I’m really scraping the bottom of the barrel with my attempts at convincing Husband to take me to nice restaurants, I’ve been milking the ‘its for the blog’ excuse for a little while now, so when it came to an anniversary, I convinced him to let me book us into Dinner to celebrate 5 years of tolerating one another.
The hype around Mr Blumenthal’s Dinner meant that it was impossible to secure a reservation for the night-time meal, so I settled for a Sunday lunch. One advantage of arriving in daylight hours is the view out over Hyde Park – necessary as the room is a little corporate for a romantic meal a deux. But we are seated by a large window and romance is saved.
It wouldn’t be a Heston restaurant with some quirks thrown in, no normal eating here, no sirreee, our waiter explains a little about the concept of Dinner – it’s based on Monsieur Blumenthal’s interest in the styles & techniques of cooking over the past 500 years. Well it’s less strange than an obsession with Alice in Wonderland, so off we go.
The Meat Fruit had to be done and it lived up to every piece of hype I’ve ever read about it. Technically, it is pate served shaped into an orange with some crunchy sourdough toast. It’s so silky and so smooth you could quite easily I think drink it through a straw. If in old age, I lose my teeth, I want a steady supply of this stuff to see me through.
Husband has opted for the scallops with cucumber ketchup (Whatever that is) and while it is very nice, it just can’t compete with the fruity meatiness. Where is the scallop coral though?
Choosing mains was a little bit of a struggle, I like my mains to actually sound tasty and not just have to rely on a hefty dose of Heston-faith. There’s just no way that Powdered Duck Breast sounds appetising, but I’m a little contrary and order it anyway. Thankfully when it arrives, it’s not the freeze-dried jerky style duck I had expected although in hindsight, it’s probably unlikely that freeze-drying had been invented c. 1670 when this dish first came to light. It seems Powdering was the old Brining. Whatever they’ve done to it, it is goood. Moist and rich and just very well cooked. No funny business here.
Husband has opted for Slow Cooked Pork belly (Now that’s a sensible dish name, say it as it is peeps) and he’s won in the ordering lottery I think, the pork is so well cooked it just falls apart at the hint of knife pressure and again there’s no trickery, just well cooked hearty food. Am I a little disappointed there isn’t aren’t any little fun quirks so far? Truthfully, yes. It’s one of the reasons I’m here, the food is great but I’m missing the spice of Heston.
If you want Tipsy cake for dessert, you must order it with your mains as it takes some time to cook and talk like that is just a excuse for me to be greedy, so of course it’s added to the order. It’s a sort of cross between custard and bread and butter pudding with a crunch sugary coating and a side of roasted pineapple. It clearly meets with Husband’s approval as it’s demolished in a few swift mouthfuls with scant regard to my protests of only managing one bite before it disappeared.
I’ve opted for the chocolate bar, a hunk of chocolate under a fine layer of passionfruit jam (a little too subtle) and some fabulous ginger ice cream to clear that palate. As we are feasting on our desserts, a little touch of Heston’s molecular passion comes out in the form of an old fashioned ice cream cart churning out ice creams on cones. It’s a bit of fun in a very serious room, but I’m glad we’ve stuck to our desserts.
A lovely little touch at the end – a nod to our celebrating, we are offered a shot of molten Earl Grey chocolate and rich crumbly biscuit to dunk. Deeelightful. We’ll definitely need to walk off the excesses now.