If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I’m more of a Wahaca/Pizza Express type girl. But on Friday I had the opportunity to eat at a restaurant that’s just been voted the 9th best in the world, and I couldn’t not write about the experience.
And Dinner by Heston is definitely an experience. Of course it is world class food, but it is also based at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge, and our table looked out over Hyde Park on one of the most stunning days we’ve had this year.
The menu is suitably extravagant; full of courses I’d never heard of and even the list of ingredients beneath it didn’t always help explain what I could potentially order. Next to each course was a date telling you what year the recipe originated from, and on the back was the name of the book each recipe came from.
But on to what I ate! For my starter I had the roast scallops with cucumber ketchup and borage, from the year 1820. The ketchup was sweet and tangy and the scallops were enormous and tasted perfect. Borage is apparently the herb starflower. I’ve no idea what it is, but it tasted good!
I also got to taste a bit of the famous meat fruit dish. This basically looks exactly like a satsuma, but inside is a delicious chicken liver pate. It’s so bizarre, and just shouldn’t work, but it has to be tasted to be believed.
My main course was black foot pork chop with hispi cabbage, lardo, ham hock and Robert sauce from 1860. Don’t ask as I have no idea! You pretty much had to take a risk with the food, as although the waiting staff were extremely knowledgeable, sometimes I still didn’t understand what it was after they’d explained! This pork chop however was like no other pork chop I’d ever tried – soft, tender and melt in the mouth. I could eat it every day quite happily. There was also small things that looked like popcorn on top of the ham hock but in fat was the finest and most delicious pork crackling.
For pudding I had the simply named chocolate bar from 1760. It was anything but simple though. It was essentially a bar of the most dark rich chocolate, like a ganache but smoother, topped with specks of gold leaf with passionfruit jam running through it. My god.
I thought that was all, but no! Then came the best bit. The ice cream trolley had a hand operated mixer where the waiter poured a vanilla cream concoction into it and then poured LIQUID NITROGEN to freeze it on the spot! We were then served it in a delicate waffle type cone, with fresh strawberries in the bottom and our choice of toppings. I went for half apple and popping candy, and half dried raspberries. I didn’t want it to end.
|Step1: Add the vanilla|
|Step 2: Add the liquid nitrogen|
|Step 3: Eat!|
An incredible place to spend an afternoon, if you’re lucky enough to go please do let me know what you tried out!