Dinner by Heston Blumenthal - CLOSED
Heston's take on classic Victorian dishes will have you wondering why they went out of style in the first place.
UPDATE, DECEMBER 1, 2019: From Tuesday, December 3, 2019, Dinner by Heston will be serving up Heston's famed meat fruit as a stand-alone dish on its bar menu — for $30, and as a permanent fixture. A range of other bar snacks have been added to its everyday lineup, including potted salmon, a circa 1805 dish that features brioche, hot-smoked salmon and relish; cheeseboards with British and Australian cheeses; and both beetroot and cauliflower crackers.
From the man who brought you bacon and egg ice cream, edible cutlery and ejaculating cakes, comes Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, a fine-dining food journey which explores 700 years of British gastronomy. Who knew a history lesson could be this delicious?
Most people will already recognise Heston's meat fruit on the menu (circa the year 1500); it's only one of the world's most Instagrammed dishes. While you may already know that the mandarin sitting in front of you has been mischievously stuffed with meat (pull the other one Heston), it's his immaculate replication of the fruit that still spreads delight and wonder across the table. The manmade dimpled skin has been infused with mandarin skin flavour (what sorcery), and marries beautifully with the satiny soft chicken liver parfait filling. Disguise or nay, it's a brilliant dish — although it will ruin you for all future mandarins.
From the selection of mains, you have a few tough choices to make. If you want the most coveted dish at the table — the dish that will have people changing seats to sit next to you — then it has to be the slow-cooked pork belly ($58), which comes with dehydrated pork crackle and confit mushrooms wrapped in a film of pigs fat and dates back to 1820.
However, if you've longed to try Heston's perfect steak but couldn't be bothered with the online tutorials, now's the time. A fair-sized fillet of black Angus rib eye ($80) — perfectly cooked circa 1830, as promised — comes with dollops of creamy bone marrow, mushroom ketchup and a potent jus, which tastes like one hundred sauces reduced into one. It's accompanied by a side of his famous chips, cooked not once, not twice, but thrice with a crunch that can be heard down on level one.
If you glance towards the open kitchen, you'll notice a rotisserie of sticky, roasted pineapples, which form a side to the 1810-inspired Tipsy Cake ($32). The recipe can be found in your great great great grandmother's copy of The English Cookery Book if you want to look it up. A Tipsy Cake is essentially a brioche bread pudding soaked in brandy and cream and baked in a cast iron skillet. The portion is big enough to share — not that you'll want to.
While the menu is nearly identical to the London original, Heston has thrown in a few Aussie dishes to make us feel spesh. There's the gruesomely named Rice and Flesh ($38) — with curried kangaroo tail in a creamy saffron rice — way back from the era of Richard II, and the much more modern lamington cake ($30), which is filled with a raspberry jam centre and served with a boozy rum ice-cream. These dishes are so good, it's hard to fathom how they ever went out of style in the first place.