Sunday, March 03, 2013

DINNER by Heston Blumenthal @ Mandarin Oriental London



The main meal of the day, taken either around midday or in the evening.
A formal evening meal, typically one in honour of a person or event.

                                                                                                                                       From Old French disner

How could a trip to London be complete without a main meal at Heston Blumental's Dinner at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park? Knowing that I could not even score a seat at Fat Duck which is in West Berkshire (40 over minutes and 29 miles away from Hyde Park), I decide to try my chances and made a reservation at Dinner using Toptable 1 month in advance. Hallelujah!!! I managed to secure a table for 2 but I had to take the 6.30pm session which is all fine for me.

I arrived there with my partner slightly earlier than the allocated time. All the other diners who are there for the same dinner reservation time are being seated at a bar area where we can have a pre-dinner drink before being escorted by the staff to our table. I love the interior of the restaurant which is elegant, glass walls from floor to ceiling which makes the dining area looks bigger and spacious. The porcelain sconces in a shape of jelly moulds decorated the walls together with iconic chandeliers that hang from the ceiling all made this place looks bespoke. There's also a view of the kitchen where you can see the chef and staff sometimes putting up a show for the diners.

For starters, we were served a platter of sourdough toast which is like a country bread with a cripsy crust and a tender bread texture and a slab of butter with a sprinkle of sea salt. Simple yet delicious to start off with while waiting for our entrees.

I love the menu not only because it was simple to navigate but because each dish has a reference to the source of origin. So, you'll know exactly which era does the dish originate from and even from which cookbook! It's like a thesis with book referencing. The concept here is not exactly like Fat Duck which is more to molecular gastronomy and Dinner is more like a fine-dining version of brasserie that recreates historical recipes and their menu doesn't burn a big hole in your pocket.

Broth of Lamb £15
(1730 The complete Practical Cook by Charles Carter)
There's a slow cooked hen's egg, celery, radish, turnip and veal sweetbreads all immersed in the wonderful aroma of lamb broth.

Roast Marrowbone £15.50
 (1720 The Cook's and Confectioner's Dictionary by John Nott)
I wouldn't give any marrowbone a miss in the menu. I love the combination of the butter of the Gods with snails, parsley, anchovy, mace and picked vegetables. It was a match made in heaven for marrowbone with snails. Both has buttery textures and a meaty flavour and I really like it. Must be my obsession with marrowbones...

Spiced Pigeon £34 
(1780 The Ladies' Assistant and Complete System of Crookery by Charlotte Mason)
The pigeon is seved in slices that is interwined with grilled artichokes and ale gravy. Can you just look at the lovely pink meat? It's heavenly, tender and melts in the mouth.

Beef Royal
72 hour Slow cooked short rib of Angus, smoked anchovy & onion puree, Ox tongue
When they say slow cooked, it's really true! The beef is cooked sous vide at 56°C for 72 hour and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The beef was so juicy and tender!

Triple cooked chips
I was highly recommended by the staff to order this. And since I love fries, why not?!! These triced cooked chips are a feature of Heston Blumental. It's cooked in 3 stages - parboil, freezed dry  for 1 hour and then deep fry with rapeseed oil until golden brown and crispy. Ooh.. they are addictive!

2009 Flowers Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast £125
This time, I had the priviledge to choose the wine and I have asked the reservations to send me the wine list in advance. I decided to try something different as my partner is really knowledgeable on French wines but he definitely hasn't any clue on wines from California. The wine has a bright ruby colour. Aromas of blackberries and orange peel and on the palate, you'll get some black cherries, bright acidity with a medium lingering finish. 

A wonderful and delicate pinot from California. Coincidentally, I happen to have 2 bottles at home too. I think I got those 2 bottles for something like SGD$160.

A complimentary dessert of chocolate ganache with orange blossom. On the side was a crispy caraway biscuit.

Tipsy Cake £12
(1810 The English Cookery Book by J.H. Walsh)
If you don't have space for dessert, you have to force yourself to a serving of this tipsy cake. The effect of this cake is more than tipsy, it's out of this world. Served in a small Staub cocotte, this cake looks firm on the outside but inside it's airy and tender. 
Pic from thegourmetbelle
The pineapples are slowly roasted on ‘a contemporary stainless steel pulley system modeled on a 16th century design for the Royal British Court’s kitchens, the gears and cranks of which resemble the craftsmanship of an oversized watch, mechanically rotating a spit over an open fire' resulting in a juicy and not fibrous slice of pineapple. The Tipsy Cake is now a permanent feature on the menu.

The Tipsy cake is so good and heavenly. Even my partner has to agree with me on that and I wouldn't mind having it as an entree as well. Overall, the service was excellent. We were given ample attention from the familiar staff that served us throughout the night and thus the personal touch was something I really liked. They even attend to my request to have a nice table by the window and also followed through some of the surprises I arranged. Very nice!

The bill came up to something around £300+ and it was expected from this restaurant of 1 Michelin Star and also ranked #9 on the World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2012. But most importantly, I had the most wonderful evening there.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park,
 66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA
Tel - +44(0)20 7201 3833


suituapui said...

Mandarin Oriental? Same chain as the one in KL?

timing said...

Didn't try the Meat Fruit? That one was my favorite dish of my entire lunch session at Dinner.

Sean said...

heh, i failed at getting a Fat Duck reservation too! i should have tried DINNER! i'm obsessed with marrow bone too, and i'd greedily finish that entire plate. the beef dish looks amazing too. red meat heaven! :D

Chef and Sommelier said...

Nice Eiling! How do you compare DINNER with the other restaurants that you visited during this trip?

BTW, I had my eyes set on the Roast Marrowbone!

Flowers Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are fantastic wine from Sonoma... Good choice.

eiling lim said...

STP: I think so since they have the same logo as well.

Timing: I knew the meat fruit was a feature of Dinner but I prefer a bone marrow anytime. Great to know you had a good lunch there too.

Sean: I'm sure you will have to book Fat Duck months in advance. Yeah the marrowbone was really good.

Chef and Sommelier: Dinner makes simple but tasty dishes and I like the ambiance and service. Hibiscus has more interesting and creative dishes and a more private and personal dining experience but some dishes were a little too salty. And L'Atelier de JR is great throughout dinner but the dining area is a little too box-like. In the end, I think Dinner fits my bill. Thanks and I like Flowers too.

KY said...

I am slightly jealous now, eiling!

AugustDiners said...

ommmms noms! everything here look delicious! definitely goes to my list of michelin restaurant to tackle when im in town!

Huai Bin said...


The roast marrowbone! I'll love to have that! It looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

Ur hairstyles really dun suit you. Make ur face look round like moon. Maybe previously it looks good, now make u age another 10 years

eiling lim said...

KY: Ok we are jealous of each other!

August Diners: You should. Service was great!

Huai Bin: With snails ok... damn yummy

Anon: Well, I like it.

missyblurkit said...

I read...then reread...and spent the rest of the minutes oogling on the pictures. The marrowbone...OMG...I want it!

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