Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London

CHEF: Heston Blumenthal + Ashley-Palmer Watts
66 Knightsbridge SW1
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
Michelin Stars: 2**
World’s 50 Best: No. 5

A coveted reservation at DINNER by Heston Blumenthal comes with high expectations. After all, the molecular gastronomy innovator has received numerous awards since opening his first restaurant, The Fat Duck, in 1995. DINNER’S concept is a tribute to British heritage cooking in a modern setting with floor-to-ceiling windows, open kitchen and an vibe that’s see-and-be-seen.

With such an electric atmosphere, we were excited to take our seats only to be met by a server who discouraged our dining selections at every turn. After a bit of back and forth, we decided to try the “signature” dishes like the Meat Fruit with Grilled Bread (above) and the Grilled Octopus which were delicious. Other dishes like the Earl Grey Cured Salmon and Roast Sea Bass were good, but not Michelin-star memorable. The Powdered Duck Breast was tender and well-balanced without feeling heavy.

I’m not a dessert person, but our server sent over several for us to try including the Tipsy Cake which is a rum-soaked brioche filled with vanilla cream and the Chocolate Bar, however it was the Tarte of Strawberry which nearly made up for his non-chalant service.

When I take into account the service and the good, but not great food, I was fairly disappointed in my meal. Having experienced exceptional service and better food at restaurants with no Michelin stars, I wonder if DINNER is resting on past laurels when everyone was entranced by the novel concept.

IMG_1328Grilled Octopus + Smoked Sea Broth + Pickled Dulse + Lovage
IMG_1329Earl Grey Cured Salmon
IMG_1331Roast Sea Bass + Mussel Seaweed Ketchup + Salmon Roe + Sea Rosemary
IMG_1332Powdered Duck Breast + Smoked Confit Fennel + Umbles
dinner 8Tipsy Cake
IMG_1333Tarte of Strawberry
IMG_1334Chocolate Bar + Ginger Ice Cream

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