Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal @ Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

Cuisine: British
Charged Price: GBP90 per person
Visited: 21 June 2015
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Value for money: 3/10
Services: 7/10
Scale: [1=poor ---- 5=average/standard ---- 10=outstanding/exceptional]

The celebrated and world-known restaurant "Dinner by Heston Blumenthal", headed by Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts, is definitely a big fame of Knightsbridge since its debut in 2011: gained its Michelin Stars within a year of opening. It is located within Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park with an arrangement of atmosphere in contemporary. It is quite comfortable with each table being spaced rather well. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is indeed really famous and especially after its entry in top 10 of The World's 50 Best Restaurants. At the time I was there, all seats were fully packed.

The idea of this place is to bring back British old recipe but in the culinary sense of modern day. It is not the kind of eccentric like The Fat Duck but just some touches of modern twist. In term of price tag, it is undoubtedly expensive. For a 3 courses meal, you can expect to pay around GBP80 each (including service charge of 12.5%) and more if you are into wine. The wine list is extensive but all are at hefty marked up. I would say it is around 3-4 times retail price. Even with the more expensive ones in the list, there seems to be no mercy. The style of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is in a la carte mode with no tasting menu like in other fine dining venues. However, 3-courses set lunch is available during weekdays.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal @ Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

contemporary dining room

classic sourdough

For bread, there is only one type being offered: sourdough. It was nice but not special. During the meal, we had a bottle of Esprit de Pavie 2010 (90/100) along the meal. It's a Bordeaux blend with Merlot as the key blend and addition of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The price was set back around GBP35, cannot remember the exact figure (T.T)", whilst the retail price is around GBP12. It was a nice one and enjoyable with primary character of merlot fruits.

Let's move on to the first course. I had Rice & Flesh: saffron, calf tail and red wine (9/10), c. 1390, for starter. Just to notice that each menu is given the historic date when the dish was inspired. For instance, it is approx. year 1390 for Rice & Flesh. Rice & Flesh was deliciously prepared. Risotto rice was well cooked: structure was al dente, rich on the palate, coupling with fresh aroma of saffron. The calf tail was juicy and tender. It was flavourful and paired really well with the rice. An excellent dish, it was. Just a little too salty to my liking, otherwise almost perfect.

Rice & Flesh: saffron, calf tail and red wine (GBP17.50)

Moving on to main course. I had Powdered Duck Breast: smoked confit fennel, spiced blood pudding, and umbles (8/10) c. 1670. Duck breast was nice and pink. Tender and soft on the touch. Blood pudding was nice and delicious: smooth and rich, not the kind of black pudding you might dislike. Vegetables on the side balanced out the overall flavour. To me, it was a nice dish but not amazing just yet.

Powdered Duck Breast: smoked confit fennel, spiced blood pudding, and umbles (GBP36)

Lastly, it was Tipsy Cake: spit roast pineapple (6/10) c. 1810 for dessert. I have to say that this was enjoyable but did not quite touch my heart. The sherry / brandy soaked sponge cake was wonderful. It was served along with roasted pineapple. When dining in the restaurant, you can clearly see the pineapple being slowly roasted in the kitchen. Yes, the acidity of pineapple matched naturally with the cake. Nevertheless, it was too so-so for me. It lacks the wow factor on my palate perhaps.

Personally, I find Dinner by Heston Blumenthal a restaurant with well preparation. Dishes were pleasant but some still not quite there, especially dessert range: the other dessert we had was not our type at all, we did not even finish it. As for service, staffs know what they are doing well. Well, for this price tag, I wouldn't find it attractive at all. I did not say it was not nice but the downside is value for money. Just an experience is more than enough for this fine dining venue in Knightsbridge. Additionally, as said things are well prepared with due care here but top 10 in the world as claimed by The World's 50 Best Restaurants, I do have to disagree with this point.

Tipsy Cake: spit roast pineapple (GBP14.50)

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal @ Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
66 Knightsbridge
United Kingdom

Open Hours: daily from 12:00pm - 02:30pm for lunch and 06:30pm - 10:30pm for dinner

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