What a special day this was. My incredible boyfriend surprised me on my birthday by taking me to Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner. It was truly incredible and I was in food heaven.
We were seated by the window overlooking the most glorious view of Hyde Park, with the sun beaming in the early evening.
To drink, I chose the limited edition ‘Kiss’ cocktail created by make-up extraordinaire Laura Mercier. Like sweet nectar, I savoured each and every sip because it was so heavenly. Baileys, strawberry and pomegranate blended together and served in a martini glass.
For the starters I chose the Meat Fruit – mandarin, chicken liver & foie gras parfait, grilled bread. This truly is a brilliantly innovative creation. The pâté is shaped and sealed with an orange gel like substance (but surprisingly ungelatinous) and made to look like a mandarin. I imagine this is an ode to The Mandarin Oriental where Dinner resides. Served with warm toast, this is one of those dishes that you have to try before you die. I practically wept after tasting the first mouthful as it was so delicious. I secretly licked my knife too. I clearly couldn’t let a single morsel go to waste. It is smooth and light and the taste is less iron-y than most pâté. It has to be eaten to truly experience the delight. In a word – heavenly.
Aky chose the lobster & cucumber soup to start with. The salad was fresh as can be and flavored beautifully. The only thing I wasn’t quite as keen on with this dish was the cucumber soup that was poured over the salad, when they placed it down. I felt it affected the lobster taste too much, as opposed to simply complementing it. But come on…who am I to criticize Heston?
Aky totally came up trumps on the main course. He ordered the winner, aka The Fillet Steak. Served with fries and mushroom ketchup. The steak was deliciously cooked. The knife slid through it like butter. Exceptionally seasoned and it cannot be faulted.
The mushroom ketchup was amazing. It’s not often you experience a new taste altogether. It had the tang of normal ketchup, you could sense there was vinegar of some sort, but the mushroom emitted a softer taste, that married well with the sharpness of the vinegar.
I ordered the roasted sea bass and a side of mashed potatoes. The sea bass was rich and flaked easily. A beautifully cooked fish and the cockle ketchup was great, a sharp taste and interestingly tobiko style texture. The mashed potatoes were heavenly. They must have been blended for hours, as lumps were a distant memory to this bowl of goodness. I can only imagine how much butter was used.
By this stage I was overwhelmingly full and had to ask the waiter for a short break before dessert. We had preordered this at the start of the meal. The one and only Tipsy Cake. Our waiter expressed that he always felt he must mention the tipsy cake to customers, as if they didn’t order it, in his opinion, their experience was incomplete. He was right. It was incredible.
A buttery brioche cake with a crisp crust, baked in a thick metal pot, bursting to come out and alongside it, spit roasted pineapple. I’m not sure of exactly what had been incorporated into the brioche. I’m pretty sure there was cream, butter and a dash of alcohol, maybe rum or brandy. It was gooey, warm and tasted like magic. The pineapple was soft and light with an ever so slight smokey taste and had been doused in some kind of delicious marinade.
I was in awe of the flavours used throughout the meal. It really is exceptional to encounter new tastes and textures and be so appreciative of them. I am inspired by Heston’s creations and the delicate way he takes something ages old and turns it into something new. Truly a master of his craft.
Just when I thought my culinary affair with Heston was drawing to a close, the light singing of Happy Birthday started to grow in volume as the waiters placed down yet another creation. Birthday cake. Adorned with my name on the plate wishing me a Happy Birthday, I knew that this experience was unforgettably perfect.
A chocolate cake filled with popping candy and a lemon gel with a crispy base. Rich, indulgent and incredibly clever.
I can definitely tick this off my bucket list.
Winner Winner Heston’s Dinner.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
020 7201 3833