On my recent two week holiday to Italy, I was lucky enough to have a day trip to London. I didn’t have much time at all, but I couldn’t resist booking a table for lunch for myself at Dinner by Heston. After all the rave reviews and its recent appointment at number 9 on the top 50 restaurants in the world for 2012, who could say no to a quick lunch there after visiting Oxford Road for some touristy shopping? Not me, that’s for sure!
So, extremely sleep deprived from the looong flight and stopover from Hong Kong from Sydney, I marched (albeit, slightly woozily) towards the Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park.
I was seated with an absolutely gorgeous view of Hyde Park and ordered myself a watermelon cucumber mocktail.
Red Cumber, £6.50
It was a lovely cooling and refreshing pick me up.
Dinner by Heston has a set lunch menu for the very reasonable price of £32.
But I was interested in sampling some of the other menu items this time around. But this is a great budget option for those wanting to sample Heston’s delights.
Munching on delicious sourdough and salted butter while perusing the menu. The creamy, salted butter was the perfect temperature to spread on the tasty sourdough.
Broth of Lamb (c.1730) £14.50
Slow cooked hen’s egg, celery, radish, turnip & veal sweetbreads
From The Complete Practical Cook by Charles Carter (1730)
The star of this dish for me was definitely the veal sweetbreads – warm and crisp with a delicious meatiness that adds a real substance to the dish. It is followed closely by the gorgeously slow cooked hen’s egg (these are a real fave of mine!) which adds a rich silky flavour to the broth which is well complemented by the crispness of the vegetables.
I decided not to go with the famous meatfruit (chicken pate covered with mandarin gel) – my stomach doesn’t handle very heavy food after two very long flights unfortunately and this lamb broth fit the bill well 🙂
Special of the day – Beef Royal £32.00
Braised beef short rib with carrots and (i think?) pureed parsnips
This was deliciously rich and tender and full of flavour and just melted in your mouth.
Triple Cooked Chips (side dish) £4.50
Of course I couldn’t resist ordering some of Heston’s famous triple cooked chips!
I got full pretty quickly so it was hard for me to fit in any dessert… However I struck up a conversation with the couple at the table next to me and convinced them to order the dessert special of the day – Heston’s special icecream made with liquid nitrogen! which they make right at your table for you for a bit of added theatre to your lunch. Heston says that his ice cream is extra creamy when made with liquid nitrogen, as the super coldness freezes the cream extra quickly, causing the ice crystals to be smaller in the final product – creating a super creamy texture of the icecream. I was really excited to see this dessert come out as I have been salivating over Heston’s seriously sexy icecream techniques in his episodes of How to Cook like Heston.
It was so exciting to see the waiter roll out the old fashioned style ice cream trolley with the cute little sprinkles and toppings.
He poured in a vanilla creme anglais and within seconds.. it was icecream! Just like magic!!!
Scooping that creamy ice cream into cones.
Dipping the cone into different flavours.
The final product!
The couple generously donated a taste of their ice cream to me which was very kind of them and I was very glad to try a little (but honestly, any more would have been too much!!) It was deliciously sweet and perfectly creamy.
Final touch to the meal – a complimentary milk chocolate ganache with a biscuitty accompaniment – gave the meal a sweet finish!
Staff hard at work!
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch at Dinner by Heston – Heston has done a fantastic job creating an exciting new menu with some old favourites available – a must visit for his many fans. I particularly liked how affordable it was for a restaurant of its ranking, giving everyone no excuse not to give this one a try! Stunning views of Hyde Park, beautiful ambience and of course, wonderful service from the staff. I would love to return again someday… But hopefully with a few more hours of sleep under my belt next time!