We arrive at Dinner by Heston slightly flustered as we were 20minutes late thanks to a wonderful Uber driver that definitely took us the long way. As we were flying to Berlin that evening we also had all our bags with us. I’d managed to get my phone working for long enough to call them and let them know and the staff were incredibly kind about our lateness. Also, the staff at the hotel where Dinner by Heston is located were wonderful in putting our bags in the cloakroom for us. Very friendly all around.
We’re welcomed into the dining room and walk past the open kitchen, it’s very sleek and well refined. Our table is nice however you still somehow feel like you’re in a hotel. Our waitress is awesome and French and takes the time to get to know us. It felt like she cared, she asked if we were celebrating and we mentioned that we’d just got engaged.
Dinner by Heston do a 45 pound set lunch menu and as we’d been splurging a little we decided to give that a go. Of course getting the famous Meat Fruit as a pre-starter! In case you haven’t seen it the meat fruit is a chicken liver parfait dressed up like a mandarin. And you know what? It was excellent, the parfait was delicious and the bread nicely (a little too nicely if you ask me) toasted.
We order one of each of the set lunch menu so we can try as much as possible. Classically we’re offered champagne to start and I notice they’re more mainstream champagne brands, Moet, Tattinger etc. The glasses are also non branded and not the delicately light Zalto glasses that we’re becoming accustomed to. I really like how the menu shows the origin of the dishes back to the 13th century.
I ask about the bathroom and for once when they offer to show you the way you actually need the directions. It’s outside of the restaurant in the hotel and an absolute rabbit warren away. We both may have got lost not once but twice on our separate bathroom breaks. It’s a beautiful bathroom, however, had non branded soaps and lotions.
Our bread and butter comes out and is cold. Both are made off-site, apparently, Heston works with the baker to develop the recipe. We’re offered more bread and probably would have taken some if it was warm however it’s decidedly average.
Our first dish is Dressed Snails c. 1880, grilled lettuce, parsley, anchovy and rock samphire. It has a nice complexity of flavour and is a well thought out dish. A funny play on snails in a garden well executed. We’re given new sharing plates for our hay smoked salmon c. 1730 with smoked beetroot, pickled lemon salad, parsley and carrot. It’s a classic combination of beetroot and salmon and is nice but not wow. We’re both quick to reach for the salt on both dishes.
Our waitress is particularly good when ordering sides to go with our mains she advises against the cabbage as the quail comes with cabbage and it might be nice to try something else. We get the buttered Pink Fir potatoes and purple sprouting broccoli. Our wine is consistently topped up and the spacing between courses is actually quite nice, even with the restaurant seemingly quiet.
We’re warned when ordering our Lemon sole and admiral sauce c. 1830 that it comes with bones. While we accepted this it made it hard to eat and both agreed it’s not really what you expect from a World Top 50 restaurant. The flavours of the fish were great however the anchovy overpowered the shrimp.
The Roast Quail c. 1590 is next and is cooked perfectly and nicely seasoned. Fiancee says the puree is done very well and is velvety. The sides are yum and I enjoyed the butteryness of the potatoes. This is our first World Top 50 where sides have been an option and we enjoyed them. It was like what your grandma used to make and gave us that homely feeling.
Our Millionaire tart c. 1730 is my second favourite dessert of the trip so far. A wonderful vanilla ice cream and delicious chocolate tart. We see others have the rhubarb and cardamom custard tarts come out and briefly discuss the idea of getting another dessert. We have this with the British Cheese, it’s a basic cheeseboard with no real thought put into it, it’s what I’d serve for friends at a dinner party.
Our waitress takes us on a tour of the kitchen which is super sweet as she could tell we were into it. We’re also given a chocolate ganache with congratulations on our engagement on it. And a signed menu that said Congrats as well! Again a super sweet nice touch.
Overall a nice lunch, however, missing some pizazz. Personally, I thought The Fat Duck should have been on the World 50 Best rather than this one. Would I go again? At the price we paid and if I lived in London it would be a nice spot for a lunch out. I wouldn’t go out of my way for it though.
- Piazza Duomo
- Quintonil (still a very close second)
- The Ledbury
- th equal – Saison & The Clove Club
- Dinner by Heston
Next up – Tim Raue.