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Pond Dalston

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© Kris Piotrowski
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Dalston
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A new Hawaiian-themed restaurant and bar from the team behind Duke’s Brew & Que who are bringing Pacific cuisine to Dalston.

Pond considers itself a forerunner of the ‘New Hawaiian Cuisine’ wave in London, a trend which, if it’s anything like this Dalston bar and restaurant, will lap meekly on the sand rather than rolling magnificently along the foreshore. In a city where we’re not especially familiar with Old Hawaiian cuisine, opening a place like this is a brave step – more so given that it’s hidden away down an alley off one of Dalston’s edgier squares.
The sizeable former industrial premises have been given an appealing makeover, with metal-framed lighting rigs, lots of leather booth seating and a very smart and long bar. On the evidence of our two visits, the bar is the place to be.

The cocktails we tried were great, with a tropical twist that stopped long before the kitsch clichés of tiki. The Luscious Lanai (£9) was a blend of pineapple sorbet melted into the glass with prosecco, and the awkwardly named Kamm On Baby Light My Fire (£9) mixed Kamm & Sons ginseng spirit with pisco, fresh lime and tiki bitters.

While the low lighting in the bar may work for some, in the dining area you’ll need to use your phone screen to illuminate the menu  – though being able to read ‘wahi inu lama pu pu’ probably sheds no further light.

The menu lists vaguely Hawaiian dishes – Hawaiian food itself a mishmash of American fast food and Japanese influences with a smattering of Polynesian ingredients. The best dish was the deep-fried ‘chips’ of Spam (really), with a crisp coat and fatty interior. Poke is the Hawaiian name for a diced salad, which might include tuna or beef; the poke dish here called ‘bulgogie’ was a beef stir-fry, vaguely resembling the Korean dish of the same name. The Pond lau lau (£18.50) comprised fish and pork steamed in a tough leaf; the pork in ours contained offputting gristle.

Our advice is say aloha (‘hello’) to the bar, where you can admire the ambition of this enterprise; but then say aloha (the second time means ‘goodbye’) to the restaurant and its equally ambitious pricing.

Reviewed by Guy Dimond

 

Venue name: Pond Dalston
Contact:
Address: Unit G2, Stamford Works
3 Gillett Street
London
N16 8JH
Opening hours: 5pm-11pm daily.
Transport: Dalston Kingsland rail
Price: Meal for two with wine and service: around £90.

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
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  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|5
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Allegra d

Wonderful food, really enjoyed the charred avocado and salmon poke. The sushi also tastes super fresh and is generous in its portions. Staff are delightful, and the open industrial space makes a change from dalstons crowded, brunch-led cafes trying to serve dinner night after night.

The drinks are phenomenal, unusual flavour combinations which compliment the food and aren't overly sweet or strong. Pond is filling a gap for somewhere really special for an occasion meal (or just a date-night treat) which is lacking in Dalston. Get the PR wheels rolling a little more and it'll be perfect!

Julius D

Took my boyfriend for his birthday and we had an amazing time. Everything was spot on, the service, the food, the ambience. The restaurant is beautiful and after specially requesting a boot for this special occasion we had an incredible Volcano boot which really topped off the whole experience. I think the service is outstanding, one of the best I've experienced; the waiter explained everything clearly and helped us choose offering good recommendations. My boyfriend had a wonderful end to his birthday so thank you Pond for making our evening special.

Hugo B

Overwhelmed by the flavours and authenticity of the products used. Presentation was immaculate and to say that all my tastebuds were activated is a statement! Slightly pricey, but when food and quality is this good I personally don't have a problem with that! As there are many cuisines combined I would ask the server to explain in more detail the menu for those that may be unsure. 

Kleber R

I went to this hidden gem in an alley In Gillet Square, was received by a lovely girl at the bar and I tried the luscious lannai and my girlfriend had the little island ice tea made with home made cola syrup, great stuff ! Then we move to one of the volcanos boots and our server recommend the Spam nigiri, yes Spam Nigiri !! and the Catfish, when we think we had enough surprises for one evening they offer us a pina colada as dessert , if you go there you need to try this dessert..

Amazing night, fantastic atmosphere and great service , we love it and we're coming back again soon ! 

Martina R

I visited last Saturday with my friend, we sat in a red cushioned booth and ordered the whitebait tacos and the slushie with Tequila, Mezcal (+coconut & pineapple) delicious and deadly, it went down all too easily.


We shared three dishes for the main as were quite hungry, black cod with miso egg, this was my favourite; charred avocado with salmon inside, I've never eaten charred avo before it was surprisingly tasty will have again and taro pot (another first). To finish we shared a goat's cheese parfait with tropical fruits, I was full but found a little extra room. 


I really enjoyed the evening and will return, I like the fact it's tucked away, definitely one to seek out when visiting Dalston (if you can find it - we managed).