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It's Hugo, having discovered a time machine 25 years from now, decided to return to a time when Hedone wasn't a chain of hamburger and fried squid outlets.


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

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"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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I've got to say it was well worth the trip from E1 to W4...

Actually, although I didn't come to London for that reason, it would have been worth the trip from Scotland.

As chance would have it, we were seated right next to the table of a very well known food writer (with two others whom I don't know but perhaps are well-known too)...As a little clue I'll say that he has written that he has been at Hedone 5 times in 2 weeks. :blink: We took full advantage of our anonymity to overhear and see things that you people would not believe :cool:

I was a little disappointed that neither the pigeon nor the lamb were on the menu today. I was then envious when, while munching my dessert, I saw the chef personally bringing some lamb to the esteemed food bloggers next to us...I guess somebody who goes 6 times in 2 weeks (and writes what he's written) has well earned this and all the other stuff that came to that table on Jonsson's initiative.

For me the perfect dishes were the umami flan and the mackerel, simply served with the tenderest of leaves and perfectly seasoned, with the Hedone chocolate bar and the gazpacho coming close. All produce was superb, as has been said.

However, if one sets the standard at 2* level, as has been intimated (again by the aforementioned revered food blogger among others), for me the cooking is not yet overall at that level, as there were deficiencies (I'll detail at some point).

I think Jonsson is immensely clever in keeping it simple, cooking well within his comfort zone, and focussing on sourcing. Great generosity in the portions, too. We were served by the lovely waitress who was at Texture before (amazingly she remembered the table I was sitting at a lunch there over 6 months ago). One of the best £200 we've spent this year. The restaurant was almost full. Thanks for the tip Matthew!

Edited by Man (log)
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We took full advantage of our anonymity to overhear and see things that you people would not believe :cool:

Man, I'm not sure I understand why you're being so coy. Why and what would we not believe?

The quotation from Blade Runner was just a joke, meant to emphasise the standing of our illustrious neighbours compared to our humble selves and the differential treatment they were getting. The truth of course is that we were not listening to the next table conversation (not only have we been taught by our mums, alas long ago, that it is impolite, but fortunately we had our own).

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Saturday dinner. I just could not resist.

As described above, the raw materials are top quality.

The lobster was the best.

The weird sounding ‘flan’ – I had a vision of something slightly awful and cloying, it was of course light, deeply flavourful and delicious.

The only criticisms would be that the beef although really well flavoured, was quite chewy. The ice creams had ice crystals, although the flavours were fine indeed.

For a restaurant about a month old it was rather good and will get even better over time. Service was very good and the dining room was more or less full.

The bread was excellent too!

I think Jonsson is immensely clever in keeping it simple, cooking well within his comfort zone, and focussing on sourcing. Great generosity in the portions, too.

I agree. It will be interesting to see how good the food becomes.

We ate -

Hedone menu.jpg



Umami flan, seaweed coulis


Gazpacho, chilled dill flower cream


Flame grilled Cornish mackerel, Japanese flavours


Slow cooked hens egg, new seasons Scottish girolles, vine peach

slow cooked egg.jpg

Steamed scallops, tender broccoli


Dorset lobster, sea aster, cannellini beans, cocoa and red banylus vinegar dressing


45 days black angus rib eye, grelots onions, pear shaving


We also had very good cheese.

For dessert we took Raspberries, cinnamon ice cream, horseradish with aromatic vinegar and the Hedone chocolate bar.


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Sablé, not gougeres 

Now you mention sable, I do believe that is what they said too.

Black currant powder as well I think.

They tasted very good.

I made up the goujeres bit, couldn't recall what they called them at the time.

I should really pay more attention.


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I can see why you remembered/made up gougeres even though the consistency was different: they had a wonderful cheese flavour! We asked if it was Parmesan by any chance, the waiter said no, it was something we didn't understand, and we didn't bother him any more. Does any of the aficionados know what cheese they put in them?

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Its now nearly four weeks since our visit and it seems everytime I was about to write this review something else cropped up to engage my time.

Still, better late than never. Although most certainly things will have moved on quite a bit no doubt since our meal.

Berkswell Sable

Shortbread crust and ewes milk cheese from the West Midlands, with powdered blackcurrant.



A speciality from Monaco, where Michael lived for many years. Filled with beet leaves, spinach, ricotta, parmesan and marjoram. Deep fried.


Slow cooked hens egg, girolles.

Water bathed egg cooked at 62 degrees for 45 minutes, crouton, wild rocket.



Umami flan, bell pepper.

Essentially a red pepper coulis made with chicken stock, egg and cream.


Gazpacho, chilled dill flower.

Red pepper, cucumber, and D,Antona potatoes.



Grelots onions, greengage.

Sweated with butter and lemon, raw sliced plums


Dorset wild Turbot, clams, fresh almonds, radish tadpols, sea fennel, bronze fennel and potato emulsion.

The turbot was steamed and served with a scallop stock.


Squab pigeon, charlotte potatoes smoked over juniper berries, parsley and pistachio.

Breast and leg of Squab Pigeon, cooked in the oven, then seared in a pan. Parsley and pistachio paste, sauce made from the offal.


Almond Blanc manger, apricots.

Milk almond Blanc manger, served on crispy Arlette, roasted apricots and vanilla with fresh almonds.


Raspberries, cinnamon ice cream, horseradish, aromatic vinegar.

English raspberries, reduced red Banyuls vinegar, horseradish cream, plus cinnamon ice cream of course.



Well this proved to be a very interesting meal, with no real downsides and plenty to reccomend. Quality of ingredients shone through, and I did feel that all but a hamfisted chef could not fail with what had gone into the pot, so to speak. That is not to take anything away from chef of course, sourcing is clearly a massive part of this operation, and I am somewhat dumbfounded to hear he has not worked behind the stoves for many years.

Just a quick run through the dishes for the stand outs.

The egg, girolles dish was a real winner. Velvety egg, achingly forest fresh girolles, wispy peppery rocket.

Turbot and clams, excellent. Although I thought the clams were the star of the show. I could have eaten a bucketfull of them. Michael himself said he would have preferred the turbot to have rested for a day, as he feels it is better served a day after being caught. It was good, although it did not entirely rock my boat. Having said that, I can not remember the last time that I ate Turbot,(to make a comparison) its not on that many menus really.

I could eat the pigeon dish again and again, shame the poor little bugger had such a short life, but it did not die in vain.

Blanc Manger was perfectly escorted by the wonderful apricots, another seemingly simple but extremely satisfying dish.

I was not entirely impressed with the bread. It was average, a little too dense, but no doubt it will have improved over the past weeks.

Although both packed to the brim with flavour, the Umami flan and Gazpacho were a bit too similar to be served one after another, but thats just my opinion, and others will disagree.

To sum up then.

If this place was my local I would be exploring more and more of the wonderful produce arriving at its door on a daily basis. Only at the end of the meal did I notice Andy Hayler dining alone at the bar, great for him as he only lives around the corner. Shame for us as its way, way away.

Needless to say we will try our best to give it another try soon.


I had an all too brief chat with Michael after the meal, and found him to be unassuming (he refused a photograph), entertaining, and a very well travelled gourmet with an experience of fine dining that is truly amazing.

Very good luck to him.

"So many places, so little time"



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