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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|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
I wouldn't normally write an update for a return restaurant visit but for Heston I'll make an exception, especially because our dinner at Dinner on Friday was a slightly different experience as we were in the private dining room. As such we had a semi set menu with just 2 choices per course and by co-incidence my exact meal from our last visit was on there (meat fruit/pigeon/tipsy cake) so not wanting an exact repeat of the previous meal I had by default the other options (flesh & rice/turbot/chocolate bar). Whilst they were all delicious dishes (especially the salty, juicy risotto starter) they didn't outshine the iconic dishes I had had first time round. Our matched wines were fantastic for me (perhaps a little sweet for other tastes) including an unusual Riesling from New York (who knew?) and the lovely Hungarian Tokaji. I've knocked one point off for service this time as, although our waiter was lovely and smiley, I felt the explanations were a little robotic and garbled at times and could have been more personal. With cocktails, cheese, a visit from the magical ice cream cart and port, the whole meal came in at just over £200 a head, the third most expensive meal I have had this month behind the Fat Duck at Bray and Bisetto's Oro restaurant at Hotel Cipriani in Venice, but the second best ( I don't think Heston will mind as it played second fiddle to his other place). Baked beans on toast for us for the next 6 months…
OMG. Exclamation marks!!! Emoticons :-) ;-) and CAPS LOCK! Because that's how dinner at Dinner made me feel. The best gastronomic experience of my life. So far (I live in hope). I loved the old-English-dishes-revived menu with all its Heston twists. The “meat fruit” chicken parfait does really look like a mandarin! (nice nod to the location on that one) and it is the creamiest pate ever! The spiced pigeon has a tenderness my future mother-in-law's version can only dream of :-))), and my fiance's pork chop was the juiciest ever tasted. The tipsy cake, a light lemony spongey thing with sweet caramel and crunchy sugared top, is simply HEAVEN. I wanted to cry tears of joy. I just sighed instead. I was so full I couldn't eat the final complimentary chocolate garnache. My fiance did and he left rather green about the gills: it turns out you can have too much of a good thing. It's not just about the meal though (although last night 80% of our chat was about the food, it was just too good not to give it due attention). The whole experience was wonderful. We loved seeing the ordered busyness of the chefs in the glass-walled kitchen which is exposed on 3 sides to diners (so much more genuine and effective than the theatrical showpiece at Joel Roubouchon or the corner afterthought at Pollen Street). We loved the service, incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgeable thanks it seems to a real gastro-education which includes trips out to suppliers (where our waiter learnt not to stress wood pigeons before slaughter to preserve taste!) and doing turns in the kitchen. We loved the relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere. We loved the wine (rather than getting an expensive bottle we got a glass each per course so they were well-matched by the sommelier). Gladly someone else was picking up the bill which just shy of £300 for 2 for cocktails, 3 courses, 6 wines, water, tea and service. That is a lot of money for a meal. But we went all out (yes please to an £18 G&T, the expensive sweet Hungarian Tokaji etc) and actually each dish is not that much more expensive than you find in many good (and some not so good) London restaurants and the meal does really fill you up. Now I just have to persuade the fiance that we should go to Bray next…