Heston Dinner

A rare opportunity to sample something special. Heston's restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental has been talked about in many places and we were lucky enough to sample it from the Chef's Table, with views over the open kitchen (and the refrigeration room).

Tasting menus are wonderful - none of that messing around deciding what to have - just let the people who should know what they're doing anyway produce it. In many Japanese restaurants you have an even broader opportunity by saying 'omakase' for a certain agreed price and let the chef then do what they want - ideal when you can't read the menu. It's a great way to sample food and have the surprise of what will turn up next. Even omakase at a sushi restaurant will deliver intrigue as to what the next topping will be.

Back to Heston, who of course wasn't there, and his side-kick Ashley, who also wasn't, though they were mentioned (more than) enough times. For us, the star of the show beyond the food was surely the personable Colombian who gave great insight into how each course was made and guided us around both the open kitchen and the 'below decks' area, where the less fashionable hard prep was being done. Intriguing, educational and nice to see everyone so open about what they do.

With about 9 courses it was difficult to select the best. The pate shaped as a mandarin was truly ingenius but described by many others elsewhere, so we have selected the rhubarb - a difficult pudding to get right at the best of times and this one was outstanding. On top of the rhubarb ice cream you can see a shard of rhubarb ontop. Haven't seen such a thin slice of anything since the time I took the end of my thumb off with one of those mandolin slicers when living in Osaka.