Lunch at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
By Jeffrey Chua - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013
Dinner – a weird name for a restaurant. All my life, I grew up thinking dinner is the meal that you eat at night, between 6.30pm to 8pm. But the formal meaning of the word is – the main or biggest meal of the day, which can be eaten during mid day or eveningI have been a fan of Heston Blumenthal’s food ever since I heard about his restaurant in Bray, UK, named the FAT DUCK. But Bray was a bit too far from London. So you can imagine my joy when he opened a restaurant right at the city center. Though this restaurant is manned not by him but his Excutive Chef, Ashley Palmer-Watts, at the Fat Duck, the latter does things like him so I expect no less from the quality and food preparation.
The restaurant was opened in 2011, yet it already got its first Michelin star last year and was voted number nine in the World’s Best Restaurant list.
The concept is, in my opinion, their modern take on British heritage dishes and cooking style, as they got their recipes from cookbooks of the 1300s to 1800s era. Dishes on the menu have the corresponding dates of when they were first cooked in the UK.
The restaurant ambience was nice, very contemporary. If you’re sitted by the window you get the view of Hyde Park.
The service was impeccable. Without you asking, they would refill your glass and bread platter, and also explain the dishes.
To start off we were given warm sourdough bread slices with butter and rock salt – crispy outer shell, chewy yet airy inner body. The butter just spreads so easily and tastes very fresh. The salt adds another dimention to the taste
The appetiser, The Meat Fruit, which comprises a Mandarin jelly, chicken liver and foie gras parfait, and grilled bread (£15.00) has a wonderful presentation. “Everything is edible except the leaves,” says the waiter. It is one of the silkiest, most delicate liver parfait I have ever tasted. The Mandarin jelly cuts thru the richness a bit, and they go perfectly with the toasted bread.
The Roast Scallops (£17.00) comes with perfectly cooked scallops, complemented with a light and refreshing cucumber ketchup.
Fillet of Aberdeen Angus with Mushroom ketchup & triple cooked chips (£38.00). (Aberdeen Angus is the British Equivalent of the Certified Angus Beef from the US.)
The Triple cooked fries is one of the specialities of the restaurant and of Heston. Perfectly crispy with a nice mash potato like interior. The mushroom ketchup tasted smokey like a barbeque sauce.
Black Foot Pork Chop with Hispi cabbage, lardo, ham hock & Robert sauce (£30.00) was an even better main course better than the Angus. It is juicy, tender, with bits of crackling. The sauce and the sides work harmoniously together.
And finally the dessert – Tipsy Cake with Spit Roasted Pineapple. With our stomachs already on cloud nine, this dessert made our lunch at Dinner even better. Note that it is to be ordered in advance or there will be a 20-30 minutes wait. Freshly baked brioche bread basted with cream and a hint of liquer, together with a perfectly roasted caramelised slice of pineapple whose acidity cuts through the richness of the bread.
To cap off the meal… a complimentary Earl Grey infused Chocolate Ganache with caraway seed biscuit. Smooth and delicate. A perfect ending.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
66 Knightsbridge, London
Tel: +44 20 7201 3833