This is your chance to take a journey into Britain’s culinary past. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is a new fine dining restaurant, inspired by the old. Located at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London, Dinner seeks to explore Britain’s gastronomic past.
Ironically, it is a techno-chef who came up with the idea. Blumenthal can be called a “molecular gastronome”. According to Blumenthal, it was while studying 14th-century feasting traditions that he began to gain an interest in historic dishes. It was this interest that later led to the establishment of Dinner.
The restaurant is not a relic from the past however. The ambience is simple and contemporary. There is none of the ostentation you might expect from a restaurant that promises a taste of history. The history comes entirely from the food on the menu.
The oldest item on the menu dates back to circa 1500. Going by the rather odd name of Meat Fruit, this starter comprises “Mandarin, Chicken Liver Parfait and Grilled Bread”. Other interesting additions include the Roast Marrowbone and Salamagundy – both dating back to the 1720s. And we haven’t even reached the main course yet.
There are several stand-out dishes on the main course menu. My favourite is Beef Royal – again from 1720 – comprises “72 hours Slow Cooked Short Rib of Angus, Smoked Anchovy and Onion Puree, Ox Tongue”. As for dessert, there is plenty to suit the sweet-toothed, from Poached Rhubarb (c. 1590) to Tipsy Cake (c. 1810).
The prices are a tad too high. But then, time travel’s sure to come at a price.