Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Add: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA
Tel: 020 7201 3833
Hours: [Mon-Sun] 12~2:30pm, 6:30~10:30pm
Price: [lunch set] £36 [a la carte] £55~70
Visited on: Jan 2013
If you are in London or will be there in the near future, go to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and order two things from its menu: meat fruit and tipsy cake.
That is all.
Need more details? Well then. As the restaurant name indicates, Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck is behind the scene, and along with chef Ashley Palmer-Watts he has reworked historical British recipes from as far back as the 14th century. Dinner opened in January 2011, gained a Michelin star within a year, and in 2012 was listed as number 9 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Wowee.
We were lucky to get a window seat overlooking Hyde Park, lively even in the gloomy London weather. Dinner offers a three-course lunch set (£38) as well as a la carte menu, and we decided to give both a try.
For the a la carte starter, a must-order item is Dinner’s signature Meat Fruit (£15). Now, this may look like a a mandarin orange with grilled bread, but…
…slice it open and you’ll realize that it’s actually mandarin gelee enveloping the silkiest, smoothest chicken liver and foie gras parfait. With the smokiness of the grilled bread, it’s perfect.
Starter for the lunch set was Dressed Snails with parsley, beetroot, salty fingers & red wine juice. Loved all the vegetables on this plate – fresh, naturally full of flavors – but don’t remember much about the snails.
Our a la carte main course was Cod in Cider (£27.00) with chard & fired mussels, which was a pleasant if not especially memorable dish.
Main course from the lunch set, Powdered Duck Breast with smoked confit fennel, potato puree & umbles (offals). “Powdered” refers to the brining process that the duck underwent before being cooked sous vide, and the result is slices of tender, succulent breast meat. Smoked confit fennel and potato puree on the side were also excellent.
And now, the Dinner signature dessert - Tipsy Cake (£12) served with spit roast pineapple. This made-to-order dish takes 30 minutes to bake, but is well worth the wait. Served hot in a cute little Staub pot, a golden-brown brioche is soaked in Sauternes, each morsel light and fluffy like a down pillow. LOVE.
Dessert from the lunch menu was Orange Buttered Loaf with mandarin & thyme sorbet. Beneath the caramelized surface is a loaf of moist brioche sandwiching a layer of raspberry jam. Not as unbearably delicious as the tipsy cake, but a very pleasant one nonetheless.
Lastly, a complimentary sweet bite to end to meal: Chocolate Ganache infused with earl grey, served with a caraway biscuit. LOVE, again.
The table next to us ordered the ice-cream trolly, a contraption created by Blumenthal and his team and constructed at a cost of £25,000. It is powdered by a hand crank and can create instant ice-cream at tableside by mixing custard and liquid nitrogen. For those who are interested, each scoop comes £8.
Last words? Meat fruit and tipsy cake, two of the best things I’ve eaten in a while. Must order.