At any given moment I have a list the length of my leg (ok, I’m only 5’4’ but still) of “restaurants I’ve been meaning to go too”.
Pond Dalston was one of these restaurants and I finally managed to visit last night!
In what was a white box used for art exhibitions & various pop-ups, the space is unrecognisable. The décor is in keeping with the Hawaiian theme without being too gimmicky. And there are A LOT of pineapples, but who doesn’t like pineapples.
I preferred the front half of the restaurant nearest the bar & open plan kitchen, with big reclaimed wooden tables, as the booths out the back are a bit “generic high street Indian” but look pretty cosy for groups if that’s your thang.
Cocktails varied. We LOVED #GTFOH (£9) but the size of it was a bit tight given the price.
A twist on the beloved tropical classic – The Junebug. Wray & Nephew Rum, Melon, Banana & Coconut liqueurs, freshly juiced pineapple and coconut water – served slushy style with a sherbet rim around the glass.
Pond currently offer a set menu priced at £30 per couple and is the ideal starting point to which then add a couple of extra dishes if you are a larger group (there was 3 of us).
Firstly – don’t be scared of the Spam! You can order it two ways & we loved loved loved, both!
Spam Musubi (included in the set menu) is presented sushi style. Crispy shrimp & rice-coated spam is wrapped with nigiri rice and served with teriyaki sauce.
The crispy spam fries & dip are brilliant too, you can’t come without ordering both.
From the raw menu, Poke Pines is a blend of tuna & salmon and a tasty take on ceviche in coconut & lime with thai basil oil & topped with day glow fish roe.
Pork Belly is served DIY style – wrap the naughty meat in lettuce cups and cover in the spicy dressing before quickly shoving in your month so you don’t miss a drop!
Not included in the set menu was the whole Seabass (£24), served head to tail covered in the most summery of chili spiked coconut milk and dotted with whole prawns.
Staff are super hipster and look like they are a bit bored of the “surprised about Spam” comments they must hear on a daily basis. But they are all good looking and we are in a square round the back of Dalston eating Hawaiian fusion, so I guess this can be overlooked.
The bill arrived in an old Spam tin and came to about £60 a head with 2 cocktails each and a bottle of wine between 3.
We’ll be returning – where else can you eat such great spam in London, or Hawaii for that matter??