A couple of Fridays ago, I managed to get a last minute reservation for two at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. This restaurant only opened its doors in 2011 but has already earned one Michelin star and was the highest new entry for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2012, earning the 9th spot. Needless to say, I was very very excited to dine there. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal serves British food but no, not the typical British food that you’re thinking of right now. The restaurant serves food inspired by recipes from the 13th to 19th century.
We went for the a la carte menu and had champagne and bread with salt-sprinkled butter while waiting eagerly for our starters to arrive..
My starter was the Salamugundy (c.1720)
The Salamugundy was amazing. It consists of chicken oysters, salsify, marrow bone & horseradish cream. The chicken oysters were perfectly cooked, crisp outside, soft inside. The horseradish cream was thick but not too rich. The leaves were an excellent touch, and prevented the dish from becoming too heavy.
My dining partner had the Meat Fruit (c.1500)
The Fruit Meat consists of mandarin, chicken liver and foie gras parfait with a slice of grilled bread. My dining partner was told that she could eat everything on the plate. To which she playfully replied “Can I eat the stalk as well?”. The fruit meat looked like a perfect little clementine and, when cut, revealed a creamy chicken liver and foie gras parfait. My dining partner finished every bit of her starter, not including the stem of course.
My main course was the Black Foot Pork Chop (c.1860)
The black foot is a reference to the Spanish Pata Negra, which is used to make the cured ham, iberico. Sadly, I did not enjoy this dish. The meat was way too dry and the huge thick slab of pork was not appealing to me at all. I was very disappointed because this was supposed to be one of the more popular mains and I had ordered it because it was very highly recommended by the wait staff. The hipsi cabbage side however, was delicious.
My dining partner had the special of the day, which was the Mattalia pie (c.1660)
The Mattalia Pie contains confit pigeon lef, veal sweet breads, devilled lamb kidneys, lambs tongue, cucumber hearts and smoked bone marrow with lamb sauce on the side. My dining partner was surprised they served lamb kidneys and tongue together, however the dish was executed perfectly. My dining partner found the dish so unique that she insisted that the maitre d’ write down the exact description of the dish for her.
My dessert was the famous Tipsy Cake (c. 1810)
The Tipsy Cake was excellent, it lifted up my mood after having a disappointing main course. The brioche was light and fluffy and it was soaked in a warm creamy sugary sauce mixed with brandy (hence the name). I love brioche by itself but this, this was amazing. And whenever you feel like the brioche or sauce was getting too rich (P.S. It was never, at any point in time, too rich or creamy for me), just cut a piece of the sweet and citrusy spit-roasted pineapple to get rid of the creamy texture in your mouth. I would definitely recommend this dessert. Do remember to order it at the start, because it takes 40 minutes to make it.
My dining partner had the seasonal Autumn Tart (c. 1720)
The tart consists of roast figs, blackberries, cinnamon with a scoop of black currant sorbet on the side. I had a bite of this, and it was very flavourful indeed. Definitely a refreshing end to the meal.
Lastly, we had a complimentary Earl Grey shortbread and a little cup of Chocolate ganache
It was a nice touch, however I think that we were too full from our meal to fully enjoy this.
Overall, the meal was excellent. For me, the highlights were the starters and the Tipsy Cake. The dishes were very well executed and the wait staff was attentive and very helpful. We felt very comfortable and did not feel rushed at all despite the noise and the buzzing crowd. The menu at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is extremely special and so-very-British. I hope to return again, this time to try the tasting menu. I would definitely recommend dining here, however getting a table may be a slight problem (I heard that they are fully booked till next year…)
Ambience: 3/5 Forks (it was a little too noisy in my opinion, probably due to the crowd)
Service: 4/5 Forks
Food: 4/5 Forks
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park,
66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
Monday – Sunday