Dinner by Heston: where exceptional service and lovely food came for lunch

Dinner by Heston lands #5 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants this year (two spots up from last year) and I have to commend staff for making it the experience that it is. The food, albeit less of a display of Heston’s famed edible trickery at The Fat Duck (#47 on the list), fares really well and the service is really and truly outstanding.
Plaid Boy and I went for lunch before his evening flight this Summer. We took advantage of the set lunch (at £38 per head) and ordered a few bits in between so we can try more than our fare share of meals. You get complimentary bread, but I suggest you keep your belly space for the meal proper.
Meat Fruit - Heston Blumenthal | The Girl Next Shore

We ordered Heston’s signature meat fruit (£17) separately as it does not appear on the set menu (and rightly so, as it is too exquisite and deserves its own spotlight). It’s essentially chicken liver and foie gras parfait encased in a mandarin jelly peel, shaped and made to look like a clementine and served with grilled sourdough bread.

Meat Fruit - Heston Blumenthal | The Girl Next Shore

I saw Plaid Boy’s eyes twinkle with amusement as this came to our table. It’s definitely snapshot-worthy, and pretty darn good. The parfait is creamy in texture and full on with flavour. It’s rich and light so you end up eating more than you intend to, but the mandarin jelly perfectly cuts through any monotony and gives you a refreshing palate. It’s perfect on grilled sourdough and quite a successful start.

Plaid Boy ordered another signature dish, Rice and Flesh (£17). It’s a decadent plate of risotto flecked generously with saffron and topped with red wine braised calf tail pieces. The vibrant colours is a feast for the eyes and the aromatics are strong enough to whet your appetite. All elements were cooked nicely, but I do think it’s slightly too rich for my liking.

Palates teased with pretty darn good flavours, we were ready to embark on our set lunch.
Set Lunch - Dinner by Heston Blumenthal | The Girl Next Shore

We both started with the pressed octopus salad. Served with a small fennel and pea shoot salad, it was fairly refreshing. I’m quite partial to fennel but the little drops of vinaigrette jelly cut through the aniseed flavour I often dislike. The octopus itself had good texture. Refreshing.

Set Lunch - Dinner by Heston Blumenthal | The Girl Next Shore

For mains, I went for the roast cured salmon and you can just about see how perfectly cooked it is from the outside. Served with pickled candy beetroot, which I thought worked harmoniously with the fish and sea vegetables, this was a nice light dish.

Set Lunch - Dinner by Heston Blumenthal | The Girl Next Shore

Plaid Boy took the meat route and went for the pork belly with minted peas. Slow-cooked for hours, it was delicately tender and melted off in my mouth. Think of it as the royalty of Sunday roasts.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal | The Girl Next Shore

Surprised myself by choosing the prune and tamarind tart over the chocolatey millionaire tart. It was really good. The brulee was firm and had good flavour but the prune and tamarind filling was quite a revelation. There was just enough of it to boost the tart’s flavour profile and it worked with the thin pastry base.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal | The Girl Next Shore

Unsurprisingly, I ate most of the millionaire tart too. I was in awe of how glossy the crystallised chocolate was. It was rich, dark, and very appealing to every chocolate fiend. The vanilla ice cream was okay, but I’d happily do without.

What really impressed me is the service which is impeccable. The servers seemed genuinely passionate for you to have a grand time. The General Manager and his army of servers have been generous and attentive from explaining the years and concepts on the menu to asking if they could organise more toast when I’ve finished the sourdough bread halfway through my meat fruit (#noshame); from offering more wine and asking if we were comfortable to even accompanying us to the powder rooms. I’ve had experienced dining at restaurants who look amazing on the surface but a let down on food and service. I definitely think they could learn a lot from Dinner – there’s greatness in humility and putting the customers first.

Then again, this is a Michelin-starred restaurant after all.

We finished the meal with coffees and a rich chocolate ganache that was just absolutely heavenly. Well-played.

Overall, it was a pleasant experience and I can’t wait to take people here again. I would’ve wanted a bit more variety/excitement on the set menus but what’s good is that it’s been priced reasonably for you to order a few extra bits. It was definitely pleasant.

Dinner by Heston
Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X
Ave spend pp: £38 for set menu, no wine; £80 for a la carte with wine
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal on UrbanspoonSquare Meal

6 Comments

  1. 7th October 2014 / 12:10 pm

    Amazing write-up and delicious-looking pictures Honey – I'm definitely bookmarking this one! 🙂 Jesse x

    • 8th October 2014 / 3:46 pm

      Thanks, lovely! It's definitely worth a go!

    • 23rd October 2014 / 12:19 pm

      Biancs, he also has tipsy cake. Super good!

  2. 1st February 2016 / 3:01 pm

    Mm I went to Dinner a few years ago but don't remember it all that well – I really want to go back! All of the food looks sensational and the shine on that chocolate tart is definitely praiseworthy. Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea's Passions

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