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Tuesday 28 October 2014

3BM Review: Aolha to Pond...

Us Mice are always on the look out for new restaurants that come with a healthy portion of rave reviews! Grace Dent (ES Mag food critic) is pretty much our go-to-gal when it comes to hot openings in town - she's firm yet fair and says it pretty much how it is which means you trust her with your taste buds when it comes to good food. She's also hilariously funny with it, quite often taking the piss out of herself ... a snippet from a previous article ... "another curious pleasure of my job is being re-reminded what an absolute tit I am on a regular basis" ... love her! Anyway only the other week I was reading one of her gorgeously descriptive Friday write ups on new Hawaiian themed cuisine restaurant, Pond. See her review here. Just up the road from the London Mousehold in Dalston, I had to check it out. The following Saturday night ... it ... was ... on! 

All of the week before, I had been counting down the days, hours and minutes to my reservation. The anticipation was sky high! I had arranged to go with my J-Lo-double-bootilicious uni pal, Anna and I couldn't wait to catch up and fill up on delicious food all fuelled with a couple of bottles of decent wine. Saturday arrived and so did Anna. After a swift glass of bubbles and excitable speed-light chatter, we put our stilettos on and fled my flat in search of Pond life!

My first impressions of the area surrounding Pond was a mixture of confusion and disorientation! You turn off Kingsland Road and find yourself in the middle of a grubby random square, featuring a tired looking jazz club and a number of food stalls that you frankly wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. I turned to Anna with a look of disgust, thinking we had come to the wrong end of town! Turns out we hadn't and Pond was just across the square down a beaten track lined with wheelie bins ... not quite what I had envisaged! Putting that to one side we pushed open the entrance door to uncover a Victorian warehouse dressed up to the industrial-chic nines - exposed bricks, pipe-laced ceilings, bronzed metal details and concrete everywhere. 

We decided to skip drinks and head straight to our table to order up. The dining space is kept separate from the main bar area and is surprisingly small. Peppered with several striking scalloped edged red booths, which sadly we didn't get allocated - boo hoo. Here's what we missed out on...

After settling down and selecting a bottle of Pinot Noir, we turned to the perfectly formed menu to cherry pick our dishes of choice. I had read and heard great things about the spam chips. Definitely not something I would ever choose myself but I felt it would be rude to ignore all of the hyped word of mouth plus apparently Hawaiians class spam chips as a delicacy and as such are considered some of the world's most devoted fans of Spam! So we caved and ordered a portion to pick on before diving into our main options. They arrived and were jaw-droppingly moreish - fried in shrimp and served up with yuzu mayo - seriously delish! 

For main I went with the Sambal Black Cod - shrimp-coated black cod fillet with kailan, glutinouse shiitake mushroom rice, sambal sauce and miso-poached egg and Anna opted for the Maui Charcoal Avocado - salmon poke in charred avo with scallop, king prawn, marinated wakame seaweed, glass noodles and salted coconute and macademia creme. Both heavenly, but Anna's did have the edge and I have to admit the dreaded food envy feeling did creep in and sit with me for the duration of her food appreciation squeals of delight - damn that girl!

For puds we went halves on the baked cheesecake of dreams! To die for...

Food finished, there was nothing else for it but to order up another bottle of the good stuff and retire to the bar area for more girly chatter and drunken antics... 

The perfect Saturday night...

Pond Dalston
Stamford Works
3 Gillett Street

020 3772 6727

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