Much has been said of Heston's new venture, mostly good, none shockingly awful. This is because he clearly knows how to run a kitchen and to make ordinary ingredients taste exceptional. He is a genius. It's been an amazing rise to fame, the ordinary kid from High Wycombe who ate the same rubbish at school as we all did is now one of the top chefs on the planet. Good luck to him, I say, it was only a matter of time until he launched a London money spinner.
Dinner is more accessible, affordable and every day than the Fat Duck and whilst I didn't love it as much, it is predictably now one of my favourite places to eat in the city. I can't wait to go back and try more of the menu, here's what I had on my first visit back in March.
Bread, sourdough and wholemeal, brilliant crusts and lovely creamy butter. Excellent, seconds were offered and declined, I've learned, at long last, not to fill up on the bread course.
My starter - roast scallops with cucumber ketchup and borage (or starflower). A very pretty and delicate dish, perfectly cooked molluscs.
The meat fruit for Thomas, smaller than I expected it to be, I thought it could do with more toast but Thomas disagreed. I preferred this to the scallops as it had more of a wow factor visually and on the palate.
My favourite part of the meal was my black foot pork chop served with cabbage and robert sauce (brown mustard). I also had some pureed potato on the side and I savoured every mouthful. By miles the best pork chop I have ever had I could quite happily eat this every day for the rest of my life. Perfect. Thomas' main course of black angus sirloin with mushroom ketchup and triple cooked chips was also memorable for it's flavour and execution, with a couple of dots of marrow and those much lauded chips.
For dessert I had the tafferty tart, mainly because I'd seen pictures of it in multiple blog posts and think it's by far the prettiest presentation of a sweet that I've ever seen. The taste is very powerful, think turkish delight and sour unripe berries. It didn't quite live up to my expectation but the textures are masterful, crunch from the sheets of sugar, the smooth sorbet, jelly and candied rose petals combine in one heady spoonful. There is so much going on here it's an impressive end to the meal. Thomas had the baked lemon suet pudding, that's what it's all about, classic British dishes with a Heston twist.
An indulgent end to the meal is delivered in the form of a white chocolate and earl grey ganache. Cutely presented in a small gold edged cup and saucer with a caraway biscuit. The biscuit was brilliant, Thomas didn't get one which we noticed too late for him to get a look in at mine!
Drinks wise, we opted for a couple of glasses of champagne whilst we waited at the bar for our table (only 5 minutes or so) and wines by the glass recommended by the sommelier to complement our main courses. The price, £180 for 2, one I am more than willing to pay to sample food of this standard and I can't wait to try more, though that will be easier said than done with each month booking up on the day of opening the reservations. Others continuing to love it as much as I did it seems.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park