I occasionally make the journey up to London for various reasons. This time I had a meeting with my publishers, Quadrille, regarding my book which is coming out next year. As far as London goes, I’m not the biggest fan – it’s all just too busy for me! I suppose the calm Cornish coast has made an impact on me.
Whenever I visit London, I always try and make a stop at one of the many wonderful restaurants on offer. On this occasion I was fortunate to have lunch at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the magnificent Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park. I’ve always been interested in Heston’s approach to cooking and his time spent researching each dish.
Ashley Palmer-Watts heads up the kitchen at Dinner and, since his early involvement with Heston at the Fat Duck in 1999, he has been instrumental in bringing Heston’s new wave of cuisine to the masses to such a high standard. Talking to Ashley, his passion is firmly with British ingredients, and researching the history of food and the science behind cooking it.
Lunch at Dinner was far beyond my expectations. All of the dishes are steeped in history and influenced by British food, dating back as early as c.1390. Heston’s approach to modernising dishes and food is so distinctive and unlike anywhere else.
Highlights for me were the Scallops with Cucumber Ketchup, and the Mackerel with Gentlemens’ Relish. Both dishes were extremely well put together, with the simplicity of the clean flavours working together to enhance the main ingredients was so pleasing to eat.
There’s no doubt Dinner will be on the map for a long while to come, and with a menu so interesting and unique, I’m not surprised it’s booked up so far in advance.
Exciting, and above all else – very tasty! Well worth a visit.