Our Dinner reservation was a bit of a fluke to be honest. On March the 1st the Noma reservations opened and we were desperately trying to get a table there when we had an idea to try and get a table at Dinner while everyone else was trying Noma – that worked lol and we visited on the 15th of June.
The restaurant is within the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge (just opposite the tube station). We arrived a little early (and saw Heston arrive) for our table and found ourselves in the bar waiting for the restaurant to reopen for evening service. The bar was busy with diners that had just finished having a late lunch and lots of ‘very loud’ business dressed people!
PHOTO: The front of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
After a cocktail in the bar, we were collected by the restaurant staff and taken to our table (which was incidentally ideally placed with a lovely view over Hyde Park and into the open plan kitchens).
PHOTOS // LEFT: looking down the restaurant // RIGHT: looking to the kitchen
PHOTO: Menu at Dinner by Heston
The menu at Dinner is based upon ‘food in days gone by’ and all the menu items have years next to them. On the back of the menu is where the inspiration for the dish came from. One of the waiting staff brought the menu over and asked a couple of times if we had any questions about the dishes on the menu.
PHOTO: Sourdough bread
I had high hopes for the bread, but I actually found it quite disappointing. The crust was a bit well done and was really chewy, not making for a pleasant experience.
Picking a starter was a tough choice, Dave kept saying we needed to order Meat Fruit but as neither of us wanted to commit to that as our starter choice we actually ended up with three starters between us!
PHOTO: Broth of lamb (c.1730) £13.50
WOW. This broth was just so perfect I loved every mouthful. The broth was served with a Slow cooked hen’s egg, celery, radish, turnip & sweetbread. The broth was poured at the table and the smell as it was poured was divine!
PHOTO: Meat Fruit (c.1500) £13.50
I think this has to be the most famous dish from the menu! It’s Mandarin, chicken liver parfait and grilled bread. I have to say that I didn’t fully understand it until we got it. I thought that it was a mandarin orange that had been hollowed out and the parfait put inside – it wasn’t though! It was a mandarin gel shaped around the parfait to look like a mandarin with a leaf on top. The parfait was so smooth and light and wow, was great on the toast. I could have happily eaten another one! 😉
PHOTO: Cod in Cider (c.1940) £26.00
There was nothing wrong with my main course, but I didn’t find it as nice as the starters. The fish was perfectly cooked but it just didn’t do it for me. However, when I tried a bit of Dave’s main, I immediately regretted my choice!
PHOTO: Black Foot Pork Chop (c.1860) £30.00
It’s not very often that I have food envy, but that pork was so mouthwateringly good and the sauce went perfectly. The waitress said that the pork is from the Spanish Pata Negra pig which also produces one of the most expensive hams available.
To accompany our mains we ordered some chips and carrots.
PHOTOS // LEFT: Triple cooked chips £4.50 // RIGHT: Buttered carrots with caraway £4.50
The triple cooked chips weren’t listed as a side dish, but having asked the waiter we were told it would be no problem to have them. The chips were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Then came the tough decision of dessert!
PHOTO: Baked Lemon Suet Pudding (c.1630) £9.50
I didn’t realise I was that fussy when it came to desserts but I actually struggled to find one that appealed. In the end I opted for the Baked lemon suet pudding with lemon caramel and jersey cream. It was nice and the lemon was really intense.
PHOTO: Iranian Rose Bud Tea (£5.50)
You could smell this before it arrived – it smelt and tasted fantastic. It was lovely and light. The staff said that the buds could be infused as many times as I liked, just to ask if I wanted any extra hot water (I did take them up on this offer – especially with the price!)
The service was excellent throughout the evening, there was always someone there if you had any questions or needed a top up to your drink. They didn’t push us into ordering anything we weren’t sure about and they chatted about the menu and made us feel very welcome.
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DINNER BY HESTON
Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA
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