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Square Meal Review of Hedone ?

‘A superb blend of style and substance’, Michelin-starred Hedone is testament to the passion and skill of Swedish-born food blogger-turned-restaurateur Mikael Jonsson. The venue itself has a satisfying urban rusticity – ‘stark but soothing’, with neutral tones, views into the kitchen and staff who are up to speed with the culinary goings-on. Mikael’s cooking isn’t overtly Scandinavian, but it is precise, technically sharp and seasonal – from a memorable pairing of queen scallop with nori and Jerusalem artichokes or a ‘stunning’ piece of turbot given star treatment with bouillabaisse sauce and white aïoli to infuriatingly clever ‘liquid-filled’ ravioli or a tantalising pre-dessert of rosewater meringue with beetroot cream. This is seriously good stuff from someone who delivers bold, creative gestures and backs them with a well-chosen (if pricey) Euro-accented wine list. We side with fans who call Hedone an ‘expensive Chiswick pearl’, rather than those who claim it ‘lacks a sense of joy’.

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  1. The story behind Hedone is a rare one, if not completely unique. Swedish-born Mikael Jonsson pursued his “borderline obsession” for ingredients of the highest quality by training as a chef in his early years. But his severe allergies to a variety of food put on hold any dreams of opening his own restaurant and instead, he forged a career as a lawyer.

    During this time, Jonsson authored a food blog, Gastroville.com (now closed), demonstrating great understanding and in-depth analysis of food, whilst also advising chefs and restaurateurs where to find the best ingredients...
    More from The Cutlery Chronicles »

  1. Published : Friday, 23 August 2013

    Saying it straight :: Head only at Hedone.

    I deliberately didn’t read anything about this before I went. I knew that it had been blogged to death. I knew that people really liked it. I knew that it had been given a Michelin star and that the owner was an ex-lawyer foodblogger. It spoke to me.

    So I expected that I was going to get food which was interesting, well-cooked and a cut above the ordinary.

    Interesting it certainly was. I very much liked the décor with its upcycled furniture and quirky/casual Scandi-eclectic vibe. There were strange food-related murals on the ceiling but they were original and showed a lack of conformity which I find refreshing.

    This is a good, warm place with a nice feel as you walk through the door. And lovely, friendly service from the waiting staff...
    More from Saying it straight »

  1. Published : Saturday, 22 September 2012

    LONDONcalling :: Hedone

    I first visited Hedone shortly after it opened, just over a year ago. A couple of friends of the chef Mikael Jonsson were singing his praises. One even had the audacity to suggest that his food was worthy of three Michelin stars? I'll have one of what he is drinking please.During the early months of opening it had very mixed reviews. On one particular food forum which I contributed too, some of the reviews were scathing, citing poor produce, amateurish presentation, and lack of cooking skill. My own opinion was that we enjoyed the food, but it did not have me hop, skipping and jumping down the road.Much has been made about Jonsson's obsessional desire to find the very best ingredients available, going to extraordinary lengths to source the best. I have been following the progress at Hedone in recent times and noted that the reviews have become stronger, increasing my desire to give it another try.I am a bit off tasting menus of late much preferring three honest fulfilling courses rather than tiny bits of one bite plates. Having this in mind the latest lunch offering at Hedone is a bargain, at two courses for £19 and three for £25 (plus 12.5% service)Browsing the menu  which has a choice of three, three, three, it looked very interesting indeed. Slip sole, Rock Oysters, Duck egg/ girolles. Tamworth pork, Wild duck, Fillet of Hare. It all looked yummy. There were a couple of specials for a supplement. Razor clams, (£5.5 supplement pp) or Breast and leg of Grouse (£10pp) So that was me sorted then.From here on in I am going to be brief in my description of the food because I really can't be bothered other than to say it was an improvement over our first visit. Presentation was much improved making the dishes a lot more appealing visually. The grouse and hare were delicious. The oysters were yummy. The delicate slip sole was over powered by the overuse of acidic lime. The crab amuse was not at all special tasting, (so much for the sourcing) Just very average. Bread was enjoyable. Desserts were decent.Amuse. Crab.Slip SoleOystersHareGrousePear   Sea salt caramel parfait, apple puree So there you have it. Good food, not everything to our taste however, but very mixed service. Our main young lady server was lovely, as was the guy with the bread basket. The sommelier was an ignorant individual who chose to ignore us throughout the meal. This cost his employers lost revenue. He attended the table to offer an aperitif at the beginning of the meal but never came back to the table thereafter to ask if we would like any other drink. I remember him from our last visit as he up sold everything on the list that we looked at, greatly inflating our bill. Not this time though, resulting in a loss of profit for the restaurant.Amellie was just about ok. She did  not seem very friendly and was a bit curt at times.Jonsson, considering he was once a blogger, does not seem to like or tolerate bloggers at all, with one notable exception that is. I know of two bloggers that he was personally objectionable too. He also seems unable to accept any criticism whatsoever, constructive or otherwise.As I re-entered the restaurant from the downstairs toilets I took a photo of the fully open kitchen just as he turned towards me. He went ballistic, demanding that I did not take any photos of him and the kitchen. He stated that he did not even like people photographing his food but tolerated it. His staff seemed godsmacked. He displayed a nasty streak that I found particularly offensive. I suspect that he speaks to his staff like this, but paying customers, who does he think he is?Still we won't be returning. There are thousands of restaurants in London who would love to take our money off us. They will also do it with good grace and a smile at no further cost.Hedone will never get another chance, and I suggest that you do the same.Give this place a wide berth. I can think of many more places your hard earned cash will be much more appreciated. A good restaurant is a lot more than just the food. This place failed today big time on the service front , which is totally unacceptable. Three Michelin stars my . . . .
    More from LONDONcalling »

  1. Hedone on Chiswick High Street may not be the usual gourmet’s destination but Swedish chef Mikael Jonsson changed the game. So here I go in my heels on a stormy Friday evening, I remember it was raining cats and dogs, my umbrella was too weak, my hat blown away on the way but anyhow, the place is worth it. You certainly heard that Hedone was recently awarded its first Michelin star which is even more impressive given that Jonsson opened the place in 2011 only – chapeau. My visit was perhaps just a week before the news were out and in fact it was long overdue after a well eaten friend kept telling me about it how much beyond this world the food there is. I was told to expect plain, fuss-free simple food with a chef being obsessed with high quality ingredients...
    More from Chez Alessandra »

  1. Published : Monday, 2 December 2013

    Fd Over LDN :: Hedone-ism

    It almost feels like I don't belong here at all. Tucked away in an inconspicuous corner of up-and-coming Chiswick, the sleek Scandinavian lines and open plan concept looks startlingly out of place amongst the local family Italian restaurants and chains. That's not to say it's an intimidating place once you get through the door. Despite the eye-catching plaudits from elsewhere (a rare 18/20 from Andy Hayler, number 70 on the world's best list and a Michelin star within a year of opening), the kitchen gives off a serene, aloof aura of calm from the moment the chefs started to filter in right up to their almost meditative wiping of the counter tops at the end of the service. We visited for lunch and went for the tasting menu, which incredibly changes weekly according to the high quality produce they receive...
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  1. Published : Friday, 22 November 2013

    Wrap Your Lips Around This :: Hedone

    Hedone is a Michelin starred blip on an otherwise ordinary suburban high street. Armoured in slate-grey cladding and frosted windows, it is easy to overlook. An unmarked door does little to demystify, but we, the initiated, know better. The restaurant is open plan, such that the brushed steel kitchen is in full view in one corner of the square area. Watching the chefs as they flit around each other with organized and practised finesse is highly fascinating, and a highlight of dining here...
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  1. Published : Saturday, 30 March 2013

    Edesia Is Hungry - Food of the Gods :: Hedone

    Hedone is the restaurant of Michael Jonsson, a former food blogger and ingredients consultant who opened in 2011 and went on to win a Michelin Star in short order, along with a veritable tsunami of praise from critics, bloggers and food lovers worldwide. Michael Jonsson has scoured the UK and Europe to source the absolute best produce available and the ingredients available that day drive the menu's.After a two hour journey across London we arrived and sat at the bar overlooking an open kitchen, which takes up quite a bit of the brick walled room. The kitchen is a full working kitchen rather than a place to plate up in front of guests, with the pastry and amuse bouches being prepared right in front of us. Although I would hate to work under the gaze of my clients, as a punter I enjoyed watching all that went on, from the raw puff pastry for the mille-feuille being prepared at the start of service to the loading of NO2 charger for the mousse during plating up. Behind the central bench was the pass and main cooking area and you get an idea of what was being prepared, and just how many pans are needed for a single plate of food.The menu's gave a choice of a la carte, a tasting menu and 'carte blanche' where you sit back and let chef choose. We went for a vegetarian and non-vegetarian carte blanche menu. The server went over to the chef and he put together something suitable for us, the menu entirely dependent on what was available that day, and can even vary by number of courses if requested. We were then asked if we wanted any hints to what we were having, or if we wanted to leave it a surprise, and opted for the latter.Canape's arrived first, a tart of smoked haddock and dill, I'd watched the smoked haddock being sliced earlier, the fillet a lovely hue of yellow and white and held a great depth of flavour, foie gras in some razor thin rye, creamy and rich, and a parmesan biscuit, intense with cheese, topped with a tart berry disc. After this the bread was served. I came armed with knowledge of the bread being seriously good here, and as I watched (and more importantly heard) it being sliced right in front of me I knew I was in for a treat. It was indeed as good as you can get, incredible smell, perfect crust, huge depth of flavour and texture, a masterclass in baking. The amuse bouche was small dish of umami flan, a custard flan with a seaweed sauce on top. This was intensely salty,savoury, rich with iodine and the tastes of the sea which I enjoyed, although my wife finished it, wasn't sure if it was her thing.What can be a better way to celebrate the start of a meal in spring than some of the classic ingredients of the season? Large morels, white asparagus from France and a shaving of green asparagus came with hollandaise, fennel and a sprinkling of cardamon.  With a simple dish like this, the ingredients themselves become the star, the providence of their sourcing is evidenced with each mouthful, excellent examples of how vegetables and fungi should taste.Next up, a wonderfully fresh piece of turbot, this came with crushed smoked potato, a potato skin emulsion and a shavings of the last of the winter truffles. The emulsion had a nice depth of flavour and together with the truffle and potato accompanied the turbot most excellently. My wife had a ducks egg yolk cooked sous vide for 2 hours, a base of the raw/barely blanched green asparagus, more truffle shavings and truffle sauce. The yolk was dense and sticky, coating the fresh bite of asparagus to add a unctuous  richness, with the truffle providing a earthy note to the dish.Following this a single langoustine in a shallot, celery and herb broth. The langoustine was very nice, sweet and juicy with the onion sweet and broth intense. My wife had a lovely looking plate of carrots. The carrot dish was truly excellent, the carrots of exceptional quality, with an interesting foam, the taste of which was familiar but I couldn't identify it with the single taste I had, and really unusual sweet glaze. Although I loved the turbot, the carrots were so damned good I wish I had this instead.Next up was possibly one of the dishes of the year, Liquid Parmesan Ravioli. A number of ravioli were covered in a frothy horseradish sauce, lemon rind and yet more shavings of truffle. Like the xiaolongbao I've had recently  these were best eaten whole due to the liquid parmesan centre. A ravioli, truffle slice and generous helping of sauce were piled on a spoon and what a mouthful it was, the liquid parmesan filling the mouth with a buttery flood of superb, really fantastic quality parmesan. intense with umami, perfumed with the truffle and hint of horseradish and lemon. This was dish of the highest order, both my wife and I adored this course.The first of the main courses arrived next, for me rack of salt marsh lamb served very rare, baby aubergine, endive and smoked aubergine puree. The lamb was incredibly well flavoured, a prime example of its kind, the sauce distilling the essence of roast lamb into a sticky coating on the pink meat for the perfect bite of meat. The smoky aubergine puree was excellent, and partnered the meat perfectly. My wife had some of the same ingredients, but instead of lamb some lovely ramson (wild garlic) and a garlic sauce. The baby aubergine and endive were brushed with miso and roasted but retained a good crunch, and retained their fresh flavours.I didn't think anything could top the lamb but my final main was possibly my favourite of the lunch. A huge slice of duck breast, again served very pink was accompanied with beetroot served a number of ways, a puree of red beetroot, roasted golden beetroot, smoky white beetroot and some discs of pickled beetroot. The duck, on its own one of the finest Ive had, came with an offal sauce enriched with foie gras. The sauce was quite rich with liver taste, on its own with the duck it was quite strong, but when combined with the sweet beetroot puree it was absolutely heavenly. Each variation of beetroot gave a distinct but differing addition to each piece of duck, sauce and puree. I loved this dish, especially the way it each element combined to such good effect.  My wife did not miss out, with an excellent risotto of watercress, morels and parsley. This was very well cooked risotto, redolent with taste of spring, retaining the peppery kick of watercress and garden fresh parsley throughout, with a welcome return of those superb morels.We were asked if we wanted cheese and a dessert or two desserts and went for two desserts, although the cheese courses were being prepared in front of us and a number of excellent cheeses were available.The first dessert was variations of lemon, a lemon sorbet, a meringue square topped with mousse, gel and some lemon thyme leaves. Again sourcing proves itself, with superb lemons being used and all elements providing a wonderful palate cleansing effect. The second dessert was chocolate dish, a bowl with some passion fruit sauce was filled with a warm chocolate mousse from a NO2 charger, this was topped with some discs of chocolate biscuit that had been covered with raspberry powder, on top of this a quenelle of vanilla ice cream. The warm chocolate mousse was incredibly light but rich with chocolate, the raspberry astonishingly well flavoured, intensely tart and holding the raspberry taste even against the superbly rich mousse. The vanilla in the ice cream again was of high quality matching well with the other elements. This was a very special pudding, we both really enjoyed this and one of the best chocolate desserts I've had.  Finally, with some very good filter coffee blend some petit fours, a bergamot marshmallow, a exceedingly good financier and an outstanding vanilla and mango macaron.Hedone really does live up to its reputation, proving that if you source the best ingredients and produce available you can serve these precisely cooked and in clever recipes, achieve world class dishes and create a destination for anyone who loves their food. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu's were packed with excellent dishes, and very generous portions too, no finger sized morsels of meat for my mains!  My praise for each course came with best kind of proof, the plates wiped almost shiny clean with some of the wonderful bread to be had. It's only a pity I live so far away, or I'd be joining the regulars sitting each side of us at the bar in visiting as often as I could.  Service was great too, with knowledgeable, attentive and friendly staff. The bill came to £277.Canapes.Bread.Umami flan.Asparagus, morels, hollandaise.Turbot, smoked potato, potato skin emulsion, truffle.Duck egg yolk, asparagus, truffle.Langoustine.Carrots.Liquid Parmesan Ravioli.Salt marsh lamb, baby aubergine, endive, miso, smoked aubergine puree.Ramson, baby aubergine, endive, miso, smoked aubergine puree.Duck, beetroot, offal sauce.Watercress, parsley and morel risotto.Lemon dessert.Warm chocolate mousse, raspberry and chocolate ring, vanilla ice cream.Petit Four.
    More from Edesia Is Hungry - Food of the Gods »

  1. Published : Wednesday, 27 February 2013

    The Insatiable Eater :: Hits and misses at Hedone

    Hedone is an interesting one. My potted summary goes a little like this: it's a critical darling serving somewhat polarising Michelin-starred food by an ex-blogger out of a cube-like space with an open kitchen in, of all places, Chiswick. Although serving arguably the best bread in London, I otherwise find it hard to categorise the food. Despite the Swedish heritage of the chef, Hedone doesn't really rock to the new Nordic vibe, but it is clearly produce driven. Some dishes we ate were spectacular, but others felt strangely one dimensional...
    More from The Insatiable Eater »

  1. Published : Sunday, 9 December 2012

    HungryinLondon :: HEDONE (Chiswick)

    I’m swiftly approaching my unborn’s ETA and I am trying to cram as many meals in as possible before I will be confined to the nursery with a crying child in my arms. At the moment, baby and food are fighting for space in my ever-expanding abdomen, and, sorry baby, at my recent meal at Hedone, the food won. This dinner will probably stay with me during many a future sleepless night, will be recalled with nostalgia while changing nappies and may well lighten the darkness of postnatal depression. What an amazing meal this was!..
    More from HungryinLondon »

  1. Published : Saturday, 22 December 2012

    FoodiesOnTheProwl FoodiesOnTheProwl :: Hedone, Dec 2012

    The story behind Hedone is well known by now. Michael Jonsson, a food blogger who advised several chefs about where to source top produce from, decided to put his money where his mouth is and start up his own restaurant. And he’s done so with great success...
    More from FoodiesOnTheProwl FoodiesOnTheProwl »

  1. Published : Thursday, 4 April 2013

    [FEAST to the world] :: Hedone, Chiswick

    Very rarely I stumbled on a restaurant that filled me with admiration before I have even patron the venue. From the moment I've heard of Hedone, I was intrigued to learn that Mikael Jonsson, the chef who runs it, was formerly a keen food blogger gallantly decided to take his passion that step further and open a restaurant...
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