My next favorite meal on our Europe trip was Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.
Prior to arriving in Europe, we didn’t have any intentions of coming here. We knew that it would be super cool to go to the Fat Duck but we didn’t want to spend 160 pounds per person on the tasting menu, especially when you add wine to the bill. The couple that we met in Paris told us that they went to Blumenthal’s pub, the Hind’s Head and recommended that to us. Our plan was to go there. However, on our train ride from Paris to London, the Metropolitan magazine mentioned Blumenthal’s new restaurant. Located in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Dinner is bigger with over 100 plus seats and lower priced than Blumenthal’s Fat Duck. I told my London friend about it and we attempted to make reservations. Open table didn’t have any availability for months. Wait, we know better than to just rely on opentable! We called the restaurant and they told us that dinner reservations were fully booked until July! Whoa. Ok, what about lunch? Apparently they had availability for two on Thursday. Score! We had lunch…at Dinner. Ha!
Between Monday to Friday, they serve a set lunch menu with three appetizers for 28 pounds a person! I wasn’t really interested in the set menu (because we had quail a few times during our trip already) and wanted to try something from the a la carte menu. You’ll notice that after each dish there is a year next to it. This date represents the year the actual recipe came from. The back of the menu also shows which book the recipe came from.
We’ve read that the meat fruit is popular. Good thing I didn’t research what the meatfruit would look like. It was so cute when it arrived! The outside was mandarin with a texture similar to a really moist fruit roll up. The inside had super smooth chicken liver. This was really tasty. The mandarin flavor replaced the typical cornichons you usually get with pate. The grilled bread was nicely grilled, not too tough (I hate when it’s super hard and hurts the roof of your mouth).
I had the powdered duck. The waiter told us that the duck was cooked for over 12 hours. It was sooo moist, fall off the bone tender. It was on top of roasted fennel. Fennel has a subtle anise-y taste to it and complimented the roasted duck well.
❤ had the roast turbot. It was topped with cockle ketchup and leaf chicory. His comment: second best fish I ever had! (first best being Le Chateaubriand).
For dessert I was so full that we shared dessert. In the beginning the waiter told us that the most popular dessert was the Tipsy Cake. It has a spit roasted pineapple that you can see on the spits in the kitchen. If you want to have this dessert, you have to let them know when you order your main entrees. However, we opted for chocolate and ordered the chocolate bar. The inside of the chocolate bar had passion fruit jam and it was served with ginger ice cream. As a side note, we saw the play “Children’s Hour” and during the intermission they served ice cream. Ice cream at a play?! We had the ginger ice cream there and it was yummy. If we hadn’t had the ginger ice cream at the play then this would’ve been a pleasant surprise! Still, it was a great dessert.
In general food in London was meh so this was a pleasant surprise meal for us. Dinner had well executed, tasty dishes. If you’re planning a trip to London, make sure you book reservations the moment you book your plane tickets! This was definitely worth it and I’m so glad we tried it.
Dinner by Heston
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA
+44(0)20 7201 3833