What's the draw
Notting Hill is brimming with so many good restaurants – Andina, Caractère and Six Portland Road, to name but a few – that it's especially hard for new contenders to cut their teeth and establish a name for themselves. Rather like opening your doors in Soho or trying to compete against Gloria and Lyle's in Shoreditch, it's, simply put, a bit of a bum fight. But Pomona's is giving it a good go, with a newly appointed head chef in the form of Young National Chef of the Year winner and Million Pound Menu contestant Ruth Hansom, plus an exciting revamped menu focusing on sharing plates of the best of seasonal British produce.
What to drink
It'd be rude not to start your meal with an aperitivo – so with that in mind, be sure to opt for a seasonal margarita, curated by Pomona's mixologist Tiziano Tasso. You're served a spicy jalapeño-infused mix of El Jimador tequila and yellow Chartreuse, topped with fresh cucumber, agave syrup and lime juice; the perfect thirst-quencher (and sourdough accompaniment) pre-meal. If you don't fancy a cocktail, fear not: restaurateur and wine enthusiast Jay Decker – with more than 20 years industry experience, including at Loungelover in Shoreditch – is the newly appointed restaurant director, and he's stocked the drinks menu with enough wines to give you a good selection, but not so many you fear they may not have been chosen with love. We recommend ordering the Portuguese Vega Tinto, a deliciously light 2016 red from winemaker DFJ Vinhos in the Douro region.
What to eat
Choose from menu options 'from the earth', 'from the land' or 'from the sea' – in other words, for vegetarians, meat eaters and pescatarians. If you're after something a little longer, there's a sharing tasting menu and a vegetarian tasting menu option, too. Whether you're a lover or a hater, don't miss the Marmite butter and sourdough, a surprising delight that proves difficult to resist licking directly off the board. Of the starters, the beetroot ceviche is an inventive vegetarian twist topped with sharp, biting sour plum, crunchy smoked almonds and a creamy horseradish dressing; and the smoked potato foam dish is both illusive whilst thwacking your palate with creamy, salty, Clarence Court-yolk fuelled indulgence. The mains are the stars of this show; don't leave without tucking into the halibut, masterfully paired with salty artichoke, sweet and crunchy pickled grape, almond, chervil and fennel broth; the mint gnocchi, marrying an almost caramelised pumpkin terrine in your mouth joyously; or the meaty, hearty chargrilled monkfish, served with a tasty riot of charred sweetcorn, braised oxtail and – wait for it – popcorn. If you'd rather a more meaty main, the duck is also delicious, paired effortlessly with jasmin raisin and sweet apricot. Sweet tooth calling? The champagne-poached strawberries, creamy white chocolate crémeux, meringue and lime sorbet make for a smile-inducingly light summer dish, and the salted caramel of the Valrhona chocolate pudding leaves you wanting more and convinces you (if the rest of the meal hadn't already) that Hansom has successfully put Pomona's very much back on the map.
Mains from £16; sides from £3.50; 47 Hereford Road, W2 5AH; pomonas.co.uk.