This review is of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Overseen by Mr. Blumenthal, TV star and owner of the famous three-star Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Dinner’s kitchen is run by Ashley Palmer-Watts, previously the Executive Head Chef of the Fat Duck group. The restaurant is located in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge and its menu focuses on historic British dishes.
Oh lo and behold, who hasn’t been told;
‘Dinner’, the title; isn’t that a little bold?
“A day’s main meal”, lunch or supper, all the same;
Our ancestors were pragmatic – to me ‘tis still a silly name.
With dishes dating back to a glorious past in Britain;
A historic waltz through centuries, every critic was smitten.
Inspired and led, by our celebrated Heston Blumenthal;
A mad hatter’s genius, an artist equal to Chagall.
Hyde Park’s Croesean barracks receive Dinner’s room service to th’ door;
Where the Reputationally Challenged mingle, wine, dine, and snore.
Onwards, past the red penguins, up the starry Mandarin Oriental;
Where the marble is shiny, and the mannequins for rental.
The warm smiles continue; tight grey dresses soon guide me ahead;
Passing a pride of cougars in the bar; talons ready, probably not fed.
I choose instead the temple, and onto the spit roast first falls my sight;
Reigning like the Divine Comedy’s purgatory, a fiery visual delight.
A black-tie rouses me from my stupor – “good evening!” – as I ogle the room;
Dress Code ‘comfortable’, as per the website, seemingly only a nom de plume.
A laboratory, an operating theatre, a stage for passion and glory;
What lies beyond the kitchen’s crystal walls? Here’s to a sensuous story.
Service begins, he grins, he wins (hm, sparkling? Alright then, fine);
Menus are studied, devoured, some people faint (yes, prices for the wine).
You’ve seen it, you’ve heard it, The Meat Fruit’s a subject of fame;
A culinary Kabuki, tickling your eye, to the tongue oh so tame.
Then we set sail, with scallops on ketchup and mackerel smoked in hay;
A sweet turbot, cod drunk on cider, craft else practised only in Bray.
For puddings, Tipsy Cake – booze, joy, childhood, in a Proustian pan;
More comforting than earmuffs, indulgent beyond a Louboutin.
Vintage the dishes, futuristic the bill, an adventure and a journey
Heston in his prime, mostly good, often sublime; it was well worth – a rhyme.
-BY POETRY AND THE FEAST