Dinner by Heston Blumenthal – London, England - Gastro Obscura

It may be called “Dinner,” but this restaurant is open for lunch, as well. The title harkens back to a time before electricity, when sunset forced “dinner” to be taken closer to midday, a time that also produced the dishes available at this establishment. 

Created by British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal and a team of food historians, each menu item notes the year in which it was created, such as the “Roast Marrowbone Royale (c. 1720)” or “Roast Halibut and Green Sauce (c. 1440).” It’s an edible reenactment of early British cuisine that would be gimmicky if it weren’t so sincere, and so sincerely good: Dinner has received two Michelin stars and was rated the fifth best restaurant in the world in 2014.

Dinner’s most acclaimed dish is a starter called “Meat Fruit (c. 1500),” in which a perfect sphere of chicken-liver-and-foie-gras parfait is double-dipped in an orange pool of liquified mandarin jelly and pierced with a ruscus stalk, presenting itself as an utterly convincing mandarin orange, despite its innards-stuffed innards. 

Many dishes reintroduce guests to once-standard meat options like a “Savory Porridge (c. 1660)” with frog’s legs and fennel, or the “Spiced Squab Pigeon (c. 1780)” that’s cooked with onions, ale, and malt; others employ curious historical ingredients like the “Roast Cod (c. 1830)” with cockle ketchup and seaweed butter.

Floor-to-ceiling windows offer guests views of Hyde Park—aptly, King Henry VIII’s former hunting grounds—or into the appropriately equipped kitchen. In keeping with an air of antiquity, Blumenthal installed a functioning pulley system modeled after a version used by the Royal Court as well as a roasting spit over an open fire for the sole purpose of roasting the pineapples for one dessert, the “Tipsy Cake (c. 1810).”

Finally, you don’t have to be medieval British royalty to eat like it.

Know Before You Go

As the menu changes quarterly, all the dishes are subject to change.

The restaurant is situated inside the Mandarin Oriental hotel.

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