Dinner by Heston

I first heard about Heston Blumenthal a couple of years ago on TV. SBS was airing one of his many TV shows, Heston’s feasts, and it blew my mind. His knowledge of food chemistry, how they break down, the source of taste in the food and how to preserve the colour, shape, texture and taste is extraordinary. He sees food like science, understanding the underlying chemistry by doing lots of experiments…. really, he’s like a scientist. Perhaps that’s what made me like him, or at least, see him as a respectable chef because he likes to perfect his technique based on his understanding, research, and, experiments.

Photography by Pei (experimentsbypei.com)

Melbournians are really lucky when he decided to open one of his famous restaurant, Dinner, at Crown. True to his personality, the restaurant itself was designed to pique your curious minds. For starters, finding the actual entrance was a challenge. We walked through a really dark walkway leading to a LED screen. There’s no door, it’s too dark to see anything else other than the LED screen in front of you and you kept wondering if you’ve gone to the right place. Right when you want to turn around, the undetected door suddenly slide open and the sight of waitresses greeting you with a big smile with fellow diners dining in the background and a glimpse of the chefs cooking behind a see through glass on the left was quite memorable.

Photography by Pei (experimentsbypei.com)

We were here for my mom’s 60th birthday. She and dad flew to Melbourne the night before and reached Melbourne that morning. I thought long and hard where to bring her for her birthday dinner and finally settled for Dinner. My parents love food but they hardly splurge on fine dining. I don’t blame them though. The food in Malaysia are impeccable and cheap. But for that day, I wanted to spoil my parents. I wanted my mom to feel special, to know that we appreciated what she had done for us over all these years. While booking the table online, I made a note to have our table by the big windows if possible and that we were there for my mom’s birthday. They didn’t give us a table by the window. Sadly, only table for 2 are available by the windows. We are a table of 5. They did however, greeted my mom and wished her Happy Birthday. Even wrote “Happy Birthday” on her complementary chocolate at the end.

Photography by Pei (experimentsbypei.com)

The menu had a holder that wrapped around the menu and if you turned it around, it tells you historical tales of British culinary. Some of them were pretty funny. We were served by the most thoughtful waitresses and waiters. They are all very well mannered and seems to have memorised the menu by heart. We went for the ala carte menu and all of us ordered an entree, a main, and desserts. As we don’t often eat at Heston, we tried to order as many things on the menu as we can. Dad and bro had wine, while the rest of us had non alcoholic drinks.

Photography by Pei (experimentsbypei.com)
The Menu
Photography by Pei (experimentsbypei.com)
Lil bro with his wine

 

After ordering, we were given complimentary bread and butter.

Photography by Pei (experimentsbypei.com)

 

For starters, we had:

 

Photography by Pei (experimentsbypei.com)
I had: Meat Fruit (c.1500). This was probably the most popular dish at Dinner. The mandarin is not a real mandarin, but rather made to look like one. Inside is chicken liver parfait which was creamy and flavourful. It was quite nice even for someone like me who hardly ate animal innards. You can ask for a second piece of toast if you can’t finish the parfait with just one. It is, quite rich.
Photography by Pei (experimentsbypei.com)
Mom and dad had: Salmagundi (c.1720). Both mom and dad raved about this dish. It has chicken oysters which they said were very fragrant. The vegetables too were done very nicely and were very very crunchy.
Photo 29-1-17-4
Lil bro had: Hay smoked ocean trout (c.1730).
Photo 29-1-17-2
Ade had: Marron & Cucumber soup (c.1730). I think she mentioned that this dish was cold.

 

For mains, we had:

Photography by Pei (experimentsbypei.com)
I had: Powdered Duck Breast (c.1670) with smoked beetroot, grilled red cabbage, umbels and pickled cherries. The duck was done very beautifully. The cabbage was so fragrant! I really did enjoyed this dish.
Photography by Pei (experimentsbypei.com)
Mom had: Roast snapper in Cider (c.1940) with silver beet leaves, roast onions & fired mussels.
Photography by Pei (experimentsbypei.com)
Dad and Ade had: Black Angus Ribeye (c.1830). It comes with Mushroom Ketchup and triple cooked chips. I had a piece of the steak and it was really tender and fragrant. The outer layer was charred to perfection but yet the meat was still tender and juicy. The chips had got to be one of the crunchiest I had. Really good!
Photo 29-1-17-5
Lil bro had: Roast Quail (c.1860) with confit butternut, pumpkin puree, spiced crumb and chard.

 

For desserts, we had:

Photo 29-1-17-6
Dad and Ade had: Tipsy Cake (c.1810) with Spit roast pineapple. You can see pineapples being roasted at the side of the kitchen from the see through glass of the kitchen. This was one of the more famous desserts of Dinner. Pineapple was really nice and juicy though I thought the cake was more like a bun.
Photography by Pei (experimentsbypei.com)
Mom had: Taffety tart (c.1660)
Photography by Pei (experimentsbypei.com)
I had: Brown bread ice cream (c.1830). This was really good although I thought the caramel was a little too bitter for my liking. That being said, it was still delicious.
Photo 29-1-17-3
Lil bro had: Sambocade (c.1390). Goats milk cheese cake, elderflower & apple, pickled blackberries & smoked candied walnuts. Lil bro and Ade both said this was surprisingly very good.

The dinner ended with a complimentary Earl Grey infused chocolate ganache with caraway biscuits. So good! You really can taste the earl grey in the chocolate. The dinner took us close to 3 hours to finish. It was a very slow paced dinner but not too slow. Just nice for a dinner that wasn’t rushed. A lot of people think that dinner like these to fill you but I can say that the portions in Dinner was relatively big. We were all very full by the end of it. I had a great experience and will definitely come back for another special occasion.

Photography by Pei (experimentsbypei.com)Photo 29-1-17

If you were thinking about going to Dinner by Heston, I highly recommend doing so. All of the food we had were amazing and if you don’t mind splurging a little bit more, try the steak. My dad raved about it and he hardly ever raved about food if they aren’t any good.

Thanks for reading! Til the next post, keep experimenting~!

-Pei-

 

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