and good quality ingredients and this is demonstrated clearly in the menu at Pont St.
We arrived at our meal on Saturday lunchtime and were surprised to find the restaurant eerily quiet. I suspect not many passers-by come across this place as its location is more residential than commercial. Pont st is the shop front of the Belgraves. Through the large windows you can spot the delicious cake display (Note to self: leave space for dessert!)
The decor of the restaurant was very crisp and chic.
Our meal kicked off with some scrumptious homemade bread rolls, still warm from the oven. It makes such a difference when the bread isn’t stone cold right?!
For starters, I ordered the quinoa and halloumi salad. I admit I was slightly shocked at the pricing of the salad at £16! That said, the portion was huge, more of a main course! The salad was divine: zesty lemon, crunchy cucumber, and sharp spring onions with the quinoa were reminiscent of a sunny Greek holiday. The halloumi was slightly overcooked and extremely salty which was a shame as the superfood beneath it was the best thing I ate all day!
My lunch companion does not keep halal and ordered the seared beef carpaccio to start. This was pretty as a picture but underdelivered on taste.
For mains, the Lobster Trofie, a pasta dish cooked in a lobster and bone marrow bisque, was a combination I’d not come across before. Again as this was not halal, I was unable to try it but it was described to have a deep meaty flavour which was unusual in a good way. Unfortunately, the presence of the bone marrow masked the delicate flavour of lobster.
I ordered the Fish and Chips… Boring I hear you mutter.. Well not quite! This dish had a healthy twist! The cod was flaky and grilled to perfection with crispy skin. Giant chips made from polenta were an ingenious twist and the pea and mint puree was sweet, complimenting the other ingredients on the plate. Another element to the dish was the deconstructed tartare of whole fresh capers, sliced gherkins, lemon and parsley. I never want to eat the normal creamy tartare sauce again, the fresh elements are far better!
My dessert choice was based purely on the social media photos that had me drooling several weeks before. The decadent salted caramel doughnut balls were fluffy, warm and freshly baked! They came served with a shot of vanilla milkshake which was a bit watery.
During our meal a local customer had ordered a flourless chocolate cake and we overheard him mentioning that it was the best chocolate cake he had ever had. That made our minds up about the second dessert! I’ll confess to being a bit of a novice in the flourless department but I found the cake very interesting. It had a light and almost mousse-like consistency and managed to hold its shape as a triangular slice. The dark chocolate was rich and bitter and it came served with a scoop of sweet vanilla ice cream which was heavenly.
We had definitely overeaten. A three course lunch for two including coffees came to £100. Dinner and lunch are a la carte and both menus are the same. There is an alternative Sunday brunch menu with breakfast items and traditional roasts.
I would recommend Pont St to people interested in healthy living and thought it was a particularly nice and bright venue for brunches and lunches. Sophie Michell has kept true to her style with great quality, healthy dishes that are not overcomplicated. My main criticism is the ambience did not match the vibrant cooking – the interior was a tad dull and not appealing to the younger generation of clientele. Saying that, I do hope more people hear about this place and give it a go!
(Disclaimer: A meal voucher for this restaurant was provided by Zomato. Views and photographs are my own.)