Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

For my birthday this year I decided I fancied going for dinner somewhere special, so decided to go out with my friend Marc to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. I’d be wanting to go for ages so it seemed as good an excuse as any. We had a couple of cocktails at the bar at the Mandarin Oriental, the hotel in which the restaurant is situated before moving through to our table. For starters I ordered one fo their signature dishes, the meat fruit, a chicken liver parfait covered in a mandarin gel made to resemble an actual real piece of fruit. Apparently it’s the most instagrammed dish in all of London. It’s certainly impressive and realistic looking as you can see from my pictures. It wasn’t a case of style over substance either it was as delicious as it looked. For main I had pork, it was nice, but of all the dishes maybe the least successful. For dessert we had another of the restaurants signature dishes, the tipsy cake, which diners are advised to order in advance To allow for the gradual alcohol basting of the cream filled baked brioche. It’s served with a beautifully spit roasted caramelised pineapple. Delicious. We also had liquid nitrogen ice cream that they prepare table side, a bit gimmicky but impressive none the less. Also as it was my birthday they very kindly sent me another pudding on the house where the chefs had written me a happy birthday message in chocolate. A lovely meal all in all, really enjoyed myself.

La Gavroche

For my birthday this year my friend Marc very kindly took me for lunch at La Gavroche in Mayfair. I’d been wanting to go to this legendary London restaurant for many many years. I met Marc at the bar where he’d already ordered a very nice bottle of champagne for us both. They actually do a very reasonably priced lunch offer of £49.50 which includes three courses, half a bottle of wine and coffee and petit fours. However as it was my birthday we were splashing out and having the Menu Exceptionnel.

There were nine courses in total so I won’t describe them all (though I have attached the full menu below) but highlights were definitely the stunning, feather light Soufflé Suisse (apparently the late Princess Diana’s favourite dish) and also the black pudding and crumbed egg dish, which was a cleverly executed, perfectly balanced riff on a full English breakfast. A really nice touch is that at the end of the meal Michel Roux Jr comes out afterwards and stops by every table to say hello. What with many ‘celebrity’ chefs now rarely actually cooking in their own restaurants it’s nice to see that he was actually in the kitchen and it was lovely to meet him. A stunning meal all in all, I can’t wait to go back.