As I’ve mentioned earlier, Ms Buddha and I share the same passion when it comes to traveling – food! So whilst many might just plan where to eat the weeks before, I tend to want to make sure restaurants are booked months before our journey – that way, I can enjoy both the experience of research and also the anticipation! Enter Dinner by Heston Blumenthal!
Rated as one of the top 10 restaurants in the world, it is great that the celebrity chef owner of the Fat Duck has decided to open a restaurant at a more accessible location in London’s Mandarin Oriental.
We booked this place about 2 months earlier through the Credit Card concierge, and Amex apparently has a standing table with them so it wasn’t difficult to have the booking confirmed straight away.
When it arrived (we took Uber – and arrived in a Jag) – the hotel staff were professional, and not up-tight at all (already off to a good start). We were offered the menus which were very extensive and interesting.
The philosophy of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is that they do traditional food in a modern way, and all (I mean all!) the items on the menu sounded great! In the end, Ms Buddha went with the Meat Fruit (Chicken liver parfait) and I went with the Salamagundy. The Meat Fruit’s presentation was delightful and just as tasty (I had one bite) while the Salamagundy was done in such a way that all the flavours of the ingredients complimented each other without any overpowering.
Next were the mains, and I went with a very traditional Hereford Ribeye (effectively steak and chips) while Ms Buddha went for the more gamey Powdered Duck Breast. I have to say, the meat was done with the precision of good medium rare steak and the chips were out of this world! Ms Buddha’s eyes lit up after having a bite of the Duck Breast, so it must’ve gotten her approval!
One thing that I like to do is to people watch, and it was fantastic to see that so many of the restaurants customers looked like they were relaxed and enjoying themselves instead of just being there to be seen (sadly very common in Hong Kong) – surprisingly, there was also an Aussie Hong Kong couple sat next to us – didn’t really speak to them though as they were on their phones a lot!
With mains done, it was down to the desserts – Ms Buddha picked the Taffety Tart while I went for my cheesy favourite of Sambocade (goats milk cheesecake). Taffety Tart looked a little too sweet to me although the ice-cream was really good genuine vanilla ice cream (a favourite of mine. The Sambocade was delicious and thankfully the goaty taste of goats milk came through (some like to cover it with another favour).
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is what I would call top notch, and runs on the same line as one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney called Sepia – the atmosphere is posh but most importantly relaxing – which is what you should want when you are eating. Although it’s located in quite an up-market hotel, I think the restaurant adds a nice comfortable spin the establishment by offering a place where guests can enjoy the really good food without making it such a massive occasion.