By Greedy Financier
I’m a big Heston Blumenthal fan. I love watching his quirky creations on TV and dining at one of his restaurants has been at the top of my wish list. Well, that wish was finally fulfilled this September when my friends and I dined at not only at The Fat Duck (to be blogged in an upcoming post in the coming weeks), but also his latest Two Michelin starred restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (Dinner).
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal Entrance in the Fancy Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Located in the heart of London, Dinner is easily accessible by transport, and because it has a large dining space, gaining a reservation is not difficult (unlike The Fat Duck!). Having said that, it is quite a sizeable restaurant, catering for many diners, so the dining experience is not quite as intimate or “blow my mind” amazing as The Fat Duck. Nonetheless, Dinner was still pretty fantastic.
Fancy Interiors Overlooking Hyde Park
My friends and I had limited time in London, so opted for a lunch time booking. The menu is the same for lunch and dinner, and you can choose up to 3 courses from an ala carte menu. My friends and I all had different dishes, so there will be plenty of food photos in this post, however, as I didn’t taste their dishes, my comments will be bounded by what I gauged from their reactions and remarks.
I started with Heston’s infamous Meat Fruit. If you’ve watched Masterchef, you will know what I’m talking about. Luscious chicken liver and foie gras (the meat) is neatly sculpted and presented in the shape of a mandarin (the fruit).
Meat Fruit (c.1500) – Mandarin, Chicken Liver & Foie Gras Parfait, Grilled Bread
The end result is this scrumptious combination of rich smooth parfait with a bitter sweet mandarin peel that tastes absolutely divine with the grilled crusty bread.
Meat Fruit – The Inside!
One of my friends started with the cured salmon which had subtle earl grey tea overtones. She commented that it was a fresh and light appetiser.
Earl Grey Tea Cured Salmon (c.1730) – Lemon Salad, Gentleman’s Relish, Wood Sorrel & Smoked Roe
The other friend had the frog’s legs porridge. Although not the most aesthetic dish with its bright green colour, my friend commented that it was indeed quite delicious and flavoursome.
Nettle Porridge (c.1660) – Frog’s Legs, Smoked Beetroot, Garlic & Fennel
For my main, I chose the pigeon. Now I have to admit, although I am Chinese, I have never eaten pigeon before. If there was going to be a first, it was going to be at Heston’s restaurant. The pigeon was perfectly pink and had a nice spice to it. The ale sauce was a tasty accompaniment; however I found it a little overpowering (which is probably why they provide it in a side jug for you to pour yourself).
Spiced Pigeon (c.1780) – Ale & Artichokes
One of my fellow diners also chose a game meat, selecting the duck breast for her main. Once again, the duck was cooked to perfection with a pink middle, and went wonderfully with the fennel.
Powdered Duck Breast (c.1670) – Smoked Confit Fennel & Umbles
The other friend went for a lighter choice, opting for the cod and mussels. According to her the fish was well cooked and very moist.
Cod in Cider (c.1940) – Chard & Fired Mussels
We shared a side of green beans. The beans were obviously cooked in a good amount of butter and had a flavour boost from the shallots.
Green Beans & Shallots
For dessert, I went with Heston’s signature ‘Tipsy Cake’. I had heard good things about this dessert so was expecting quite a lot. The cake was reminiscent of bread and butter pudding except the cake consisted of a sponge soaked in ample amounts of syrupy sauce.
Tipsy Cake (c.1810) – Spit Roast Pineapple
The roast pineapple was sweet and complemented the cake, however, I felt overall the dessert was a tad too sugary, and needed something to balance it out such as a dollop of cream.
Tipsy Cake – Dissected!
My friend loves chocolate, so naturally chose the chocolate cake for dessert. The dessert would definitely satisfy any chocolate craving and combined fantastically with the honey ice cream.
Bohemian Cake (c.1890) – Chocolate, Citrus & London Summertime Honey Ice Cream
My other friend again went for the relatively light option, selecting the strawberry tart. I have to say the dessert was certainly very pretty and had an impeccably quenelled scoop of sorbet.
Tarte of Strawberries (c.1591) – Macerated Strawberries, Chamomile, Orange Blossom Cream & Strawberry Sorbet
To wrap the meal up, we were presented with a delightful little ‘petit four’. A dark chocolate ganache like dessert was served with a delicious biscuit stick, and was a pleasant way to end a scrumptious meal.
Just when we thought lunch had finished, we were given the option of having one last dessert – house made liquid nitrogen ice cream made right in front of you! Having travelled all the way to London to eat at Heston’s restaurant, I couldn’t say no!
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream in the Making!
Vanilla bean ice cream was whipped up in front of us and served in a thin sugared wafer cone. There were 4 ‘dips’ to choose from including hundreds and thousands, popping candy, raspberry candy and hazelnut praline. Definitely a yummy novelty treat!
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
Usually I have trouble picking a favourite course, but in this instance, the Meat Fruit won hands down. It’s certainly a dish worthy of a return trip (or two). Of course, the other dishes were also scrumptious and flawlessly cooked. Whether it be fine dining in the evening or a laid back lunch, I think Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is a restaurant for everyone and all occasions.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, United Kingdom
Lunch: Daily 12.00pm – 2.30pm
Dinner: Daily 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Ph: +44(0)20 7201 3833
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
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