Heston blumenthal’s Dinner @ Mandarin Oriental, London, UK
Dinner, by Heston at Mandarin Oriental Knightsbridge, London- 12pm booking
This was my second time dining at Dinner, and for good reason. Heston is an infamous English Chef who specialises in out-of-the-ordinary dishes. He often cooks using long forgotten dishes from antiquated cook books dating back 400-600 years ago, and is fond of Offal and the nose to tail movement. He is famous for tv shows where he introduced the layman to molecular cooking, using nitrogen for example. His signature restaurant has a couple of Michelin stars and is booked out three months in advance. Believe me, I should know! I spent 4 nights in a row calling their booking number to get a table at exactly 10am UK time (10PM Australia time!) when the lines opened, to no avail. I sat on the waiting list for 3 months before giving up and booking another lunch date at his London restaurant Dinner. Sure, I had eaten there before, but it was amazing the first time, and the menu had changed slightly. So I was still somewhat happy with that.
The bill at the end for 3 people came to a little over $400aud, which IS expensive for lunch, I know. BUT, is a drop in the ocean when it comes to amazing food. And the three of us didn’t leave there thirsty, managing to down a bottle of wine, and several ciders, we also order additional sides and entrees…. Also, It was my friend Liz’s birthday!
We started off with Dressed Snails (1884) and Salamugundy (1720) and an extra order of one of Heston’s most famous dishes Meat Fruit. A dish from 1500’s England that was made to look like fruit, but upon slicing it open reveled the most delicious pate that honestly tasted more like christmas than a mulled wine in front of an open fire. The starters were fantastic, the snails were juicy and delicious, and served outside of their shell nestled in a beetroot salad. Barry’s salamugundy dish was made with Chicken oysters and lashings of horseradish cream. divine! Our mains were Powdered duck breast (1620) and Roast Quail, while Liz ordered Roast Cod with Parsnips… which of course was shared around too. We all had to have a nibble of each other dish, as beautifully as they were presented, they were demolished! By this stage, we were starting to fill up, I wont lie, but we all crammed our mouths full of tender meats and mopped up the juices with the crispy bread. Not a drop was left on our plates. For a table of full people, we certainly took this diving out thing seriously as we ordered 3 more desserts: the Tipsy cake, from 1810 ,made with sherry soaked brioche and pineapple, flambeed. We also had the Millionaires Tart (1730) and Orange Buttered Loaf (1630) I’m not a huge dessert person, but I was blown away by all three desserts, the millionaires tart was probably my favourite, with its chocolatey goodness and decadent vanilla ice cream.
The staff were attentive and well-trained in the menu and the wine list. The ambience of the restaurant was exactly as it was 2 years earlier when it first opened.I did notice more food tourists this time around. For once I wasnt the worst offender for taking photos of the food!