Location: London, Knightsbridge - Mandarin Oriental Hotel
If you follow me on twitter, then you all know that I am crazy in love with the culinary world. Most of the time I'm twitting about what restaurant I'm off to next and what reservations I have planned. Heck, I even tweet about my cravings. Food has always been a great part of my life. Correction, food is my life. I live for food. Food is God. I am a true believer of "you only live once" because you do only live once, so why not go all out whatever it is that you adore. For me, going all out is trying new things, eating new foods and indulging in fine cuisines.
In comes Heston Blumenthal.. An artist in his own right. His work is innovation, imaginative and artistic. A Vincent Van Gogh of the culinary world. A brilliant and talented chef with a great understanding of art, history and food.
You wouldn't believe me if I told you that it had taken me months upon months to get reservations at his pop-up restaurants in Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Knightsbridge. It was a crazy effort to book myself and my BF a table for dinner. However, lunch seemed evidently easier to get a reservation, so we booked ourselves in for Monday afternoon.
We arrived a little early, so we opted to have a drink at the Mandarin bar. I ordered myself a special Mandarin Mojito (orange liqueur of some sort - almost knocked me out!), the biggest Mojito that I have ever seen (The photo doesn't do the size any justice). This set me back £15. It was lush.
When we were seated at our table, and not a moment too soon, was handed a plate/board of home-made bread to start with. It looked and tasted fresh and it was ridiculously crusty. I'm not a huge fan of having carbs before a main meal, but this was a nice touch as it really sparked up my taste buds. And with the helping of that very strong, but tasty Mojito.. it sort of balanced out well.
The menu was probably the most simplified menu that I have come upon. Nicely worded with the help of each dish dated to what era it was established. A little history lessons before the final exam. This is what makes Heston stand out from the rest and makes him the best of the best.
Mandarin, chicken liver parfait and grilled bread, also known as Meat Fruit. Yes, that is the name and yes, it was uh-mazing! I've read so many food blogger reviews and 90% of them highly recommended this dish, some even said it was 'heaven on a plate'. I go as far as to say that this was truly one of a kind. The parfait just melts in your mouth like candy floss. I just love the hum of mandarin you get within the parfait. One thing I would say is that it was a pretty heavy dish to have as a starter.
My boyfriend had The Broth of Lamb, a delicious soup base dish with slow cooked hen's egg, celery, radish, turnip and sweetbreads. I had a spoon full of this soup and it was very flavoursome.
My main course was Spice Piegon on a bed of artichokes and ale. This was my first time trying Peigon and I absolutely loved it. It was cooked blue and just dissolved in your mouth. The ale sauce that accompanied the piegon was light and sweet, a perfect match for a gamy texture meat.
My boyfriend had the Roasted Duck dish, which weirdly isn't on the online menu. Sadly, I've forgotten the name of it, but my BF had nothing but good words to say about this dish. And a lot of mmmmm'ing and ahhhhhh'ing.
I was told that I had to order this 40minutes in advance as they cook this dish everyday from scratch. This is the famous Tipsy Cake with Spit roasted pineapple. All I can say it was a spoon full of heaven. It was one of those dishes that you have to try to know how wonderful and special it is. Words can not describe how much I wanted more.... and more... and a lot more. An uh-mazing dessert!
Heston Blumenthal delivered an exceptional meal with top class service, in an elegant surrounding. Every single waiter/waitress that we encountered had a smile on their face, they were all so helpful and even laughed and joked with us. It was that sort of relaxed environment that made this experience worth the money. And if you're wondering, this meal cost in total £140 including drinks. I would quite happily pay this again, with of course, the intention of ordering the tipsy cake x3 next time. Ha ha.