Our expectations for lunch at Heston’s Dinner restaurant in Knightsbridge were high. We had dined at several of Heston Blumenthal’s restaurants before so a standard had been set. Each of his restaurants have their own thing going on and at Dinner by Heston the dishes are inspired by historic British gastronomy.
Don’t be afraid of Heston’s unique approach to cooking, you won’t have to eat anything but incredibly impressive modern cooking influenced by Heston’s discoveries and fascinations of history.
The restaurant takes pride of place in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park and exquisite hotel in Knightsbridge next to Hyde Park.
We turned up a mortifying 45 minutes late to our table after a frazzling morning. We’d made several calls to the restaurant warning them of our delay and each time we were treated with kindness, warmth and ease.
Still, I can not bare to be late and it took me a while a de-stress away our morning.
Immediately, Heston’s passion for historical details shone through, as he shares different interesting historical facts on the inside of the menu sleeves.
He also shares this about naming his restaurant DINNER:
In the past, the main meal -dinner-was eaten at midday, before it got too dark. But affordable candles and, later, gaslight saw dinner shift. By the mid-1800s people were dining later. People working in the cities were taking a ‘lunch’ to work and having their main meal at 5.00pm when they got home, while in rural areas the main meal was still taken at midday.
Even today, depending where you are in the British Isles, ‘dinner’ might be served at lunchtime, suppertime or, indeed, dinnertime!
I started to feel peaceful again as I flicked through the cocktail menu and gazed out towards Hyde Park.
The staff here were faultless. They were very accommodating, knowledgable about Heston, his exciting menu and the fine wines. Every one seemed genuinely happy to work there. It made for a lovely atmosphere.
Let me show you round…
The restaurant has a wonderful mix of privacy and openness. The ‘cellar’ was tantalisingly visible through glass.
The Private Dining room is all very 16th Century. It seats up to 12 people and is separated from the main restaurant by a large window, which can be drawn for privacy.
The dining table is inspired by the legendary table of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table, excavated from Westminster Palace, with high backed chairs covered in red velvet.
The detail is incredible, with deep-red embossed leather walls and a central chandelier made of the largest hand-blown glass pieces in Britain!
The kitchen is already open to the restaurant (so if you want to sit nearby, make a request!) but if you want the Chefs Table, you get a view from behind the glass, so you can hear and feel the atmosphere. You will also be served your meal directly by Executive Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts.
It seats 4 – 6 guests for a nine course menu.
It is pretty special watching the chefs create the dishes. I could stare all afternoon.
It’s a testament to DINNER that many of the dishes are iconic. We’ll shared those with you later…
Back to the table for a cold gin cocktail, with ginger and lemongrass.
Lunch at Heston’s DINNER
Heston’s food is hearty, but we could not resist this bread.
Andy’s starter is made using my favourite piece of chicken, the little oysters from the underside of the bird. This dish had colour, texture, flavour, freshness and comfort.
I had to try one of the dishes that have become iconic, Heston’s Meat Fruit.
It takes days to make and the mandarin jelly is incredibly thin. It had us realising that Heston has become part our Christmas now and this year we have his Easter Egg too. This dish makes me feel cosy, it makes me think of special family gatherings…
If you have ever cooked pork at home, you know it’s the trickiest meat to cook well. Maybe, that’s just me. This roasted Iberico pork was exceptional.
At DINNER by Heston, you can be assured that their suppliers have been meticulously chosen and are then very much part of Heston’s team. The restaurant team know them by name and the story behind the food.
My dinner sounds rather simple. It was the dish I really had a hankering for. This is not a typical steak and chips. I’m afraid it may have ruined future steaks which will pale in comparison.
An exception to the Britishness are their steak knives. They were 9.47 Perceval knives, designed by a French man while he worked in a Michelin starred restaurant. It is designed to have the capabilities of a folding knife. The best thing of all is that the ‘9.47’ came from the alcohol content of the bottle of wine they were drinking while they were coming up with the name!
Why did we follow the American’s with their Tomato Ketchup, when Mushroom ‘catsups’ is so much nicer?!
Happy and satisfied, we couldn’t believe our luck, when a Horse Guards Parade went by our window commemorating Commonwealth Day.
We have had a full British cultural experience and it isn’t over yet!
Another iconic dish is Heston’s Tipsy Cake. It comes with a finger of spit roast pineapple. The brioche is soft, warm and sweet with a sweet, creamy brandy sauce soaked through. The pineapple cleans your mouth and you go again. It’s sinful and heavenly at the same time!
Look out for the pineapples on their spits in the kitchen.
The other dessert was this chocolate bar. I couldn’t resist because I know he does a great chocolate bar. This one has passion fruit running through it, and as you know thats my favourite flavour!
Heston’s Liquid Nitrogen Ice-cream
We were full and satisfied, but knowing Heston has a flair for theatricals, we simply had to have his table side liquid nitrogen ice-cream.
We were told the story of how Heston discovered a lady who conceived the idea, but sadly died before ever seeing it done.
It is a really fun way to finish off our meal! (You can take some great photos for your Instagram).
I think she’s as impressed as we are..!
The cones are super crunchy and thin. You can chose your toppings and I chose 3! I read that in summer they’ve had chopped strawberries in the base of the cone, but ours had a rhubarb compote, so it’ll be what ever is in season.
It’s all rather exciting and we feel like children again, when the sound of the ice-cream man is just one street away and you have to charge round the house calling everyone, but especially mum for the ice-cream coins!
You will eat very well if you head for lunch at Heston’s DINNER.
We would thoroughly recommend it. It will be an experience, this is no ordinary dinner.
Learn about Dinner by Heston and the restaurants huge list of awards.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
London SW1X 7LA
T – +44(0)20 7201 3833
You can enjoy lunch at Heston’s DINNER every day of the week.