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Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London

'Meat Fruit' Chicken Parfait, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

British cuisine is indeed quirky, and there's is nothing more quirkier than naming your restaurant Dinner and then serving a mandarin on a wooden block with a buttered piece of toast. It's no secret that this 'Meat Fruit' is in fact chicken liver parfait (a very good parfait in fact) with a mandarin jelly, but still it is impressive that the end product is not a gimmick, and has all the flavour and quality of the best French parfait you could imagine.

View to Hyde Park, Dinner Menu at Heston Blumenthal

Dinner is the brain child of Heston Blumenthal, a well known British chef who looks like he deviated from a Mythbuster's show and somehow ended up in a two Michelin star kitchen. Actually, it makes sense. If you really get down to the nitty-gritty, remove all creative flair, cooking can be a science. Molecular gastronomy they call it, I call it wizardry and Heston is very well known for dabbling in show-stopping food sorcery.

Rice & Flesh, Risotto with saffron and lambs tail - Dinner by Heston

Dinner is one of the few Michelin restaurants in London that have a reasonably priced menu considering it has two stars (my best recommendation is The Glasshouse in Kew). I'm not going to say that it is cheap, after all it is a resident of The Mandarin Hotel in Kensington, right next to No.1 Hyde Park, but it is still very good pricing by London standards. Inside the spacious restaurant are large windows with views to Hyde Park and it's a short cab ride to Royal Albert Hall if you're after a pre-show meal.

A Mandarin?, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

With the Meat Fruit starter we also had the 'al dente' risotto with lamb tail in a saffron sauce, my partner in crime the Chic Geek really enjoyed this dish and great detail was made by the staff in explaining items in the menu including how the food is inspired by old day British cuisine. This was evident as many of the dishes had very interesting contrasting flavours. For me, I think these flavours were best left in the past.

Duck with beetroot sauce and fennel, Dinner by Heston Bluemthal
The beetroot served with my duck in my main course didn't work, it was sour and the smoked fennel was too over powering and I couldn't eat it. In addition to this the duck breast, although beautifully cooked, the skin was slightly rubbery and the fat underneath hadn't been rendered obviously because not enough heat was applied to crisp the skin and melt the fat. In fact, after casting my eye around the room I found the most popular dish - the steak, had also raw un-rendered fat, yellow with no caramelisation. I am surprised by this because the pork chop was cooked just fine.

Greens & 3x Cooked Chips, Iberico Pork Chop - Dinner by Heston
As indicated, the other main was the roast Iberico pork, which was a very well executed dish and had plenty of flavour with the spelt and ham hock working really well on the side. We ordered a side of triple cooked chips (quite salty) and some greens to enjoy as well. To follow the mains we had the tipsy cake which proved to been an excellent choice. It is served in a small iron pot, with a custard base and a side of spit roasted pineapple. Interestingly the pineapple was sour but the cake is so sweet and decadent, it paired very well. The cake itself was quite a treat - nothing too technical, and I would describe it as almost a cross between doughnut and croissant, but executed to perfection.

Tipsy Cake with Spit Roast Pineapple - Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
I felt that the starters and desserts at Dinner were brilliant, it took a little while for service at times and food was being left to sit in the dining area before being presented to the table due to confusion amongst waiting staff, if I was the chef I wouldn't have been impressed.  To be honest I'm not sure why this is two Michelin star (The Petersham in Richmond is outstanding with 0 Michelin) but upon reflection it is a grand restaurant, there lots of tables to cover and this in itself when you're presenting food at this level, must be difficult. Despite the trivial issues it's still a great place to experiment with different flavours but its definitely not the best restaurant in the world.

Exposed kitchen, post meal digestive - Dinner by Heston



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