Executive chef Colin Clague says that "When you first step into the Flower Dome it's like stepping into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory!" and we can think of no better analogy. The curving majesty of the glass dome looms over you, and if you’re there during the day, you’ll find yourself surrounded by colourful flora of all types. Stop and take a deep breath, and you’ll notice the tantalising scents of lavender and rosemary amidst the sweet bouquet of the flowers that seem as numerous as stars in a clear night sky. The very first time we visited Pollen, we were speechless. And considering how verbose some of the Chope team are, that’s no easy feat.
The modern European fare with a Mediterranean twist is the centrepiece of this arrangement however, and chef Atherton makes that clear. There is no compromise on creativity or produce; the restaurant grows their own herbs in the dome, and there’s a dignified simplicity in the dishes on offer. Signature dishes like the slow cooked egg with bravas and scallop ceviche are of course must-tries, with other eye-catching items like the crab vinaigrette with nashi pear and cauliflower definitely worth at least a dabble. Honestly though? We recommend you simply explore the menu on your own time. It’s an adventure you shouldn’t miss. (Jul 2012)