Find and book great restaurantsFind a Restaurant
See more Editor’s Picks
|Address:||301-303 Chiswick High Road, London W4 4HH|
|Tel:||020 3544 2411|
|Price: £87.00||Wine: £42.00||Champagne: £69.00|
|Opening Hours:||Thurs-Sat 12N-2.30pm Tues-Sat 6.30-9.30pm|
This review hasn't been rated yet.
Hedone has been on the receiving end of some seriously cranky reviews. In the dark, dripping caves of TripAdvisor, reviewers are gnashing their teeth that they can’t get an 8pm table at 24 hours’ notice, that lunch for four at this Michelin-starred restaurant clocks in over £200, that a cancellation deposit is required, or that some dishes with especially expensive ingredients are charged at a supplement.
It may be the expectations of the location. At this western end of Chiswick High Road, just before Chiswick gives up the ghost and turns into Hounslow, a good restaurant is rare and a fine dining place absolutely unheard of. If you were weighing up Hedone against Sam’s Brasserie or High Road House, you’d be in for a shock.
Yes it is pricey: menu options range from £47 for three courses to £95 for the longer tasting menu. You won’t see a bottle of wine for less than £40. But there is no complaint in terms of value for money. The kitchen errs towards expensive ingredients in almost every course, and for £95 we got ten brilliant dishes plus bread, amuses and petits fours. The wines are excellent, the markups against retail less than 3x as far as I could see, and they sell 375ml carafes on almost all of them. If there’s a complaint to be had, it’s that they won’t let you have a cheap bottle of wine with your meal.
In our tasting menu (billed as a surprise but really just a ‘best of’ the day’s offerings) almost all courses were very good and a few were outstanding. I will particularly remember the queen scallop with nori and jerusalem artichoke for a long time to come, along with a stunning piece of turbot with bouillabaisse sauce and a white aioli. Liquid-filled ravioli, short rib of beef and another scallop course (at our request) were also very very strong on flavour, and a pre-dessert of rosewater meringue with beetroot cream was a triumph. The biggest complaint I could muster is that I wanted more crème patissiere in the millefeuille.
While there’s a fair amount of modernist technique on display, such as emulsions and foams (there were two Gourmet Whips on the go constantly), and a few off-beat ingredients make an appearance, Hedone has its feet firmly in classical French cuisine: most courses centre around a superb piece of meat or fish, simply cooked, and the wow factor comes from the garnish.
We sat at the kitchen counter; half the kitchen is open to the restaurant. The benefit of this, for nerds such as myself, is that you get a bit of explanation from the chef about the dishes (for example, how on earth you make a white aioli). Mikael Jonsson is evidently a serious fella (there was the occasional stern instruction on how to eat a dish) but he’s not without a sense of humour either (he winds up other chefs about how he makes his liquid-filled ravioli; I considered this to be uproariously entertaining).
Service was good but the sommelier was rather absent: the restaurant was full and he was over-run. He’s done a great job on a mostly European wine list though. Décor and lighting are fine without being remarkable. The main restaurant floor looked towards the crowded side but there was lots and lots of buzz so I wouldn’t have been worried about being overheard by my neighbours.
This is a serious joint: we were in for 3.5 hours and I had to shut my eyes while I punched in my PIN. But if you live west of Earl’s Court, you’ve absolutely no excuse for not having eaten here.