Dinner is one of the hottest tickets on the London food scene and as it’s closed for the month for repairs, I thought now was a good time to brag (I mean, tell you) about our dinner there.
The reviews of Dinner have been pretty amazing, but the people I’ve spoken to have been quite mixed. Many people, I think, go with the expectation that it’s The Fat Duck come to London. Well, it isn’t. There are no magic tricks, no iPods and no dry ice. Dinner is about turning traditional English stodge into interesting and edible dishes, and I thought they did that very well.
For a restaurant that has only been open 9 months the meat fruit has become their signature and will most certainly go down as an iconic Ashley Palmer-Watts dish. And, My Chef thought it was pretty worthy of all the fuss. I wouldn’t know since I didn’t touch it, but (and excuse the quality of the photo) it did look lovely. My Chef also in his gluttenous ways tried the Savoury Porridge. He liked it but much preferred the meat fruit.
My starter was the less memorable, but really lovely scallops. They were cooked to perfection and because My Chef is friends with the Master Sommelier it was accompanied by the most perfectly matched wine. In fact, our whole meal (each course) was matched to perfection and we felt very spoiled and quite pleased by all of the special attention we were receiving.
My main really stood out amongst the menu as it was the only vegeterian option available, braised celery. And although good it was WAY overpriced. If I remember correctly we paid about £23 for it! And it was absolutely drenched in cheese. Normally cheese isn’t a problem with me, but I did feel that they were trying to add bulk in order to justify the outragreous price.
Thankfully the Tipsy Cake with it’s spit roast pineapple kind of made up for it. This is another dish I’ve heard people rave about and actually I couldn’t tell you what the cake tasted like, I was just loving the pineapple.
My Chef’s main was the Black Foot Pork Chop and although I can’t remember exactly what it consisted of, I do remember that his plate was almost licked clean. A very good sign. His dessert, however, was less pleasing. He had the Baked Lemon Suet Pudding and really disliked it.
We had a really great evening and I enjoyed the company emensely. I also really liked the look of the restaurant. I like it when you are able to see into the kitchen and check out what’s going on…even if it did look like they’d used the designers from Hell’s Kitchen. But it was also the details that wowed me. I loved the light fixtures that looked like Jello moulds.
My verdict. Dinner is a good restaurant and appropriate for a celebration or occasion.
That’s right, I blame Heston for the current state of my marriage. And although I do have a mini celeb crush on him, my blame has nothing to do with salaciousness.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is the biggest restaurant opening in London for many years. And that same week, though less talked about on the streets and in the news, a nice little gastropub in Wimbledon opened. It’s doing great and every time I’ve been it’s packed with happy guests, but finding good staff has been a major challenge. And for that I blame Heston.
The brigade at Dinner is at least 45 strong (however I’ve heard estimates as high as 80). That’s a lot of chefs, and it’s clearly where the excess talent has been gobbled up. I’m dying to try Dinner but if I’m honest I’d much rather a few of those talented Heston chefs find there way to Wimbledon Common so My Chef can take a bloody day off! And, of course so he can have a full team and stop working like an insane person.
That said, Heston, Ashley – when he finally does get a day off we’re coming to check you out! It’s a damn good thing it doesn’t look like he’ll have a day off for 6 months because I’m sure that’s how long it’ll take us to get a table.