MANDARIN ORIENTAL makes a splash opening the restaurant of the year in London

The mad scientist of the kitchen, Heston Blumenthal, will provide London with its biggest restaurant opening of the year when “Dinner by Heston Blumenthal” opens at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on January 31st.

The three Michelin-starred chef found fame with The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, but says his new restaurant will be something totally different. He described Dinner with Heston as a “refined brasserie”, and said that while he had been working on the restaurant for the last two years, the concept behind it started in 2005, shortly after he turned down the chance to open a Fat Duck in Tokyo. “The menu at Dinner takes inspiration from historic British recipes, from the 14th century to 1940, but does not replicate them – I think people will be surprised and amazed at what we are doing here.

Key features will include uninterrupted views over Hyde Park, floor to ceiling glass walls providing a glimpse into the open kitchen and a contemporary stainless steel pulley system modeled on a 16th century design for the Royal British Court’s kitchens, the gears and cranks of which resemble the craftsmanship of an oversized watch, mechanically rotating a spit over an open fire. Seating 140 guests, the new restaurant will serve lunch, dinner and afternoon tea.

Some dishes that will rear their heads on Dinner’s menu include meat fruit – chicken liver parfait that looks like a mandarin – parsley porridge, pigeon with artichokes, bone marrow with anchovy and pickle, and hay smoked mackerel with lemon salad.

Three unusual ketchups will also feature – mushroom, cucumber and cockle – and the introduction of a tasting menu of about five dishes is planned for March, along with afternoon tea – featuring toast sandwiches – from April.