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Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

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#61 olicollett

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 10:44 AM

I see jan moir is not caught up in the hype either, more 'interesting than delicious' according to tweet from harden's. that's not a bad summary and also like me, not seeing the point of the salalmagundy either!


Yeah but to be honest, does anyone value Jan Moir's opinions about anything, let alone food? Her review is terrible and the headline utterly rididuclous:
http://www.dailymail...l#ixzz1CtdVSWc9

I agree the hype is ridiculous, but it's the media who have been hyping the place up in the first place, to use that as a criticism of a restaurant in a newspaper review strikes me as a bit odd.

#62 PhilD

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 04:11 PM

...... and also like me, not seeing the point of the salalmagundy either!


IIRC The Sportsman does a cracking Salmagundy, it was quite a revelation when we ate there and we really enjoyed it. How does Dinner's compare? Is it so different?

#63 Harters

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 04:34 PM

My salamagundi at the Sportsman last July was mainly salad leaves,with softened carrots and a couple of other veg, together with a poached duck egg. Very simple, very light. Gary's photo doesnt look too salady to me.
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#64 PhilD

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 08:50 PM

Interestingly two different spellings: Salmagundi at the Sportsman and Salamagundy at Dinner. My googling seems to indicate Stephen has the English spelling whilst Heston has gone all US on us. Or is it historically a different dish? IIRC every review of it at the sportsman has been good whilst at Dinner it is getting a lukewarm reaction.

#65 Gary Marshall

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:35 AM

the majority of the dinner dish is a swathe of mild horseradish cream with the oysters & marrow sat there. the salad leaves seemed superfluous, rob said that to the waiter and they said historically a salamagundy is a warm salad, hence the leaves.

not tried the sportsman's one.
you don't win friends with salad

#66 david goodfellow

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 05:07 AM

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Yes Mr Goodfellow, we have found your booking.
Happy smiley greeting from well drilled staff, got us off to a good start.



Well

Mutton, dressed as Lamb (c 2011)? or,

The Dogs Goolies (c2011) ?

We shall see.


Yes, both of the above could be on a Heston Blumenthal Menu, but thankfully they were not, dogs knackers simply did not appeal on the day. However there is a raft of interesting dishes, with an historical link as to source of origin on the back of same.
Like the man himself has stated, I was concerned that the food may not live up to the hype.

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It is an impressive space. The main man is visible with glass wine cellar in the background. A handfull of bloggers were in, eating their way through the menu, although of surprise no one seemed to be taking any photos until later on when a film crew proper arrived on the scene.

The giant Ebel clock movement turns the rotisserie inside the kitchen where twenty odd chefs toil away.

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Bread was fine, butter excellent. Of the two breads I preferred the brown, but not much in it really.

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Roast Marrowbone (c1720) (£14) Was my choice of starter. It was served in a reusable shaped bone with a refreshing side of slightly pickled vegetables. Said marrow was perked up with anchovy,and mace and a welcome hit of parsley. I enjoyed this dish.

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Roast Scallops (c1820) (£16) Were declared a hit, but so they should be at £16 plus service charge. Admittedly they had been transported from the Outer Hebrides and were as tasty as any that we have eaten in recent times. Some announced Cucumber relish is visable, there was also borage and brocolli florets and an emulsion of brocolli.



Black Foot Pork Chop (c1860) (£28) I assume is from Spain, fed on acorns and with my limited knowledge have to guess the reason its made its way on to the menu is because it tastes so bloody good. This is a fairly basic dish given the pedigee of the chef, however saying that the chop was absolutly gorgeous, with a big whack of flavour. Well seasoned with a little tease of black pepper every now and then. Tender, moist and pink, the sort of hunk of meat you wish would go on and on eating, until you could eat no more.
Said chop is propped up by some hispy cabbage.

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Beef Royal (c1720) (£28) Would have been my first choice, but the other half fancied it first so no problem.

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I liked the sound of the dish before it hit the table, "72 hour slow cooked short rib of Angus, smoked anchovy & onion puree, Ox tongue.

I liked it even better when it finally arrived. As you may expect, tender as a baby's bottom, but so it should be, bathing for all those hours at 56 degrees. I was informed that before it went into the water bath, it had a very short spell in the Josper grill to impart some smokiness from the charcoal, beech, ash and hornbeam. Then bathed and finally finished of on the Plancha.

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We had a couple of sides, of Heston's famous chips and some cabbage for Mrs G.

The other half has decided that she can live without desserts for a while so I chose an impossibly complex dish,

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Tafferty Tart (c1660) (£8.50) " Rose, Fennel, Lemon and Blackcurrant Sorbet".

I,m sure our waitress said it took three days to make.

It took about three minutes to eat.


Apart from the pricing, which is to be expected with such a phenomenon behind this restaurant. I am very pleased to report I was well pleased with what was on offer.
My wife was not quite so enamored as I was especially to her beef dish, and she questioned the pricing also.
Food tourists from all over the world will be beating a path to this place long after the initial buzz has died down. Confident of the hubris of mentioning to their friends " We dined at Heston Blumenthal's new place last week"

Would we return? If we could get a table?

Yes indeed, the lunch at £28 seems an absolute steal for the money plus we will try a few more dishes off the carte.

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Heston's "Son" and Head Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts taking a well earned break during a photo shoot.



Heston with much revered Mattew Fort.

How does a chef keep those whites so spotlessly clean. :wink:

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Happy Eating.

#67 david goodfellow

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 08:38 AM

For some reason the photos did not come out just in the order that I wanted, some were omitted somehow.

It could have been pilot error, however.

Some which are missing below.

Scallops

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Clock

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Bar

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Kitchen

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#68 david goodfellow

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 01:29 AM

Interview with Mr B in the Guardian

Also in the Independent Mark Hix claims its the best food he has eaten in two years

#69 david goodfellow

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 02:57 AM

Loads of reviews starting to come through now.

The Telegraph give it a 10/10.

Its here

#70 tim g

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 03:14 AM

matthew norman is such a terrible critic (imo) i thought that once he left the guardian we were rid of him

#71 david goodfellow

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 03:29 AM

Anyone else been?

The thread seems to have gone a bit quiet.

Other reviews appreciated.

Anyone got a table for two they do not want?

#72 Gary Marshall

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 07:53 AM

expect a dos hermanos review at some point, after 2 visits to be absolutely sure....

Edited by Gary Marshall, 11 February 2011 - 07:53 AM.

you don't win friends with salad

#73 olicollett

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 07:57 AM

I'm there tuesday night, I'll probably write a brief report and do something more lengthy after my second visit a few weeks later

#74 olicollett

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 05:19 AM

Well, not a great deal to add as I went for the meat fruit, beef royal and tipsy cake.

Briefly, the meat fruit was excellent, as expected. It really does look incredible with the texture of the surface of the jelly accurately reflecting that of fruit.

The beef royal was the highlight for me, I loved the texture, the way the fat melted in the mouth and the way the saltyness of the smoked anchovy complemented the beef flavour. It's certainly a rich dish though as you might expect! To go with the beef we had sides of cabbage and fries. The cabbage was excellent but the fries were a dissapointment. I was hoping the chips would be on the menu but for some reason they were missing, and the fries were a bit of a let down - seemed like the same ones they serve downstairs in Bar Boulud and didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the food really.

Lastly, the tipsy cake - I loved the pineapple, and I loved the cake, but together I felt that the pineapple had so much flavour that the cake was overpowered. It was nice, but I'm not sure it was quite there yet as a dish. My friend had the chocolate bar which was very interesting, I might go for it next time - the ginger ice cream was excellent.

We both went with a couple of glasses of wine, there seemed to be a reasoanble selection by the glass, but the bottle list was less impressive. It was a struggle to find much under £50/bottle which given the style of the restaurant seemed silly really. I seem to remember Foliage had a very good wine list with a lot of quite reasonable options so it's a shame to see they have gone for a list which looks more like one you would see at a Paris 3*

Anyway, back in a couple of weeks, no idea what I'll go for though!

#75 olicollett

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 05:58 AM

An update after my second visit

Rice & Flesh stater was excellent, basically a very good saffron risotto with the addition of calf tail. One of my friends went for the Scallops with cucumber ketchup which looked amazing, but since cucumber is one of the few foods I really cannot stand I passed on sampling it!

For main course I went with the spiced pidgeon which was very nice. There's not a lot to the dish, but the pidgeon was cooked perfectly (it reminded me of the pidgeon I had at the fat duck - probably the same supplier) and the artichokes and sauce complimented it all nicely. I think it would have been nice to have an additional component to the dish though. One of my friends went with the black foot pork chop which was very, very tasty indeed, although I expect some people might be put off by how rare it is served! My other friend went with the sirloin of Black Angus in absence of the beef royale (the waiter later explained they had issues which meant they had to take it off the menu that day). The sirloin was sadly a dissapointment - the flavour was there, very well seasoned with nice charring, but there was no getting around the fact that the meat was tough. You usually expect some texture in a steak cooked medium-rare, but despite the fact that it looked like it was cooked perfectly it was a lot of effort to cut let alone chew.

To finish off, I went with the Tafferty Tart. I thought this was a marvelous creation - it looked like there was a huge amount of work goes into this and i'm not surprised by it taking 3 days as David mentions above. The sorbet was incredible and the amount of flavour in the tart was unbelievable - I guess it's no surprise given that this is from the fat duck menu! My friends went for the brown bread ice cream and poached rhubarb - both excellent, but I think I made the best choice!

I enjoyed my second visit but I can see how some people come away with different opinions. Had I gone for the steak I think I would have been quite dissapointed - in fact I probably would have sent it back (I think my friend was being polite by not saying anything!). The pricing still seems confusing - I can understand why something like the beef royale is priced at £32 given the amount of prep and the various components that go into it (despite what should be a cheaper cut of meat) and I can understand the pricing of the pork chop at £28 given the cost of the "Pata Negra" pork itself. The pidgeon seems a bit odd though - the portion isn't exactly huge and there doesn't seem to be a lot to it. I'm sure that their suppliers in France are not cheap, but should it really be more than the Pork? On the other end of the scale, the Tafferty Tart seems ridiculously cheap at £8.50. Perhaps this is the problem with individual pricing of dishes? I expect there will be changes to come yet - and if that Tafferty Tart stays as cheap as it does I'll be very surprised!

#76 david goodfellow

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 06:35 AM

Just had an e-mail from The Mandarin Oriental about an offer of "Dinner" and Stay in one of their suites for the princely sum of £745.

Rich folk can jump the waiting list. Which according to them is into June.

Money talks eh :wink:

Details HERE

#77 Pam Brunning

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 08:54 AM

You must realise David they are all geared up for our friends across the 'Pond', they have the money and are into the historic angle.
Give it a couple of years when all the hype is over and put it in on 'LateRooms.com' you might find one at £50 + dinner - be patient.
Pam Brunning Editor Food & Wine, the Journal of the European & African Region of the International Wine & Food Society
My link

#78 confiseur

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 11:42 AM

No doubt if '....ee iz a fameuz chef Francais... ' then Michelin would pile straight in and give him top billing in the 2012 edition,but seeing that he is English with a German name things will probably be not that simple...

#79 olicollett

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 01:13 PM

Just had an e-mail from The Mandarin Oriental about an offer of "Dinner" and Stay in one of their suites for the princely sum of £745.

Rich folk can jump the waiting list. Which according to them is into June.

Money talks eh :wink:

Details HERE


The email did crack me up:
"From just £745"

A suite at a top london hotel isn't cheap, but taking away the book & restaurant credit of £200, £500 doesn't strike me as cheap!

I can't see Dinner being a 3 star at all - it's just not geared up that way. 2 star could be a possibility though.

#80 RDB

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 12:49 PM

I have a table booked here next month and for the first time I cannot get excited at all about the menu. In fact the only thing that is really grabbing me is the dessert menu, which is even more strange. I think Heston's crusade to outdo Jamie in the delusional " food will save mankind and all its woes", is kinda tainting my impression as well.

Now the hype has died down, and the bravado of stating "I have been to Heston's new place"; is it really as good as the critics etc make out??

#81 Gary Marshall

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 04:26 AM

no, it's a perfectly good restaurant, but it 'aint the second coming it has been billed as.

i think heston would agree, it's a bistro de luxe turned into a destination restaurant due to its parentage.
you don't win friends with salad

#82 olicollett

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 11:51 AM

no, it's a perfectly good restaurant, but it 'aint the second coming it has been billed as.

i think heston would agree, it's a bistro de luxe turned into a destination restaurant due to its parentage.


Yup

I think it'll be much better visiting in a year after the initial hype has died down

#83 ermintrude

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 07:07 AM

Had lunch at Dinner last Saturday and very enjoyable it was.

First a cocktail in the Mandarin bar where we all meet, the websites a bit confusing as it makes it sound like this is a separate bar but you have to go through it to get to Dinner and the entrance is labelled "Dinner by Heston" but that's minor the major thing was they can make a good martini.

The room was small than expected from photo's I'd seen but was bright and airy.
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Started with the lamb broth. I loved this dish, a rich lamb broth poured over a mixture of raw and lightly pickled vegetables with what I believe was a sous vide egg in the middle, not sure as the yolk was runny while but had a set white around it. The egg added an extra richness and the contrast between the broth and the vegetables made this while rich also a light and refreshing dish. My dining companions had:- the "Rice and Flesh" this was liked and the portion was perhaps a bit large as it was very rich; "Savoury Porridge" which was very good and the 4th diner had
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the meat fruit which I'd also ordered as second starter (I had them both arrive together) this is another good dish as described in many other posts. And provided you were hungry and had one of the lighter starters is not a problem to have as an additional course.

For the main course the beef royal was not even on the menu, I was going to ask the reason but never got round to it.
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I had the "Black Foot Pork Chop" and was warned that it came pink, this was delicious and comparing it to a companion that had "Sirloin Steak with bone marrow" a better dish. I'd had Iberico pork chop before but this was better and perfectly cooked. The others had "Braised Celery" and "Powdered Duck" and all the mains were well liked. To accompany we ordered chips, on asking it turned out the side of chips on offer are not triple cooked however they are happy to upgrade to these which we did and they were extremely crispy and very morish.
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For desert I had the "Tafety tart" which was wonderful and the blackcurrant sorbet a great accompaniment.
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Two of my collegues had the "Tipsey cake" which we were advised to order with our starters and mains as it takes 40 minutes to prepare, this was an individual baked brioche with a segment of slow roasted pineapple.
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The final desert was "Chocolate Bar"

We asked for a closer look at the kitchen
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but could not get to close as they were still serving the chefs table, when we were there they had just finished making ice cream with the liquid nitrogen machine I enquired how much the table cost and was told for 6 it would be £1200 for lunch and £1500 for dinner. I also enquired about the private dining room and was informed they normally have a choice of two menus and it's £1500 to hire.
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When we got back to our tables a post desert was served which was a which chocolate and earl grey ganache with a caraway seed biscuit. This was very creamy, a bit like condensed milk and the biscuit very crumbly. It would go best with coffee which we had declined.

Total for cocktails before, 5 starters, 4 mains, 4 deserts, 4 sides, 1 bottle of red and a bottle of white £431 which I though was good value.

Well worth a visit and I want to go again, a good and interesting restaurant but not a destination restaurant like the fat duck, french laundry etc. But if your in town well worth a visit and I can easily see it getting 1 star possibly 2.

Edited by ermintrude, 04 April 2011 - 07:08 AM.

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

#84 olicollett

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 05:18 AM

Interesting about the beef royale - I went again on thursday and it wasn't on, the time before that I went (think I mentioned above) they were having issues, I wonder if they are still to be resolved? Would be a shame if that's the case?

With regards to the cost of the chef's/private dining tables, is that including food? If so that's not too bad, if it is without food that seems a bit steep!

#85 ermintrude

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 08:08 AM

It includes food and they said you get loads of extras
Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

#86 ajnicholls

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 11:58 AM

Ashley said it was 6-8 courses; stuff from the ALC and a few other things they're working on. As well as the liquid nitrogen ice cream machine

#87 Andrew

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 10:03 AM

What main course? I went there for lunch last week and was really impressed by the starters (meat fruit and scallops) and the deserts (brown bread ice cream and tart) but thought both mains (duck and turbot) were ok, well executed but nothing special. I'm going back in a few weeks - any suggestions for the main?

Thanks.

#88 ermintrude

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 10:28 AM

Out off the four of us that went the "Black Foot Pork Chop" was thought to be the best the others tried were "Sirloin Steak with bone marrow", "Braised Celery" and "Powdered Duck" also get the triple cooked chips. I've also heard the "beef royal" well rated but it seems to be off the menu at the moment.

Also I did see the liquid nitrogen ice cream machine being used at the chefs table when I was there.
Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

#89 ajnicholls

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:56 AM

The pork chop was excellent. I had the pigeon, which I thoroughly enjoyed, although is very pricy for what you get.

#90 Sacha Novak

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:45 PM

I was here about two weeks after it opened. We had a 1:30pm booking on a saturday so by the time we sat lunch was starting to tail off.

To be honest, I found the whole experience a bit....Meh. The food was good, but not spectacular. I mean, the cooking was perfection, the presentation was very good but it just seemed to be missing a bit of....love?

I had a sirloin steak which I think must of had his 24 hour slow cook process (I wanted the beef royal but they ran out). I have been very keen to try this for a while (I love my steak) but there is just something not familiar with the texture. I do 24 roast sirloin at home for my sunday roasts and its sublime, but for steak...I just dont get it.

Just while writing this, I think I have hit the nail on the head. Fillet steak, I love it well rested and tender so it melts in the mouth. I like its smooth texture and its flavor. But any other cut be it sirloin or t-bone, I like it fresh off the grill and sizzling on the plate. I dont care about blood on my plate from lack of resting, I want the juices to explode in my mouth as I bite into it! This 24 hour Heston Sirloin was trying to be fillet with flavor, but it just has the wrong texture.

Anyway, service was terrible. We sat for at least 15 min trying to catch someones eye to get the bill. It was end of Lunch and they were getting ready for dinner service but no excuse. My girlfriend was quite pregnant at the time and was very uncomfortable.

They also made no effort to understand that she was pregnant and explain what dishes had offal or uncooked egg.

The pineapple desert was good though. That and the steak was about all I remember eating!

We continue to try and get a booking for the fat duck though. I am a huge fan of Hestons books and TV shows so I hope it restores my faith in him.

His cooking at home book is amazing btw, Anyone read it? Best cook book I have, and I have a LOT.





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