Dinner by Heston BlumenthalModernist
Posted 28 January 2011 - 05:57 AM
Posted 31 January 2011 - 06:24 PM
Edited by Brainfoodie, 31 January 2011 - 06:28 PM.
Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:03 PM
Normally I would have decided what we would be eating by now, but I am struggling a bit.
What two three courses would you choose?
Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:43 PM
Posted 02 February 2011 - 01:55 AM
it's a comfortable room but a bit anonymous save for the glass kitchen, we were seated on the right, in the corner so had a good view of proceedings and i am happy to report the banquette was supremely comfortable!
at the moment they are not turning tables so the room gradually filled to a pleasant hum and there were plenty of eager staff around keen to explain the historical context of the recipes and the menu.
Given our greedy nature we wanted to try a few things and built a menu around a few starters/ fish/ steak & puds.
there was plenty of (bought in) sourdough on offer but no other freebies, though iced tap water was in constant supply.
Wine list is comprehensive and in line with the menu, in absolute terms expensive. There's a few sub £30 by a pound but majority of the drinkable list resides in the £50 - 60 level, and obviously beyond. A very helpful somellier got me out of the usual gruner/riesling / chard rut into a very good 07 Pacherenc at £59, it was really enjoyable fullish golden wine, i will have to look up the producer but it was very enjoyable. For the red we were even more adventurous heading to portugal for a terrenus reserva at £69, punchy prices but given the menu prices meant wallet was getting a beating whatever, in for penny ....
after debating the merits of the starters plus a blog report the decision was made to go for the meat fruit, salamagundy and savory porridge.
the meat fruit was as the world now knows a fake mandarin stuffed with chicken liver pate that could masquerade as foie served with grilled bread, it was very good.
Salamagundy was an odd dish of marrow, chicken oysters, horseradish cream and salad leaves, quite a pretty dish but other than the oysters which i'm not sure how they were cooked but they were great, it was a bit underwhelming.
Savory porridge was a riff on the snail porridge of the mothership, a oat base with parsley cod cheeks and fennel, again an ok dish but not revelatory and couldn't help but think that the preponderance of cheaper cuts is very arbutus-esque and probably better executed there, and given the prices charged , a very healthy margin for Mr b with not a prime ingredient in sight on the starters, as my companion sagely noted, there's a reason the cheaper cuts are cheaper...
onto the mains, well in our case an intermediate turbot with cockle ketchup (i think - theres a preponderance of ketchups on the menu). this was a poor dish, an overcooked, underseasoned small tranch of turbot with a few cockles sprinkled, i'm sure there's slighly more to it but in essence that's what £32 buys, certainly prefer to take my chances at the river cafe for that sort of money.
the if not quite the 64 million dollar question the £64 wing rib had a lot to live up to, we were recommended to order it 'as rare as we dare' we'd clocked the josper grill which although massively en vogue, to my liking doesn't crust meat sufficiently. we said they could cook it rare as along as it had a crust. guess what? well it came looking a little wan but it tasted better than it looked, nicely rested , seasoned and sliced, about a kilo of o'sheas irish black angus. it came with excellent triple cooked chips, a sharp almost vinegary red wine redcution and mushroom ketchup (not a million miles of hp brown sauce with chopped button mushrooms in it)
We'd pre-orderd the tipsy cake , featuring the signature roasted pineapples seen through the kitchen grilling on the clockwork rotisserie. this was a good dish and the briochy pudding a nice artery clogger but the star was definitely the brown bread salted caramel ice cream, i think they must have listened to inital reports oon poriton size as this was a decent quenelle and was probably the hit of the night.
a decent large espresso to finish accompanied by a rather random earl grey tea petit four with a spiced biscuit that jarred to our taste.
So all in all it wasn't a bad night, it wasn't a great night, the standard bsitro dishes are well executed but given the chances of getting a table, steak cravings are likely to be as easily satisifed at goodman / hawksmoor et al, and the more adventurous dishes are knocked into a cocked hat by the likes of the Ledbury, bill £323 inc service so its firmly in 'fine dining' territory.
Heston was in back slapping selected guests (ie not us) with a guest appearance by daniel boulud in whites and alain ducasse in a suit added a bit of glamour, i was suprised to see the room wasn't full of eager blogger tables for one with a D-SLR for company!
i have another reservation for may and really am not convinced it's worth another trip on last nights showing.
Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:27 AM
Don't think it will be long before a flurry of blog posts appear, but good or bad reviews will not dent the popularity of this place. Its in Fat Duck territory regarding advance bookings.
Bring it on.
Posted 02 February 2011 - 03:18 AM
its popularity is unquestioned but for me there's better value/more interesting cooking elsewhere.
Posted 02 February 2011 - 03:29 AM
It sounds a bit serious and po-faced. Made worse by being in a big expensive hotel like the Mandarin Oriental.
Also expensive. £72 for wing rib and ketchup?
Not sure how this is going to go down... !
Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:29 AM
Edited by Gary Marshall, 02 February 2011 - 05:29 AM.
Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:30 AM
Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:32 AM
view of the room
Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:33 AM
Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:34 AM
rib for 2
Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:35 AM
Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:36 AM
brown bread ice cream
Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:37 AM
Coffee & p4's
Posted 02 February 2011 - 06:46 AM
Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:14 AM
Nice write-up and pics
Can you tell me more about the tipsy cake?
I would like to try and replicate it. I've been meaning to hot-smoke some pineapple for a while and this could be just the vehicle!
Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:34 AM
the cake is essentially a brioche base, from memory it too is glazed and syruppy but i'm afraid i can't be more detailed, i can tell you should amazon stock books from 1615 it is taken from a recipe for taffety tart from A New Book of Cookerie Bt John Murrell.
Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:51 AM
I guess if it's called tipsy cake it must have some alcohol in. Rum?
Posted 02 February 2011 - 08:08 AM
Posted 02 February 2011 - 03:32 PM
Posted 03 February 2011 - 02:18 AM
enjoy your meal!
Posted 03 February 2011 - 03:47 AM
Today is the day
Just heard a reservation is up for sale on Ebay.
What on earth is the foodie world coming too.
It's not like it's that big a reservation! what is wrong with people?!!
Look forward to your report anyway David, I'm looking forward to going myself in under 2 weeks, I'll even promise to write up my own report!
Posted 03 February 2011 - 04:05 AM
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