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gavinhanly

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

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It makes my April booking seem a very long way away now. Well at least you can all test the menu for me so I know exactly what to order!

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While disapointed I hacve to wait till April as compensation I'm hoping the tasting menu will be up and running by then.

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only ALC for time being but HB did tell me that tasting would follow later in year

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prices were within reason for restaurant of this quality. The most expensive main was aged rib of beef for 2 at £36 per head. The wine and bar drinks were very expensive though

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I do have a copy of the menu and pics but we were politely asked not to publish until after they open on 31st january. Not much good with scanning but will have a go next week

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An old colleague tweeted this photo of "Broth of Lamb" and "Rice and Flesh", two of the starters from the opening today.

233955877.jpg


Edited by Brainfoodie (log)

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Had a call from the restaurant today to confirm our table for two.

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?

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I think i will go for either the chicken liver or the rice and flesh, and then for the beef royal

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So dinner last night at Dinner, unlike bouloud no seperate entrance so it's a wander into the mandarin oriental and a vague poke around to discover the restaurant is over to the left. after approx 15 people smiling asked if we had a reservation we eschewed the bar (which is the hotel bar not the Dinner bar) and heading through a nice glass cellar corridor into Dinner.

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.

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Interesting report. I'm hoping for an overall better result, so fingers crossed here.

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. :biggrin:

No photos?

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yes i 've got pictures on my iphone but not sure how to get them off it!

its popularity is unquestioned but for me there's better value/more interesting cooking elsewhere.

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The combinations seem interesting, but they seem to lack the playfulness and humour of the classic Fat Duck dishes.

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... !

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