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Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

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It's probably worth pointing out the bar in the Mandarin, although next to Dinner, has nothing to do with the restaurant. It's the hotel's only bar and does indeed attract the typical 5-star clientlele.

My opinion of the restaurant last year (I think I may have posted already earlier in this thread) was brilliant food, incredibly executed given the size of the place, that's certainly not overpriced for what you get. What's awful is the wine list, which has a couple of very unimaginitively sourced bottles sub £30 that then skips to £60+ (I'm assuming this won't have changed in the interim, apologies to the venue if it has). It screams 'we want to take your money off you', so self-important custom aside, getting soused in the bar before hand - even at those prices - is probably no more expensive. Given this W/L I can understand how customers ended up voting as such in Harden's; it does have a dramatic impact on the bill. Also, the restaurant boasts nearly 100 covers, which they turn over at least twice of an evening service from what I understand, so they have considerably more potential voting footfall - positive or negative - than peers such as The Ledbury or Marcus Wareing that seat the standard 50 (approx) with no real turns to speak of. Finally, considering Heston's fame and reputation I bet the restaurant enjoys a wider audience who would only ever eat there on special occaisions and consider the pricing expensive full-stop.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Interesting data in the latest Harden's guide: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is both the Number 1 restaurant in London and the third most disappointing and one the most overpriced :blink:

What the hell is going on?


Makes perfect sense. It is one of the most mentioned and with the widest discrepancy between.

No reason to expect consensus

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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I'd question your use of the term 'perfect', but I agree that consensus is unusual. My intention, however, was to call attention to the paradoxical nature of the data and to solicit some kind of hypothesis as to why this might be so. As it stands, your comment doesn't really explain anything, but rather states an empirical fact and forwards a conclusion that does not obviously follow from this fact. Perhaps you could expand further?

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I think my empirical observation & explanation is both obvious & sufficient.

The only data insufficiency is the one that purports greater uncertainty. The respondents are not of fixed or expected number, the population scales in relation to the delta of the experience.

Further this is a common and oft repeated outcome of the harden's methodology. For years Ramsay returned very similar results.

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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  • 7 months later...

Hey Guys,

I am desperate to get a booking here in for a special event 99days, now I know reservations open 90days prior but anyone know at what time do I need to be online to quickly click to book?

Any advice?


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Hmm, I was there last week and booked a table for 2 through toptable.co.uk about 10 days beforehand and didn't seem to have any trouble at all. In fact, there were quite a few seating timeslots to choose from for my preferred night (a Wednesday) and the nights immediately before and after. Admittedly, it was pretty packed while we there.

Incidentally, I was pretty underwhelmed. The food experience (between us, we tried the salmagundi, the meat fruit, the cod in cider, a sous vide beef special and the brioche dessert to share, as well as four wines by the glass) was "Well, that was nice, and it's over now" rather than anything particularly memorable or impressive - food that was just fine and efficiently served up to you, to the point of feeling mechanical. I'd actually venture to say it was about on par with middle range restaurants I'd eat at in Tokyo (my gold standard of a food city), rather than anything brilliant.

And the service varied, from a waiter who told me off and tut tutted that I'd opened my menu before he'd come over to "talk me through it" (please! I know you have to do your spiel, but I can't even OPEN it??), to possibly the sweetest floor manager in the world, who I got to talking to about sous vide and who then excitedly showed me around all the cool gadgets in the kitchen, gave me heaps of recommendations for other places to eat in London, gave me his contact details should I ever want to come back etc, and was generally lovely.

Did have a enjoyable view of the park though!

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That's a pretty decent summary of my experience as well. It feels like a soulless restaurant, better suited to terminal 5. Waitress literally repeating the same lines for every table. Wine waiter completely thrown when I asked him to leave the bottle on the table "I'm afraid we can't do that in this standard of restaurant" (I bit my tongue and to be fair he did leave it 5 minutes later after checking with a manager) . Nothing particularly bad or memorable apart from the pigeon which has to rate as the most flavourless bird I have ever eaten.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I whole heartly agree with the two previous comments regarding this 'super dooper, uber, best in the world ever' restaurant! What a load of pretentious shite. I remember having a very uninspiring saffron risotto and a pork chop dish that was basically good home cooking or pub food.(I say pub food but again what an earth is that nowadays? Either food from the 70's or restaurants pretending to be pubs, as and where it suits).

The high end restaurant sector in the UK is becoming totally out of hand. What with the Michelin guide handing out stars to the over hyped rather than the more deserving to this ludicrous best ever restaurant list, which obviously has merited folk to comment on this establishment. Where is all this nonsense ever going to end?

Worst still, is having read and listen to the nauseating food dicks, who believe they have to rave and concur their bullshit knowledge on these sort of establishments because a silly list has said so.

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