DINNER BY HESTON BLUMENTHAL
THE MANDARIN ORIENTAL IN LONDON
LONDON(Perfect Meal Today)1/2/16/–Fashionable Knightsbridge in London is the home of the swanky Mandarin Oriental Hotel and befitting such a location, Heston Blumenthal (HB) has his London showcase called Dinner In the hotel, and what a place it is featuring British food from the past centuries done “Blumenthal” style. A panoramic ground floor view of Hyde Park on the raised floor of The restaurant gives this place a special feel at lunchtime which can last up to four hours if you have the stamina before trundling off to Harrods for some late afternoon splurging.
The 2 star Michelin Restaurant shares the hotel dining scene with suitably heavy company with the Daniel Boulud spot, which I have been told is one of the best cocktail bars in town as well as being obviously a showcase for French food in London.
In the meticulous menu preparation, HB has been ably assisted by his executive chef Ashley Palmer-Watts and a food historian. The open style kitchen is a haven of activity with at least twenty chefs working feverishly, and if you can stand the excitement, book the chef’s table within the space. The chefs have become experts at the old English style of “Spit
Roasting’ which dates back to the times of Henry V111, and Blumenthal is likely to be the only modern day chef to have had access to the world famous Royal Kitchens at Hampton Court.
For first course the only way to go is the Meat Fruit ($26), a tasty morsel dating back to about 1500 which is pretty much the signature dish of the restaurant. It is simply chicken liver parfait shaped and colored like a Mandarin served with grilled bread, and technically a masterpiece.
Also tried Ragoo of Pigs Ears on Toast from 1750 served with Anchovy, onions & parsley All this was served with a 2006 Moet & Chandon champagne that was just too good.
The Pork Belly from the year 1820 is brined for 24 hours prior to cooking and comes with Hispi cabbage, onion & Robert sauce. This was one of the specials that day in the three course set lunch menu ($57), but a glance at the regular main courses makes exciting reading. You have for example Powdered Duck Breast ($54) which is sourced from a cook book in 1670 by author Hannah Woolley, and this is served with Smoked confit fennel, smoked beetroot & umbles. Also intriguing is the Chicken cooked with Lettuces from 1670 ($51) with a grilled onion emulsion, spiced celeriac sauce & oyster leaves. This is also from the same cookbook that is strangely called “The Queen Like Closet or Rich Cabinet”
If you are in the mood for a steak then the Hereford Ribeye from 1830 ($57) is a must partly because it is served with Blumenthal’s famous Triple cooked chips and a home made mushroom ketchup. All the cuts of beef here are dry aged for 21 days at the least and cooked over wood and charcoal embers.
Yes there was still some room for dessert and I was eagerly led into the direction of the famous Tipsy Cake from 1810 ($22). Loosely described it is a freshly baked brioche sweet wine, custard and raw brandy and served with spit roast pineapple. Like all the food at this outstanding restaurant, it is all about the taste, texture and sticking closely to the original recipe with modern tweaking.
Dinner by Heston recently opened a second version in Melbourne, Australia, and has caused quite a stir amongst the locals so I am told.
287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211