Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Time Out says
A restaurant from Heston Blumenthal in a luxe hotel setting.
The London outpost of culinary wizard Heston Blumenthal’s empire, Dinner has a focus on recreating heritage dishes from days of yore. (Fun fact: the name originally stemmed from the fact that ‘dinner’ has meant different meal types, served at different times, throughout the ages.)
Given the historical focus, the feel of the room is surprisingly modern. Occupying what was once two separate restaurants within the Mandarin Oriental, it’s a huge, expensively decorated space with a masculine, minimalist look, all coffee, cream and backlit pelmets.
And the food? Absolutely outstanding. The signature Meat Fruit – made to a recipe dating back to 1500 – is a must-order. It’s a silky chicken liver parfait within a firm mandarin jelly, made to look like a real mandarin. It even has a real leaf poking out of the top (don’t eat that).
But everything here is flawless, from saffron and almond rice with veal sweetbreads, which dates back to 1390, to spiced squab pigeon with artichokes, ale and malt. Service, too, is fabulous: gracious, charismatic and super-savvy.
The only red flag, in fact, is the bill. Expect it to be brutal (though still much cheaper than at Heston’s other UK restaurant, The Fat Duck in Bray).
Starters cost more than £20, mains over £40 and so on. But there’s lots of good (free) bread, and the terrific triple-cooked chips are ‘only’ £6, so share where you can, or hold back on booze (from £36 a bottle) to soften the blow. A bit. One final tip: the dark interiors and special-occasion price tag are best suited to dinner, but if you must go for lunch, then ask for a table by the window, looking out on to Hyde Park.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £250.|
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Users say (28)
Average User Rating
4.1 / 5
- 5 star:13
- 4 star:8
- 3 star:5
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:1
I cannot tell you how excited I was to get a table here on a busy Friday. Now I've been I wish I hadn't. I'm really sorry to say that the whole restaurant is hype - 'emperor's new clothes'. The food is 'fine'. It's not adventurous; it's nothing different from any bistro in Mayfair or St James'. What really lets the place down is the staff, there are dozens of them, you will see them marching by, they appear to think you are incredibly lucky to be in their presence, they will ignore you and (despite all of their assumed arrogance) they will make several silly mistakes. I expect you'll still go, I was so excited I wouldn't have listened, so instead (after you've experienced what we did) perhaps we should set up a survivor's club. Bitterly bitterly disappointed - go to the Ledbury or Pollen St. Social instead.
This is a unique restaurant with a focus on British historical gastronomy, revisiting recipes dating as far back as the Middle Age! Second to none professional knowledgeable and friendly service with great views over Hyde Park
This was on my bucket list & was a great but pricey dining experience. The room is lovely & on a spring evening light filled with a great view over Hyde Park. The staff were attentive without being fussy & I was made to feel very welcome. I'm not very good with anything offal related but there was plenty on the menu to tempt me. I stuck to Mr Blumenthal's signature dishes- the meat fruit & tipsy cake were both utterly delicious. Not sure I'd go back but for a once in a life time experience I'm very glad I've ticked it off the list!!
I was here for the beginning of a few days of indulgent birthday celebrations (and not even a special number birthday either, oops) but it didn't live up to the hype, I'm afraid. The food is delicious but nothing special; the staff were wonderful but the atmosphere is weird - the restaurant itself is in the Oriental Mandarin which means there are a lot of random rich tourists around all a bit lost and consequently the experience of drinking in the bar then dining isn't the cool, exciting, fun that it should be - it just feels a bit stale and on the whole I wonder if the novelty of the place is wearing thin now. The prices are also mental, so I would say there are a lot cooler and hipper places to hang out. That said, the food's good, so don't le me put you off if you're a Heston fan... SJP
I went here with my hubby for our wedding anniversary. I went for the meat fruit (of course) it was as good as it looked. The staff where great and patient while I pondered the menu. Loved the venue, felt relaxed but organized. I went for the Chicken which I regretted when my husbands steak turned turned up ! All round great place. It was also great to see Heston arrive for dinner himself. Will go back for sure.
Whenever I find myself at the Mandarin Oriental, one thing is usually on my mind, whether I can eat a whole Meat Fruit as well as three courses? It has to be creamiest foie gras and chicken liver mousse known to man, and for the unfamiliar, the only one that is displayed as an impressively real mandarin. Palmer-Watts' menu continues to deliver an excellent seasonalish selection with just a touch of history and flare. It's the crowd pleasing option as far as his endeavours go (let's ignore the 'for Waitrose' range and pretend all the UK chefs aren't selling out). I have to question the circumstances that have led to the achievability of getting a table without having to sell an organ to a concierge, and I think it's variety, one new dish every 6 months makes for slow change in central London. Service is comfortably formal, and wait staff are knowledgeable and patient in explaining the heritage of each dish. For me, Dinner is the 'never fail' you take out-of-London visitors to for Saturday lunch once, and again, and again. Delicious.
meat fruit wonderful, then downhill - the duck tasted like plain boiled duck, no flavour. The special Beef royale cooked for many many hours?? was just fat - fat jelly fat, no meat. Kept convincing myself this is Blumenthal's restaurant it must be a special texture to beef but no! just fat jelly. Pineapple dessert lovely, brioche very light and fluffy but a bit sweet.
We went to Dinner last night. Sorry to say that it failed to live up to the hype and and what you would expect from a Heston B resturant.The food was nice, but was severly tarnished by the poor service and attention to detail. On arrival no-one helped with taking coats. We waited 15 mins before any drinks and bread were brought to the table. The waiting staff were really noticable, and at times it felt like we were eating our meal in a train station.
Went there last night and enjoyed the meal very much. For starter I had the roasted marrowbone – excellent. I was a bit weary of the pickled vegetables but they complimented it very well. For main, I had the fillet steak, mushroom ketchup and tripled cooked chips and wine sauce. Fillet was delicious, I wanted it medium and it was cooked to perfection, succulent, and juicy with no blood oozing out. It was complimented with the mushroom ketchup and the wine sauce very well, I do not usually like red wine sauce, but this one was just right – it had a nice sweet taste. As for the chips, a hint of salt on a crispy shell, with a ‘melt in the mouth’ centre – very delicious. For dessert, I had the tipsy pudding, now this has to be the best pudding I’ve had in my life! Brioche drenched in beautiful syrup and served with a spit-roasted stick of pineapple. My whole eating experience was lovely. The staff where very knowledgeable of the menu and were very helpful, they also enquired about dietary requirements – which I thought was very good. The service was good, but I like to be left alone to enjoy my food when I eat out. Staff is obviously told to take part in small talk with the customers, but it was all too much for me. When I’m asked if I had a good day, I’m polite enough to say yes, I don’t expect to be asked what did I do! She did not really want to know what I did and I certainly did not want to discuss my day with a complete stranger. It got to the point where I was scared to make eye contact, as they’d dart over to the table! I like to pour my water myself, as I know how much water I want. I know with the prices, service should be excellent, and it was, but they should also be aware that some people see dinner time a quiet time to relax and enjoy – not to have to keep answering questions about the meal or saying, thank you but I’d like to pour the water myself.
By D Had dinner at Dinner yesterday and my god it was good. One of the few restaurants which lives up to the hype. The hubby and i had the meat fruit andjust went for the steak for two. Both were delicious and i'm a big convert to mushroom ketchup! So glad it got the star. By W Excellent fault free food. Service deserves a mention, we stuck with tap water and beer - not a hint of pressure to order expensive wines. This was the second time i've been - hope they are not turning this into a steakhouse - half the mains seem to steaks or pork chops. What everhapped to the 72 hour rib of beef?
Firstly this is NOT "The Fat Duck" "light". This is much more mainstream, if Blumenthal can do such a thing. The food is very precisely cooked, imagine eating a Leonardo dissection drawing of each course: very exact and fantastically consistant. Textures are a speciality and are magically combined: More than one course I stumbled on a surprising crunch and said out loud "Clever, clever boy". But (say it really quietly) the depth of flavour was not quite there. Meat fruit is beautiful and truly melts away, but wasn't quite meaty or fruity enough. However the Pineapple dessert is to die for, beating the chocolate bar into a cocked hat. The people are excellent, and service is certainly not as pretentious as some of the names of the dishes. Was it worth £140 (we drank only water) for lunch? No, it was like a friendly version of Alain Duchasse at The Dorchester. I'd spend twice that much and go for the real deal at Willy Wonker's factory at The Fat Duck in Bray.
Excellent lunch at Dinner - the service was fantastic and my pregnancy-related food-fussiness thoroughly catered for (sadly meant I couldn't try the meat fruit). Delicious wood-pigeon main course but the highlight was definitely the dessert of malted barley ice cream. The prices are as you might expect in a five-star hotel but the experience was great and I love the concept of resurrecting old British recipes.
The restaurant is very attractive and features a glass walled kitchen and splendid views over Hyde Park. The service was excellent but no more than one would expect from a restaurant in a 5 star hotel. Nevertheless, somehat more unexpected was the hit and miss quality of the food on offer. During our visit the misses were the meat fruit, the roasted sea bass and the brown bread ice cream. The hits were the savoury porridge, the black foot pork chop and the Tipsy Cake. The meat fruit is, I'm afraid, a gimmick. Tthere is nothing special about the chicken liver parfait covered by the orange peel textured gelatin. It is smooth and tasty but, despite the interesting presentation, holds nothing of particular interest in the flavour department. The sea bass was a good quality piece of a fish but the vinegar drenched cockles were far too over powering and the flesh of the bass did not marry well with their "squeaky" texture. The brown bread ice cream was very bizarre and tasted like a revolting savoury combination of yeast, salt and cream. Notwithstanding the above, the savoury porridge was incredible and the black foot chop was the finest I have ever tasted. Both dishes were full of complex flavours and contained first rate ingredients. However, the winning dish, for those with a sweet tooth is the Tipsy Cake. Whilst the spit roasted pineapple is another gimmick that I could take or leave, the cake itself was alone worth the visit.
Totally agree with this review from Time Out. The starters were delicious, the meat fruit had a good wow factor and tasted amazing. The smoked calves heart salad was tasty but miniscule. Main courses were very disappointing, on a par with something you could get in a good gastro pub. The spiced pigeon was, we were told, flavoured with star anise, coriander, cinnamon. The meat was amazingly tender and rich but the aforementioned spices could no be detected. The sauce tasted of nothing more but a red wine reduction. Cockle ketchup with the sea bass was interesting, quite vinegary, the fish was well cooked and good. Our side dish of potatoes, essential if you don't want to go hungry, was not cooked properly. They were raw in the middle. Unacceptable. Puddings, as T.O, were excellent. Magical flavours, unlike anything else we have eaten, and they looked beautiful. More should be said about the setting of the restaurant. It is quite ugly. Dated, in a 90s way, hideous tables leather panelled trolleys and walls and the most revolting champagne trolley you will set eyes on. Also, for nearly £100 a head, why no tablecloths?? it would make huge difference to the feel of the room. The view of the park is great, that is the only redeeming feature. Staff were very helpful and attentive.
Not entirely worth all the hype (and cost!) but definitely one of the best meals you'll find in London.
Yep, it is worth all the hype. The food is unbelievably good, and the staff were amongst the friendliest I've met in London. Prices are very high, but then again you are dining in Knightsbridge. Well worth saving up for!