Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
I used to live in London. Yeah I used to like my food and still take pictures of it but I never used to do anything with those photos except maybe post them in an album on Facebook.
Nowadays I have a food blog and an Instagram account purely dedicated to food.
So a few years back when I did a small Euro trip I stopped into London for 4 days and wanted to enjoy some Fine Dining with friends.
We made a booking at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. A cab arrived to take us to the Mandarin Oriental hotel. I love the hotels in London, as they have so much charm and character. We we’re pointed in the direction of the restaurant and walk in to notice a sign – ‘some filming may be taking place during our dinner’. We got excited that the man himself might make an appearance but unfortunately for us that was not the case.
The 2013 Argentinian Malbec priced at 55GBP for a bottle was enjoyed immensely by the table.
Entree – Meat fruit. This ingeniously disguised pate shaped as a mandarin was as rich as it was moreish. With every bite that citrus punch against the richness of meat was unique but addictive. I made my fellow diners try it as well to make sure I was not exaggerating. Priced at 18.50GBP, I thought it was quite reasonable.
For mains, I decided against red meat (as I’d eaten a lot of that recently) and there was no pork option so I went for the chicken; whilst my friends ordered the beef & duck. When the mains arrived I instantly regretted not ordering the same.
My chicken arrived like a roulade but without any stuffing. A breast piece of meat with some lightly seasoned skin attached, lying on mashed potatoes and gravy next to a lettuce boat with horseradish. It’s a little under cooked and therefore too soft on my palette which turns me off and I’m left with food envy. My friends duck breast is 1000 x better but too small to share much of it, whilst my other friend polishes off her 3 pieces of beef fillet with a side of green veg.
Dessert was not an option but a necessity as this stage. The brown bread ice cream was ordered but not well received. The salted butter caramel tasted burnt which overpowered the whole dish. I could not even finish it.
After expressing my disappointment to the waiters they quickly bring over the ice cream cart. It’s vanilla bean ice cream made in front of your eyes with liquid nitrogen and a choice of 4 toppings. It was all lights and show but no action. Far from the most amazing ice cream I’ve ever had so overall I’m left feeling underwhelmed.
OK so maybe I ordered the wrong thing for the main & desserts but besides my appetizer I had myself wondering what I missed out on that made this restaurant number 36 on the world’s 50 best restaurant at that point in time??? Someone please tell me. I wish I had more time in the UK as I would of rather hired a car and drove all the way out to Fat Duck in Maidenhead. Maybe I was already annoyed at the staff member who grabbed my phone and took selfies rather than a picture of me and my guests. For a Fine Dining restaurant I found it to be very unprofessional.
It had me wondering if the branch in Melbourne is any better? Have you visited Dinner by Heston In London or Melbourne? If so, what was your experience like? I’d love to hear from you!