Pomona’s review: All the wonder of a beachfront bistro, impeccably presented in London’s Notting Hill

The relaxed Cali-vibe of Pomona’s restaurant provides a happy contrast with their very serious attitude towards food – Alexandra Fraser visits to discover their new menu, spearheaded by Executive Chef Mark Lloyd.

Nestled in the heart of Notting Hill near the tourist trap that is Portobello Road lies a quiet bistro, the unassuming exterior of which belays the diligent care and and attention given to every dish and drink which moves from kitchen to table.

There new Executive Chef Mark Lloyd, former forager and presenter of River Cottage Chef, has created a menu exciting enough to entice the discerning Londoner from the warmth of their flats to the relaxed, Cali-vibe of Pomona’s restaurant.

The cocktail list is the perfect first stop on the journey through Lloyd’s new menu. Most of the classics are still present, although each has been given their own signature twist.

For those who prefer a bitter beverage, try the Negroni. Apparently on the sweet side of your typical Negroni, it was still too sharp for my taste, but suited the taste of my partner (who doesn’t need ten teaspoons of sugar to call something a cocktail).

A refreshing cross between a bellini and a mojito, the Bazil & Yuzu Bellini is exactly the kind of drink to cool someone down after a hot day of shopping or, in my case, warm them up after a chilly walk from the tube. The basil bite acts an unexpected touch of sophistication to the deceptively simple drink. 

For the vegetarians among you, the carrot starter features carrots like you’ve never seen had them before. If my decidedly not-vegetarian starter had not been quite so incredible, I would have been tempted to switch over for our next meal out.

Pomona's menu Notting Hill

The highlight of the meal had to be the Fallow Carpaccio featuring stunning, thinly-sliced heaven that could make even the most valiant pescetarian sway from his morals. Elegantly combined with truffle and the smallest hint of sourdough toast, this dish is a perfect example of Mark’s rustic yet refined menu.

If you’re hungry between courses, order the salty focaccia to satiate you– the artichoke dip is to die for.

burger Pomona's

It’s a testament to the Carpaccio that the Yorkshire Wagyu burger which followed was not the highlight of my evening. The flavours burst in your mouth. If you’re going to double down on meat, Pomonas is the place to do it.

Pomona's menu Notting Hill

The Pumpkin and Lentil Dhal with Tandoori Cauliflower had a wonderful kick to it and the added merit of being both full of flavour and gluten free, a feat not easily accomplished.

The manager’s recommendations for wine pairings with dinner are a safe bet – we enjoyed a gorgeous Malbec and Rioja respectively with our meals.

polentaPomona's menu Notting Hill

The dessert menu is small and simple. The polenta cake is simple and the accompanying yogurt sorbet refreshing.

The chocolate fondant is decadent without being too rich, good enough that it can make one promptly go back on a traditional ‘let’s get both and share them’ agreement. ‘It was good’ he said, while he finished my agreed half, remarking particularly on the deliciousness of the caramelised bananas which top the delightful chocolate. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t know.

Prices start from around £68 for three courses for two people, excluding drinks. To see the Pomona menu, including their Christmas and New Years menus, click here.