What could be more Parisian than macarons? It’s the iconic item that everyone acknowledges as the national French dessert. The quality of macarons depend on the pastry chef’s skills, and can either be the best thing on earth or shockingly terrible. When done correctly, macarons are exquisite. It’s dainty, flavourful, and extremely light. However, these things are notoriously hard to perfect. The high costs of ingredients plus the dexterity of the process is what contributes to its ultra-pricey nature. Even for a pro, macarons are beyond temperamental in nature. As a beginner, you will experience a lot of trial and error (and possibly fail) before they resemble something you see in the window case of a pâtisserie. I’ve always been intrigued as to how to make them, and I’ve enlisted Le Foodist cooking school to help crack down the process.
When I mentioned I was visiting London my manager strongly recommended me to book a table at Pollen Street Social. Knowing the foodie that he is, I trusted his judgment and wasn’t disappointed! Owner Jason Atherton once worked at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant before opening his flagship Pollen Street Social. In 2011, the restaurant was appointed a Michelin Star. Pollen Street Social is designed to be a modern version of fine dining, combining good food with a comfortable lounge feel. There was a very strong social vibe in the atmosphere hence the name, and this was quite refreshing as traditional fine dining can have an austere feel.
You can order a la carte or order the special lunch set menu, which is a steal at only 37 pounds for a three-course meal! My dad ordered the lunch special and I opted for a la carte. Shortly after ordering a waiter came by and dropped off this magnificent two-tier series of intricate amuse bouches.
- smoked salmon with creme fraiche and caviar on bread
- dill and cucumber cream cheese corn muffin
- beet and black currant tart