Pond – Licensed To Grill
Pond is a mid-sized independent tapas Preston restaurant, with a homely and distinctive feel. Some may think its bold, warm colours are intimate; others would say enclosing – either way, Pond had character.
Pond’s menu was extensive and all sounded delicious. Diners were spoilt for choice, yet the menu held itself together enough not to disorientate. Pond provided unusual choices, which kept a potentially tired format interesting. Most of the food was very good and was all presented attractively; however, it got carried away with itself in places as the ‘Chicken – Raspberry Pepper’ sounded exciting but had no balance of flavour. I may as well have had a bowl of raspberries. The benchmark for any tapas restaurant is their chorizo; Pond’s sticky chorizo was very generously portioned and didn’t hold back on the chilli. Having tried most of the menu (in a large group), the standout dish was the ‘Luv a duk’, with an incredible depth of flavour. This brought a smile to all who were wise enough to try it. The chilli chocolate ice cream was an interesting way to finish a meal; not for everyone, but certainly a talking point. A leper could count on one hand the number of restaurants that offer memorable dishes in Preston City Centre – this was one of them.
Given the high-quality ingredients and healthy portion sizes, Pond offered average value for tapas in Preston, although being charged for tap water (despite ordering various bottles of wine) seemed below the belt.
Pond’s staff were welcoming but slightly confused by the order. Nor was there the capacity to discuss the food in any regard – the hallmark of good service. I requested Sangria, which although not on the menu, was presumed unchallenging for a tapas restaurant. I can only assume this was the servers first weak attempt at such an exotic concoction.
Pond’s food was sluggish to appear, not a massive issue, but the concept of tapas is to order little and often, not hungrily wait for everything to arrive together. Frustrating as one is forced to wolf down the food while it’s still hot, rather than enjoy the flavours to their full potential.
Overall Pond is a characterful restaurant with some proper cooking going on. It provided an intimate atmosphere and great flavours. Something that Preston city centre is in short supply of.
Pond Review Summary
Atmosphere 8/10 Cost 6/10 Quality 8/10 Service 5/10
*Since this review was first published, Pond is unfortunately no longer with us – hence the lack of link*