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gavinhanly

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

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Gary

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!

Cheers

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pinapple is glazed and brushed we could see them doing that regularly on the rotisserie.

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. :laugh:

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Booked in for May 27th by which time HB will have moved on and Ashley Palmer-Watts will be in full command. Apparently we're having the 9 course taster menu although I haven't seen any mention of it on their website. If my brother doesn't hiss and grumble about me taking photos then I'll post back.So very very excited. :biggrin:

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Today is the day :biggrin::wink:

Just heard a reservation is up for sale on Ebay.

What on earth is the foodie world coming too.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Dinner-Heston-Blumenthal-Reservation-/130481046407?pt=UK_Tickets_Tickets_LE&hash=item1e6146c387

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!

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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!

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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.co.uk/debate/article-1353098/Heston-Blumenthals-new-restaurant-called-best-world.html#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.

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...... 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?

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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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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.

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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.

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image_0002.jpg

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.

image_0004.jpg

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.

image_0004.jpg

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

image_0007.jpg

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.

image_0009.jpg

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.

image_0010.jpg

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

image_0011.jpg

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.

IMG_0146.JPG

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,

image_0018.jpg

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.

image_0003.jpg

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:

image_0006.jpg

Happy Eating.

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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

image_0008.jpg

Clock

image_0013.jpg

Bar

image_0001.jpg

Kitchen

image_0005.jpg

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

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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

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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!

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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!

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