Oh dear. Oh deary dear, what a pickle Michelin must be in.
The Michelin guide famously only awards stars to the food on the plate
Not the service. Not the decor. Not the wine list. Not the topping
Up. Not the good looking waiting staff. Not the bill.
Not anything other than the 'food on the plate'. So they(Michelin)
must be in a right old state.....
A table for 2 booked for a wednesday night was easily done although the
hour long tube ride to get to the place was a sod.
Jumping on and then off the correct train was a bit of a laugh though
And we duly arrived in good spirits
The hotel Heston has decided to patronise is the Mandarin Oriental on Hyde
park, it's pretty good if a bit dated now. I'm told the views of the park
are amazing from the restaurant but from our window seat all I could see was
my own chubby reflection gawping back 2/10
The rooms nice enough,plainly simple. No tablecloths, good glassware and
simple menus. So far so good. I personally feel the lack of effort here is
a deliberate anti star ploy but I'm a cynic. But we'll come to that
Service was smart, snappy and full of good humor. The waiter helping me with
my choices had a real passion for the food and practically(thankfully) forced one
of the courses on me. Loved it 9/10
We decided to share a starter before our starters came,so we opted for
'Meat fruit'. We chatted a bit, Drank a bit,Laughed a bi......oh dear God
Just look at the bloody thing. It's a mandarin. It doesn't just look like
a mandarin it IS a mandarin. Apart from the fact that it isn't actually
A mandarin. Glistening dimpled orange flesh. Slightly slumped and pricked
With a freshly cut stem. It was perfect. Cutting into it was even better.
Inside was the most flavoursome thing I have ever tasted.The Smoothest chicken
liver parfait with the softest mouthfeel possible.mandarin flavoured jelly on the
Outside gave a great shot of acidity and balanced the butter heavy parfait well.
The toasted olive oil soaked bread that accompanied it was also perfect.10/10
Next up was my starter(I know). 'Rice and Flesh'. What actually turned up was
A saffron heavy risotto with braised calf's tail and red wine. The rice was cooked
Well and retained the perfect amount of 'bite'. The braised meat was soft and
powerful with great contrast coming from the wine. 9/10
The waiter prompted main was a worry for me. I never take advice on menus and
After I'd let him bully me into 'black Foot Pork Chop' I started to worry,
well I shouldn't have. It was remarkable. No doubt cooked sous vide for a
Thousand hours then blackened on a star it had deep deep flavour and melt in
the mouth texture only doable by actual gods. Rissoto of spelt had taste to spare
and puffed pork scratchings gave super-texture to the soft dish. Robert sauce
Was powerful and tangy and worked very well 10/10
On to puds then. We ordered the renowned 'Tipsy Cake' to share and was treated
to an impressive black steel crockpot filled with what looked like smooth shiny
dumplings. Biting into one was like jumping into a swimming pool full of cream
And booze. But biting the brioche sections in half was a no-no. Our waiter explained
that the sections needed to be popped in whole , he was right again.
Steeped in strong drink and coated with cream is the way I wish to die.Perfect 10/10
(we also had another meat fruit but don't tell ok?)
Cheese was a good English offering with apple that had been vaccum packed to pull
the juice to the outside which worked well. English cheese however much I would like
it to be never comes close to that across the channel so only 7/10
Service was slick and wine pairings very good if pricey. The staff have the temerity
to tell you what you're doing wrong and know their menu well.
So what's michelin's worry? It was too good. It only has 1 star and if they followed
Their own rules it should have 3.
but it doesn't have tablecloth's.