One of London’s hottest dinner destinations, cunningly and skilfully updating historic British dishes in a de luxe hotel setting with fine views of Hyde Park.
Head chef Ashley-Palmer Watts, protégé of Heston Blumenthal, ensures that Dinner is one of London’s most sought-after destinations. While the flagship restaurant, Bray’s Fat Duck, celebrates futuristic flamboyance, Dinner updates historic dishes with flair and precision.
Sited in the Mandarin Oriental hotel, this corporate set-up is furnished with dark wood and unclothed tables, and boasts fine views of Hyde Park. An impressive glassed-in kitchen saves the restaurant from hotel-like sterility. The signature Tudor-inspired ‘meat fruit’ bears striking resemblance to a dimpled mandarin, its gel-like zesty sheen yields to a delectable chicken liver and foie gras parfait, with chargrilled sourdough bread a perfect partner.
We were also taken by the umami notes of glazed roast quail, its sweet, tangy flavours matched with buttery chestnut-flecked cabbage and game jus. Desserts were top drawer, notably an orange syrup-steeped loaf (similar to brioche) paired with a remarkably zingy mandarin and thyme sorbet. Quaking pudding, originally from the 1600s, might have been the foundation for Britain’s love of all things custardy. Set to a sexy wobble, our nutmeg-infused custard was surrounded by glossy perry caramel and perfectly poached pear slivers.
Service was an impeccable combination of professionalism and welcoming warmth. As expected, the wine list is extensive and expensive, though house choices are excellent value.