Dinner by Heston Blumenthalhttp://www.hot-dinners.com/media/reviews/photos/original/d1/e6/0f/942_dinnerheston1_129666017070.jpg
Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
Latest critic review: March 22, 2014
Hot Dinners Test Drive
Great food, great fun
The food is what you expect - top top quality. What really make this place special is the staff and their service. They know how to make a meal really good fun.
Where was the excitement ?
Okay, we went last night,
It was all good food... But there was nothing massively different..
No exploding puddings, nothing you couldn't get elsewhere..
I thought all his work was about being different...
Whilst it didn't meet expectations the food was good the people were overly attentive and the price well the price was rather high as expected..
Thought the Gavroche was allot better ...
Sleek and industrial from start to finish with a small blip. The service was impressive; very professional and thoughtful. However, there was a few errors e.g. unordered items made appearance on the bill, the wooden floor made the footsteps of the staffs a little bit too noticeable, water was spilled while being poured, etc (I am a bit too critical here).
Same went to the food. Overall, the food was really impressive. The fruit meat was genius and fun. The mandarin jelly was a nice companion for a very smooth liver parfait. The only criticism was the bread which was charred a bit too much and with a bit too much oil. The char and the oil nearly overpowered the liver. Pork chop was one of the best I've tried. Thick cut of meat, juicy and succulent...but made even better by the addition of spelt and ham parcel. Triple cooked chips were just perfect. Tipsy cake was basically splendid. The brioche was warm, moist and custardy accompanied by a perfectly spit roasted piece of pineapple. Perfect dessert for autumn and winter.
I really love the interior of the restaurant. Floor-to-ceiling glass window with a view of Hyde Park on one side and a view of semi-open kitchen on the other.
Dinner is a great restaurant serving fantastic food with great service. It truly deserves the hype and a Michelin star. However, there are still a few things to be addressed to bring it to perfection and, well, the second star!
A last minute flight of fancy led us to call up and book for lunch. It took no time at all to hit the right buttons on the telephone and get through to make our booking. On arrival we were greeted by the smiliest team of waiters, maitre de (s) and support staff. The atmosphere in the room was eclectic to say the least. A family of tourists sat behind us with two well-behaved boys (both under 12), a few ladies were lunching, there were a smattering of foodies and a lot of curious others (us included) all excited by the lunch-time set menu. We were not disappointed.
The lemon salad and goats curd was abundant, tasty and hit the mark to clear our palates and fill the gap as we headed for the mains. The pigs ears on toast were incredibly fulsome in flavour although not as filling or abundant as the salad. It was the mains I am afraid where we felt the restaurant only hit a 9.0 and not 10 out of 10.....the salmon was cooked to perfection but (and I hate to say it) a little boring. Nice with the beetroot and you couldn’t fault the flavour but no wow-factor. On the other side of the table my guests were warned the quail was going to be served pink, no deducted points for communication - but was not as tasty as one would have liked. The supporting cast for the quail was a little lacking and overall we felt the dish just didn’t deliver.
Pudding made up for everything, I loved the chocolate wine and the salty sweetness of the millionaires tart finished off the perfect lunch. But it was the orange buttered loaf which we all agree was the winning dish - deepfried, caramelly, orangey goodness with a lovely sweet sorbet to help you feel like you have achieved one of your five a day. A superb crispy white wine was recommended, not too pricey which us to feel like we had been spoilt rotten without being utterly ripped off.
A little gift from Heston at the end by way of a ..... well I won't ruin it - a lovely touch and totally unnecessary as we left smiling and full.
What an experience!
We had lunch at Dinner by Heston and it was a real experience. The dining room is airy and light with full length windows looking out onto Hyde Park and, for those lucky enough, a view into the glass boxed kitchen to see the culinary delights taking shape.
We started with the meat fruit and the porridge - the latter being my highlight - oats cooked in herbs - like a risotto in terms of consistency - with sweet, tender cod cheeks. The meat fruit didn't fail to impress either - possibly the smoothest, lightest parfait humanly achievable. Main courses were equally sublime - Powdered Duck and the the BlackFoot Pork Chop - the meat in each so tender it almost melted on the tongue. Dessert was the tipsy cake - reminiscent of school dinners in an oh so good way - and the only thing that didn't do it for me - the brown bread ice cream, the tartness of which was just too much of a challenge for the savoury/sweet salted caramel sauce that accompanied it. All washed down by a lovely bottle of red - although the wine list prices are fairly eye watering. A meal to remember and definitely a place to return to should I be so lucky.
Wow says it all, the food was amazing but just that little bit different, the staff friendly but professional and the room has a lovely outlook. We were suckers for the reviews and I amde sure that one of our group had the meat fruit which was differnt but delicious. The mackerel, scallops and chicken oysters (muscles behind the wing of a chicken, very nicely explained and not patronising) were all great.
Then in any other restaurant for us all to have steak would have been boring but I shared a wing of rib, best taste ever, the 72 hour cooked steak had a completely different taste and the sirloin again cooked a different way was sublime. We shared a tipsy pudding and could have eaten another one.
Drinks were expensive but this an amazing restaurant in a 5 star hotel in london so you just have to be careful. It certainly had the wow factor.