I do love it when I’m asked to book a venue for a working lunch, allowing me to indulge my obsession with fabulous restaurants, while the company foots the bill! Located on Pollen Street, just a stone’s throw from my office and less than five minutes from Oxford Circus, Little Social is directly opposite its [more sophisticated and MUCH more expensive] older sister, Pollen Street Social – all from the same family as Social Eating House and The Blind Pig. I’m a big fan of all of them.
I’ve been treated to lunch at Pollen Street Social in the past, and greatly enjoyed the beautifully presented dishes of fashionably-sized [read: small] portions and perfect service. Details that stick in my memory are: the provision of a mini stool for my handbag to sit on, to keep it close at hand (????!); a delicious salad of seasonal vegetables garnished with edible Pansy flowers as a starter; being presented with a wooden chest of macarons with the invitation to select an accompaniment to our coffees. The whole experience was exquisite, so I had an inkling that Little Social would be just as indulgent, with a more purse-friendly price tag.
Our booking for four people had been assigned the best table in the house, right at the back of the restaurant in a private cubby hole. The interior is all dark wood, leather and low lighting, with vintage (French?) film posters and sleek furniture.
We perused the lunch menu: 2 courses for a reasonable £21, or 3 for £25. White wine spritzers were ordered, conducive with an afternoon of work ahead without denying ourselves too much! While we contemplated the menu, we munched on delicious fresh bread (I usually succeed in resisting the bread basket, however this stuff was just too good) with salty butter.
My seasonal vegetable salad starter was elevated by juicy orange segments and a tangy dressing. As a main, I’d ordered posh bangers & mash – the mash had an intense truffle flavour, and was topped with a single sausage, and drenched in a rich gravy. The single sausage was greeted with exclamations from the greedy guys in our party: “I didn’t realise I’d ordered from the kids menu!” yadda yadda yadda… But the flavours were rich enough to compensate for the small-ish portions, and I’d only have fallen asleep at my desk if I’d overeaten.
Would I go back if I myself was footing the bill?
For the prix fixe lunch menu, yes. £25 for 3 courses is pretty reasonable when the service, quality and presentation of the food is taken into account. It’s more expensive for dinner á la carte, however, so I might think twice. I would rather spend my money on cocktails at related The Blind Pig, a ten minute walk away in Soho!
Dates if you want to splash out and impress / you’re hoping your date will be paying!! A good choice for a working lunch too – if you are looking for somewhere quiet enough to discuss business, I’d recommend requesting the private table at the back of the restaurant (seats up to ~6).
5 Pollen Street, Mayfair, W1S 1NE