London, October 2014 – Lately, Dinner seems to be on everyone’s agenda when visiting London. Being ranked No. 5 on The World’s Best 50 Restaurants List 2014 is probably one of the reasons that Dinner is full house day and night. Getting a reservation at Dinner for dinner requires at least one month’s advance booking.
Mr. King & I went there for lunch. Seated at the adjacent tables were guests from Spain, Italy, Hong Kong and the United States; indeed people came from all over the world to have a taste of Dinner.
Housed inside the elegant Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge, Dinner has a sleek contemporary chic décor. It is neither pretentious nor stiff nor stuffy. The maître d’ and waiters were all friendly and attentive.
The World’s Best 50 restaurants List summarized what Dinner is all about – “Headed up by Blumenthal’s right-hand man, Ashley Palmer-Watts, the restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in London’s Knightsbridge is all about recreating history – British culinary history to be exact. Recipes from as far back as the 1300s are given a 21st-century makeover with contemporary ingredients and new-age cooking techniques, resulting in a menu that takes diners on a journey full of wonder and discovery. What may seem simple on the outside is carefully planned and cleverly constructed behind the scenes.”
Now a look at the food –
Meat Fruit c.1500
- Mandarin, Chicken Liver & Foie Gras Parfait, Grilled Bread
- 15th century when the king would be presented with a fruit that was stuffed with meat – to start the meal
- Our waiter summed it up in 2 words – “Rich Indulgence!”
Pressed Octopus Salad c. 1730
- Pickled Lemon, Fennel & Pea Shoots
- Refreshing and we love the fennel
Roast Cured Salmon c. 1850
- Smoked Beetroot Puree, Pickled Candy Beetroot, Parsley & Sea Vegetables
- Cooked just right with extra crispy salmon skin
Braised Celery c. 1730
- Inspired by The Complete Practical Cook by Charles Carter
- Every piece of vegetable (artichoke, apple, fennel, mushrooms) was delicately prepared and deliberately placed
Tipsy Cake c. 1810
- Spit-roast pineapple, served with a brioche-like bread soaked in cognac , hence “tipsy”
- Inspired by The English cookery book by J.H. Walsh
- Whole pineapples are “spit-roasted” – and can be seen through a glass window of the kitchen
Millionaire Tart c. 1730
- Crystallized Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Cream
The signature dishes are Meat Fruit and Tipsy Cake, but we also observed quite a few people enjoying the Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, which is prepared at the table.
Now I know why Dinner is on everyone’s London agenda!
All photos were taken by Mrs. King.