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Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

My perfect Christmas dinner at Bar Boulud held the position of My Best Meal of 2011 for all of two days before being surpassed by tonight’s experience at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. The once in a lifetime meal I’d looked forward to for 10 years that I had at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry just in January 2011 unbelievably has fallen to a third position. Only three days in London and my expectations have been superseded. Incredibly both Bar Boulud and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal are in the same Mandarin Oriental hotel. Therefore I’m uncertain if I’m taken with London’s culinary scene or simply with that of the hotel.

“Dinner” surpassed Bar Boulud in food, service, and atmosphere. A view of the lit London Eye from our window side table created a romantic setting supported by the softly lit and dark wood dining room.

I wish I was more articulate when it comes to writing about food. To avoid attempting to capture the sublime I’ll simply state what we ordered and trust you order the same to complete the translation:
• The appropriately acclaimed Meat Fruit (we needed to order a second toast for this “pate”
• Lemon pickled mackerel (exceeded any piece of sushi Spanish mackerel I’ve had)
• Cod and Fried Mussels (Erin’s Main)
• Powdered (salted/seasoned) Duck Breast with roast fennel and duck hearts
• Tipsy Cake (brioche, sweet rum syrup, grilled pineapple – all the dessert you’ll need

I think I over-stated myself placing Bar Baloud ahead of French Laundry, congratulations Thomas Keller you’ve reclaimed #2, sorry Daniel Boulud. However Heston Blumenthal reigns if for no other reason than he seared my sous-vide duck breast before serving. The dining room is grand next to The Laundry’s charming. What a superb experience

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