Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

66 Knightsbridge
SW3 1

To mark the start of our holidays, A and I treated ourselves to lunch at Dinner. Heston's one of the few chefs that A shows much interest in, so it was fun to experience some of the strange and wonderful methods that produce what is in the end an incredibly flavorful dish. There's a special lunch menu that can make things quite a bit more affordable, but we also wanted to try the meat fruit, which has been talked about endlessly, so A went a la carte with that. The chicken liver parfait inside the orange was so smooth and creamy, and we marveled at how much it really looked like an orange when it arrived at the table. I had a snail salad to start which was also very good, but not quite as memorable. A then had the pork chop - the most remarkable thing was the tiny bits that look like popcorn next to it - the waitress explained that it takes them 3 days to make it as it's essentially pork cracklings that have been dehydrated and puffed up so that they are light as air in the mouth, yet still have an intensely porky flavor. My duck leg was good, with heavenly mash underneath, but the pork chop was the clear winner. My set lunch included a dessert and I chose the prune and tamarind tart, which turned out to be a tart with a layer of tamarind/prune puree, then a custard topping with a crackly creme brulee top. And after that, we were presented with little pots of Earl Grey ganache with  caraway seed shortbread - the sweet and savory contrast (which is something I often have issues with) worked perfectly here. While it's definitely a special occasion restaurant, I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be if I was celebrating something on a sunny day - the views over Hyde Park added another dimension to a stunning experience that left me smiling for the rest of the day.

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