…Well almost. It’s not the best looking blog (yet), but that is going to take me time and time is one thing I haven’t had for a while. Maybe the upcoming long weekend will give me a few days to work this thing out. Let’s see.
I also don’t have a great camera and all the blogs I seem to be reading at the moment have great pictures. There will be a bit of beg, steal and borrow involved for a while, but I’ll get there in the end and you will just have to put up with me!
DINNER BY HESTON:
So, it’s old news (great start to a fresh blog), but a few weekends ago our long-awaited booking at Dinner By Heston finally came into play. I booked our table way back sometime at the beginning of this year, and it was more than well worth the wait. Getting dressed for the occasion wasn’t easy. I mean… What does one wear to dinner in Knightsbridge? As usual I settled for one of the three same outfits I always wear. So, yes. Sort of easy then. But also a bit depressing.
Our booking was for 9.45pm and by this time we were obviously starving. I did try to plan not to be too hungry as I’m not rich enough, or silly enough, to allow Alex to walk in to any food place other than somewhere en par with Pizza Express (with a voucher) and order on an empty stomach! Once we found our way into the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, we were taken to a table tucked away by the window with a view, albeit a dark one, of Hyde Park and handed the wine menu. Always a terrific start in my books.
The wine menu was immense and way out of our price range. We had to skim a few pages before we hit a bottle that was around £20. It was pleasant enough but obviously not what everyone else was drinking. Scanning the tables it seemed most people had glasses of champagne, bottles galore and then some. Jealous, me?…never! We were quite obviously the poorest people there that night, but we were extremely lucky to have been there at all. The atmosphere and decor of the restaurant was lovely – High ceilings, Jelly mould shaped lamp shades and just the right level of noise to make it enjoyable and relaxing.
I already knew I was going to have the meat fruit before we arrived. I’m a sucker for anything liver that spreads on bread as I’m meant to be on a wheat free diet and I obviously don’t like to follow the rules. It was an amazing choice, the smoothest chicken liver parfait with a coating of Mandarin Jelly and plenty big enough to nearly half it with Alex. Lucky him! Alex opted for the Hay Smoked Mackerel which was served with a Lemon Salad and Gentleman’s Relish. He loved it. He loves expensive food as do I. He loves to be thought of as a gentleman even more so. At some point the waitress asked him if he’d like more bread and this is something he will never again agree to after the bill came in at £9 – I mean who pays £9 for 4 slices of bread! …Us obviously.
The mains all looked fabulous but after MUCH deliberation I opted for the Black Foot Pork Chop with Pointy Cabbage and Robert Sauce. It was delicious but not as amazing as the starter. Alex went for the Powdered Duck with Smoked Fennel and Potato Puree – Quite a rich dish that had been slow cooked for 9 hours.
I had to order my Tipsy Cake at the start of our meal as we were informed it took a while to cook. THE most amazing pudding I’ve ever eaten which consisted of spit roast pineapple and brioche (soaked in a cognac infused custard) cooked in a tiny cocotte. No wonder this is the restaurants signature dish. I’ve recently read that the giant metal clock gears that turn the pineapple spit were designed by a watchmaker friend of Heston’s. Nice little fact there for you.
Alex had the Brown Bread Ice Cream which also delivered the wow factor.
Just when we thought we could eat no more ever again along came a final treat of a white Chocolate and Earl Grey Ganache with a caraway biscuit. Pure Heaven!
I for one will most definitely return to eat here again. The service was impeccable and one thing I liked about the place was that the waiters seemed to know we were one of their lower budget visitors and treated us just as well. We were quite careful about what we ordered (apart from the little bread faux pas) and ended up paying around £75 per head (inc service) which I thought was fantastic given that the size of the dishes were pretty hefty and that we had nearly a good 3 hours in a wonderful setting. Without the wine and extras you could do this on a minimum of £42… Which is not bad going for the quality.
Starters were priced from £12.50 – 16.00. Mains at £20.00 – 32.00. Desserts were a pretty reasonable £8.00 – 10.00.
I’d advise you book your spot now – You will have time to save as they are taking bookings a few months in advance.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental
020 7235 2000