by James Ridenour
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Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is a bold experiment in the culinary arts.  As you would expect the dining room is slick and modern, the fit out luxurious, the ambience refined.  What you may not expect is the culinary art of camouflage that is about to be revealed.

The theme of Heston’s restaurant is the history of British cuisine.  Each menu item comes with the date it was first made and the recipes author.  You dine through the ages starts circa 1500’s in Britain.  Take for example the meat fruit (yes that right)! Apparently King Henry VIII loved to play games with his courtiers and enjoyed watching their faces when eating food that was on offer which was disguised as something else, enter meat fruit.  On first glance, you are served a wonderful mandarin orange and beef steak.  Upon closer inspection or by taste if you are not careful, you will find that your mandarin orange is paté and your steak is toast.  Deliciously deceptive and wonderfully inventive!  You can imagine how King Henry VIII would have taken delight in his shocked courtiers faces.

One of the most entertaining aspects of your dinner will be the service team.  They are experts in the Blumenthal philosophy and adept at telling the story of the evolution and history of your English dinner.  I was impressed with the knowledge and showmanship of the team.  So few restaurants pay such attention to detail and understand that the performance of the team is so integral to the experience.  Bravo!

A testament to the importance of performance is the show stopper at the end of the meal, liquid nitrogen ice cream made before your eyes on a purpose built Corian cart.  The fog created while the ice cream is churned is like the cloud that appears before the magician vanishes!  The exception in this instance is it’s only the ice cream that does the disappearing trick.

My tip for last minute reservations tables are often available early or late on weekdays; otherwise be prepared to book 3 months in advance!

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is locate on level 3 of the Crown Complex and is open 7 days a week.  Lunch is served from noon to 2pm on Friday and Saturday and dinner is served 7 days a week from 530pm to 11pm.  Dress code is comfortable.

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