Second stop. Dinner by Heston.
Dinner was the most highly anticipated restaurant opening in 2011, receiving about 6,000 calls a day for restaurant reservations alone. eBay saw restaurant bookings auctioned off at the £50 mark. It even pipped its very own mothership, The Fat Duck (#13) and entered the San Pellingrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2012 coming in at 9th place.
The inspiration behind Dinner takes us back to Heston’s TV series, Heston’s feasts – (watch online) where he took a step back in time to resuscitate the long lost archives of British gastronomy. Each menu on the item references the period in British history as well as, the cookbook where it draws its inspiration from.
Here you have the meat fruit (c.1500) which was commonplace during the Tudor dynasty. It is quite the mutli-sensory experience and a true testament to Heston’s indisputable genius. It is a chicken liver parfait in the guise of a mandarin fruit and it is made with a mandarin glucose jelly to reach its carbon copy exterior.
The appearance is flawless, texture is velvety and the taste? Absolutely mind blowing.
You can watch how he makes it here.
The roast marrowbone (c.1720) again, is visually deceiving. Whilst served to resemble that of a marrowbone, you need to scoop out to reveal the wonderfully buttery little snails lurking on the inside. Surprisingly the anchovy lifts the butter and elevates the whole escargot experience. The pickled vegetables were not nearly as exciting but visually complemented the dish well.
Like all meat served at Dinner, the Fillet of Aberdeen Angus (c.1830) was prepared sous vide and finished off in the purpose built hearth to give it its smokey and charred coat.
With a perfectly pink centre, the beef was juicy and tender. It was served with a jus and mushroom ketchup and traditionally this is also served with a side of triple cooked chips. However, I was disappointed to learn that they were not serving the triple cooked chips due to not having the particular potatoes in season.
This is particularly heart breaking knowing how far we’ve come and with the knowledge of how arduous it is to even make triple cooked chips!
The Black Foot Pork Chop (c.1860) was served with a pink centre and was another excellent main. This is served with cabbage, tender ham hock pieces, puffed pork scratchings and finished with a delicious Robert sauce which is historically served to the likes of Henry IV!
The tipsy cake (c.1810) is the second quintessential item you must have on this menu.
The brioche turned cake is drenched in copious amounts of alcohol, butter and cream. (Which is enough to make your heart turn). The glorious goo finds its way around each brioche segment and knows exactly how to disintegrate, melt and implode on you.
It just stops you in your tracks and is absolutely heart breaking.
The pineapple piece is coated and spit roasted in sugar syrup for 2 hours and while tasty, it’s the brioche that’s the real show stopper.
The brown bread ice cream was another success, the ice cream tastes exactly like brown bread and beautifully complemented the salted butter caramel base.
To finish, we were served with a complimentary chocolate mouse infused with earl grey and a caraway biscuit. Funnily enough, this was the only item that I didn’t enjoy on the menu. I found the chocolate mousse too rich and the biscuit not to my liking.
Dinner by Heston awakens the long lost archives of British cuisine, taking you down the memory lane of its culinary history and even brings you meals that were fit for a King. This all served with Heston’s indelible touch.
With national pride in complete overdrive, I couldn’t think of any other place in the Olympic city that could more fitting to celebrate the heritage of British cuisine.
Welcome to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, to England’s culinary lineage.