Let's go to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
|The glorious Meat Fruit|
You probably know what the shtick at Dinner is, right? It's all about renewing sometimes ancient British recipes and using modern techniques to bring them to life with Heston's usual flair, of course.
We went to Dinner for Mr B's birthday a few weeks back. That was our third visit, which I guess makes it obvious we like the place rather a lot. The menu has subtly evolved from my first visit, although you will always find dishes like the signature Meat Fruit and Tipsy Cake (both of which you should try at least once). There are also daily specials to keep you coming back for more.
For once, I forced Mr B to choose a starter other than the Meat Fruit (£14.50), which is the dish of the year in my view. On another occasions I've had the Savoury Porridge, the flavours of which are so fresh and vibrant it was like eating grass - but in a good way obviously. I've also tried the Rice and Flesh, which is a rich saffron risotto with meltingly tender oxtail. But the Meat Fruit is quite possibly the perfect dish. A lot of people agree too, as they sell 900 of these a week. It's a chicken liver parfait encased in a mandarin jelly and uncannily shaped into said fruit. The parfait is rich, but light and airy. The sharpness of the fruit jelly offsets this, making it incredibly moreish. Delicious. If someone on my table doesn't order this dish so I can have a mouthful, then I will order it again myself on every visit.
|Buttered crab loaf|
|Liquid nitrogen ice cream in the making|
You also get a choice of one of four toppings which are typically whimsical. I went with the popping candy and revisited my childhood with each lick. The post dessert needs to be ordered earlier in the meal giving the staff enough time to wheel the custom-made Titanic-looking ice cream-making vehicle to your table.
Each time I've been to Dinner, which is two evening meals and one very long lunch, I've been impressed with the knowledgeable and friendly service. Staff have been drilled to expect questions about the menu and rarely fail to deliver. On every visit, the head chef Ashley Palmer-Watts has also been in the kitchen, which is a credit to his dedication.
|A Heston ice cream cone|