Monday, 4 March 2013

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

On Sunday I went to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. It is in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge. 
I was so excited and had looked at the website so many times during the week that I only had to type 'D' into the search bar for the website to come up. 

We arrived and had a cocktail in the Mandarin Bar. I had a raspberry and vodka mix. I can't remember the name of but it was a bit like a smoothie mixed with vodka in a martini glass... in a good way I promise. I think it seemed that way, as they used real raspberries and not a raspberry flavouring. it was delicious. 

We also had some nibbles, my favorites were the spicy coated peanuts. We ate a lot of them! 
Dad had a safari cocktail, a zesty long drink. Mum had a NY Mai Thai, a tropical long drink. 

After our pre-lunch cocktails we were taken into the restaurant. It is understated luxury, just how I like it. Dark wooden tables, comfy leather chairs and large windows looking out to Hyde Park. The kitchen is open, so you can see in. It really is impressive, they are constantly working and don't look up for a minute. The whole time we were there, their work is constant, yet never flustered.

To start we had a bottle of Champagne, bread and butter, while we looked over the menu and were told about each dish by our waiter.

Dad and I had the meat fruit, an article in the Evening Standard says they are able to produce 900 a week and are aiming to increase production to 1200 a week to cope with demand. So it was a must for my starter. 
The dish is chicken liver and foie gras parfait, within a mandarin gel, served with hot toast. It was incredibly delicious  the best parfait I have ever had. One slice of toast wasn't enough though for Dad and I so we ordered some more toast to finish our parfait.    

Mum had the rice and flesh which is saffron rice with calf tail. This wasn't to my taste as the rice has a lot of 'bite' to it so is still not cooked enough for my liking but, the flavour was fabulous. 

For mains we all had steak, Mum ribeye, Dad and I fillet. All three came with mushroom ketchup and triple cooked chips. The ketchup is so yummy, it tastes like tomato ketchup due to the vinegar but a mushroom version. Dad was a big fan and hopes he will bring it out as part of his Waitrose range! The triple cooked chips were so crispy and fluffy on the inside and went well with the ketchup. 

We also ordered some vegetable sides to go with our main. Hispi Cabbage, the best cabbage I have tasted, buttered carrots with caraway and green beans with shallots. 

The portions were really good. Our steaks were massive and were of such a fabulous quality again it was the best I have had. The knife just cut through, like it was butter. 

For dessert Mum had the tipsy cake which was amazing. Hot brioche  soaked and cooked in a brandy vanilla cream, served with a slice of spit roasted pineapple. It was amazing! 

I had bohemian cake, a new dessert at Dinner to replace the chocolate bar. The cake was a chocolate biscuit base with a chocolate mousse. It also has a citrus part on top of the biscuit, but I am not really sure what it was, apart from that it was perfect with the chocolate. It was served with honey ice cream which was just so smooth and creamy. 

Dad had quaking pudding, it says on the menu that it is 'Pear, perry, caramel & lime.' Dad liked it, I did not. 

After all this food there was still a tiny space left for something I had been looking forward to a lot! The nitro-ice cream made at your table using their ice cream trolley. 
It is made using a modified Kenwood mixer, the motor has been taken off and replaced by a hand crank so the user can tell by the feel of the crank when the ice cream is ready. The mixing bowl is sealed off with a tube to pour in the vanilla custard and the liquid nitrogen. The waiter then mixes it at your table. It was so exciting. A real Heston touch. 

Once the ice cream is made, some blood orange(compote?) is put into the bottom of crispy sugar cones and them a large scoop is placed on top. You can then choose your toppings. I had apple popping candy and freeze dried raspberries. Mum and Dad both had chopped nuts with chocolate and the freeze dried raspberries.

It was a great final part of the meal so we thought, dad had paid and we were getting up to leave when the waiter said 'I have another little something for you.' and out came little glass pots of toffee and chocolate with a caraway seed shortbread. Mine even had happy 21st on the plate as it was my original choice for my birthday but it was fully booked.   

After that we waddled out of the restaurant full to the brim but oh so very happy. Thanks Mum and Dad for a perfect birthday ...(couple of weeks!) 

Dress: Ted Baker. 

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