Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
Opened at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in 2011, this is the second restaurant run by Celebrity Chef Heston Blumenthal which has earned two Michelin Stars. It is a beautiful (but expensive) luxurious meal out and remains in the Top 10 of restaurants in the world! Located on the first floor of this Five Star hotel, opposite Harvey Nichols, the glass fronted kitchen faces into the restaurant whilst beautiful views across to Hyde Park can be enjoyed. The interior was designed by Adam Tihany with strange porcelain jelly molds as light features on the walls as well as spit roast structure cooking pineapples as one of the desserts.
It’s culinary theatre at it’s best! The Head Chef is Ashley Palmer-Watts who previously worked with Heston at the three Michelin starred Fat Duck restaurant and the menu is based /influenced and derived from historic dishes with supporting research from the British Library and several remarkable Food Historians.
There are plenty of waiting staff around, all with specific functions, so our Wine Waiter came over and we declined to have any this time but rather than remove the Wine Glasses, he moved them to the right of the table, and a colleague came over to take them away. The Menu is fairly clean in terms of listing out the core ingredients and they were quick to point out which dishes I could enjoy unadulterated whereas they were flexible in being able to re-create many of the other dishes with alternatives. We were also advised that one of the desserts takes 1 hour to prepare and therefore if we thought we would like it we would be better to order it now! We declined as I wasn’t sure whether we would get to Dessert (as it wasn’t Gluten Free!).
I was relieved to hear that one of the most famous dishes at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal: “Meat Fruit” which is a classic Heston dish: it is food disguised as another food. The Mandarin Orange is a chicken liver pate with Foie Gras in an Orange Geleee: Strangely it is topped with a inedible stem with a few leaves (which when it is presented to you: they advise you not to eat the plastic!). It is served with Bread (mine of course was Gluten Free).
It is a delight to enjoy as the “Mandarin” skin is very soft and has a strong orange citrus flavour to it which compliments the creamy chicken liver parfait. Every bite is a joy and enjoyed with good thick pieces of Gluten Free Bread.
The Bread looked like regular bread with thick non-holey slices: in complimentary colours with a dark Soda Bread and a light coloured white bread. There was enough of the Starter to enjoy the slice of bread and another one from my bread supply.
A rather straight forward Main Course which didn’t require any side dishes with lush flavoured chicken piece: cooked gently so it melted in the mouth. A small pot of a Jus which was made with Chicken Stock and the lettuces leaves with deep fried chicken skin; made to taste like salty crisps: so thin and fresh and blobs of a Onion Emulsion which was rather tasty. A real contrast of textures as well as flavours.
And after just these two dishes, we opted not to have a dessert. I was tempted to have a cup of tea but with some up to £20 per pot, this seemed an extravagance we could do without. As a surprise before they presented the bill, we were given a small pot of Chocolate Ganache with Orange Blossom. Mine was without the shortbread biscuit but it was a couple of mouthfuls of chocolate heaven.
This was a lovely and refined finish to this beautiful Lunch @Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Yes, it is expensive and reserved primarily for a special occasion but it was a grand dinner with a true flavour of historic British dishes with a modern twist and of course, being Heston, all delivered in a very theatrical way.
There are many luxurious restaurants in London which willingly and happily cater for Coeliacs, some I have reviewed on my blog including The Scott Gilbert @Renaissance Hotel St Pancras, Indigo @One Aldwych, The Hawksmoor, The Wolseley, The Ivy, Searcy’s (up the Gherkin), Ting (up the Shard), Hunan, Skylon, Galvins alongside some who go beyond for the Coeliac (including Niche: which is 100% GF) and Truscott Arms (which is a gourmet pub with yet amazing food!)
Other Chain restaurants reviewed on my blog includes: Chef & Brewer Pub: The Bulls Head, Ed’s Diner (which I love because of their Cheesy Fries), Honest Burgers (with GLUTEN FREE Onion Rings!) and Pizza Express (including their new GLUTEN FREE Dough Balls).
If you are a member of Coeliac UK, they produce a comprehensive directory which covers over 16,000 food and drink items (including GLUTEN FREE Chocolate Bars). This is available in a paper-based Manual and online FREE to members of Coeliac UK. Our charity are working with many restaurants and once Coeliac UK are satisfied, they are accredited by Coeliac UK: Click Here. Accredited Restaurants reviewed on my blog includes Carluccios, La Tasca and Ed’s Diner.
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This information was correct as of March 2017.
But as I am learning, ingredients do change and therefore you should always read the label and check for yourself whether it is GLUTEN FREE or not!