Reviewing Heston’s Dinner is always going to be a bit of a funny one. For instance, I’m not answering the question “should I go to Dinner?” The answer is unequivocally yes.
So how to tell you something useful? Well, due to a stroke of luck, I’ve managed to hit up Heston’s latest twice within a couple of months of it opening. From that insight of both a lunch and a dinner, a special occasion and a treat, here are my top tips for beginners’ Dinner – a short guide to how to get the most from it.
1. Make sure someone gets a meat fruit but don’t ALL get one.
It’s a treat and you may have trouble wrestling some from it’s owner but some of the other starters are equally too exceptional to miss. The Salmagundy (chicken oysters, bone marrow, horseradish) was so comforting as to feel like a hug emanating from the inside of your mouth outwards.
2. You don’t need a chef’s table to see the kitchen.
With 3 exposed walls, our table was right up against one of them. Having worked around kitchens (although as front of house), the site of pros dicing up and preparing food at that standard will never get old. The tables surrounding it are all for more than 2 – I’d imagine if you want this real estate, you need to book with friends.
3. Get Tipsy (Cake)
If you’re umming and aaaahing about the pineapple Tipsy Cake and whether to order it in advance, do it. It’s so light and sweet that I don’t think you could possibly regret it.
4. aka Luncheon
Lunch is a bit of a bargain and you’re just as well looked after. Naturally it’s hard to get a table at a place like this, doubly so for a convenient evening. But our long lunch in the day was an equally enjoyable experience to the evening visit. Consider it if you’re struggling to get a table.
5. Go back.
There are so many restaurant in London that I generally find it hard to advocate visiting the same one too may times but food like this doesn’t happen every day. When you make your first booking, no doubt scrambling on the website for dates which work, don’t forget to plan your followup date too…
The Fat Duck always seemed a little bit too much like a trip to the fair for me and the likes of Petrus have that uncomfortable “hotel” air. Dinner sits slap bang in the middle where I’d happily have given them the remaining contents of my credit card balance for anything they wished to put on the table.