Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
There are 2 key things I want to say about this place: 1) I think this place is jinxed and has bad aura; 2) this is not the 7th best restaurant in the world and the best in UK as it is currently ranked (note the Michelin guide only gives it 1 star, which is more like it).
I first went to Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner last year after it had just been opened with my ex (then current) boyfriend. This time I went there with my current boyfriend, and out of 40 tables where they could put me, they put me at the same exact one I was sitting at a year ago. Last year when I was there I had a massive fight with my ex, which led him to walk out on me and leave me on my own to pay the bill. Note this time I only paid half the bill and did not have any arguments in the restaurant but we managed to have a small fight after the dinner in the taxi! So overall the trend is improving but still I feel like this place has bad karma and leads me to argue with people.
Heston Blumenthal’s idea is great, at Dinner, which is located in the beautiful Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge (and in my view has the best spa in London), Heston offers dishes that come from previous centuries and he has reinvented them, so you can have dishes dating back to 14th century that have been researched from the British Library, and some of these dishes are full of creativity and imagination and are definitely worth visiting Dinner for, but unfortunately these are a minority and the rest are just good restaurant type of dishes but not the 9th best in the world. The idea behind the name of the restaurant is interesting too though, the definition of the world “dinner” is the main meal that a person would have during the day, and Heston explains how the time when people have their main meal has shifted as it used to be during lunchtime when there was still light, but with the use of candles the time shifted to evening, but at Dinner Heston still wants you to have this as your main meal of the day.
When we arrived we went to the bar for a nice cocktail and in the same bar that belongs to Dinner and my boyfriend spotted there Jordan without make up and the CEO of Barclay’s retail bank. I saw the CEO but Jordan was looking so different, I could not see her on the occasion when I pretended to go to the bathroom to take a look at her. As a starter I decided to go for Heston’s signature dish, the meat fruit from the 15th century, which is a chicken liver mousse created to look like a mandarin orange, and I actually saw a TV programme a long time ago that showed how Heston came up with this idea, and this dish is brilliant. It is creative, amazing to look at and delicious. My boyfriend had the “Broth of Lamb” dating back from c.1730 which besides the broth included a slow cooked hen’s egg, celery, radish, turnip & veal sweetbreads, and this was also delicious and beautifully presented.
The main courses I thought though were not good enough for the 7th best restaurant in the world. I had the Black Foot Pork Chop dating back to 1860 which was their main course signature dish and was served with Hispi cabbage, lardo, ham hock & Robert sauce and I was not impressed at all, essentially it was a pork chop, nice, but not amazing served with cabbage and bacon, which were not inspiring at all and quite tasteless and too much for £30. Boyfriend had one of their specials for that night which was a Beef Royal served with some vegetables and even though the meat was nice and tender, it cost £34 and is the smallest piece of meat for that price I have seen. As a side dish we shared some fries that were served with Heston’s mushroom ketchup, which is another creative and cool thing, and I love this mushroom ketchup, very interesting and tasty. For desert we had another one of Heston’s signature dishes that I thought was super tasty, and that you have to order at the start of your meal as it takes them minimum 15 minutes to cook it, the Tipsy Cake dating back to c.1810) which was served with Spit roast pineapple, and as the boyfriend was feeling super greedy he decided to get another desert the Brown Bread Ice Cream from c.1830 which was served with Salted butter caramel, pear & malted yeast syrup an that he thoroughly enjoyed.
So as I said some of the dishes are amazing, but Heston seriously needs to work on others. And this is also one of those restaurants on the list of top 100 that I do not understand how got on that list so high up.
Price for 2 including a bottle of wine and service charge: £216.16