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|Address:||Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA|
|Tel:||020 7201 3833|
|Price: £74.00||Wine: £35.00||Champagne: £75.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2.30pm 6.30-10.30pm|
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Dinner by Heston Blumenthal given its august billing did not leave one disappointed. We arrived early and were gently guided towards the bar, which ultimately while linked with the restaurant, really was the one sole blemish on the entire experience. It took 20 minutes for our cocktails to arrive, by which time we were being called to our table.
The menu, as per the website, followed the format of traditional British dishes, with Mr. Blumenthal's unique twist. The sommeliers did a fine job of finding a wine that complemented the food we opted for, an Austrian red which was quite unique and had a suitably long finish.
The starters we opted for were the Salamugundy, done to perfection, and provided a subtle layering of flavours, one after the other, which left one positively craving the next course. Marrowbone, was beautifully presented and met with the very strong approval of the diner. The roasted scallops, were stunning, and used the full versatility of the fish, to provide a stunning dish, full of nuance and delightful texture.
The mains, turbot with cockle ketchup, again lived up to its billing and came deservedly high commended by the staff. A beautiful dish, which used the sheer softness and delicacy of the turbot, with a nuance of the cockle and mussel ketchup. Our other diners had the steak and the braised celery both met with similarly high approval. The meat appeared beautifully rare a very full scarlet and was highly complemented.
The cheeses and the Taffety Tart were quite excellent. The variety of soft and hard cheeses were complemented with delightful chutneys and apples. The Taffety Tart was eaten with such gusto; that anything other than a flawless review would be inconceivable, as was the Samian sweet wine which was ordered with it.
The service, was attentive, but rather patronising at intervals, indeed it rather assumed that we could not read what was on the menu; since there were no specials being advertised. In fact, the constant running commentary while pleasant at first, became increasingly ridiculous and did detract from one's enjoyment at intervals.
Nevertheless, this was a superlative experience and was quite excellent; the small stains of the cocktail bar service did by no means supersede the quality food, and were frankly trifling in comparison. Indeed, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and one would happily dine again in such surroundings; but then again should one expect anything less!