Dinner by Heston Blumenthal was a highly anticipated restaurant when it opened in January 2011, probably the hottest restaurant opening in London that year. For those not familiar with the name Heston Blumenthal he is one of the handful of British chefs behind a three Michelin star restaurant, Fat Duck in Brey. He is a self-taught chef playing in the field of molecular gastronomy. However, molecular gastronomy is not what defines Dinner. It is rather the history of the dishes that stands out, along with meticulous execution. The menu is filled with reinvented old British recipes, some dating back a few centuries. The style leans towards rich and earthy flavours.
Heading the kitchen of Dinner is Ashley Palmer-Watts, ex-head chef and veteran of Fat Duck.
Behind the wines and keeping the sommelier team in shape is the very knowledgeable Master Sommelier João Pires.
The dining room is large and spacious which makes you forget that you’re in a room with over one hundred diners. The well groomed staff leaves nothing to chance when it comes to creating an unforgettable dining experience.
Broth of lamb is one of my favourites among the starters. It’s a fun mix of flavours and textures. The lamb consommé has nice intense flavours. The egg, cooked for 1.5 hours in 61°C, achieves this semi-solid yolk that I don’t have patience or equipment to do at home. It mixes well in with the broth together with the herbs that gives some kick to the dish.
We shared a second starter, the Meat Fruit. This is the signature dish at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and most likely the best selling one. While being a very good dish in all aspects I think it’s the playfulness that makes it so successful. Hidden beneath the orange mandarin jelly skin is a smooth and rich parfait made of a wonderful blend of foie gras, chicken livers, white port, brandy, ruby port and Madiera. As hinted by the ingredients it is quite a rich dish. The parfait is very smooth and doesn’t feel too heavy. Crispy smoky char-grilled sour dough bread was served on the side.
This was another nice dish. The sous-vide prepared pigeon was great with artichokes in the ale sauce.
Tipsy Cake is a quite straight forward dessert. Baked Brioche is baked together with brandy and Sauternes. The result? A boozy soft cake soaked in sweetness. With it comes spit roasted pineapple. It’s a guilty treat if you like rich and more heavy desserts.
The Tipsy Cake used to be my favourite favourite dessert at Dinner but now I prefer the finesse of the Taffety Tart. It’s a beautifully assembled dessert with fennel, candied lemon, crystallised rose petals, apple and caramel jelly. I like the mix of textures and pockets of flavours that are well balanced.
For more photos from Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, please visit my Flickr set.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
London SW1X 7LA
Tel. +44 (0)20 7201 3833