I had a nice dinner at Hedone, a restaurant in Chiswick, which is a little outside central London. It’s run by chef Mikael Jonsson, a former lawyer and food blogger who changed careers to become a chef. They received a Michelin star a few years ago.
There’s no a la carte option for dinner at Hedone, only a tasting menu at £95 and a “carte blanche” tasting menu at £135, with a wine pairing available as well. I went for the “carte blanche” tasting menu without the wine pairing and just asked them to recommend a couple of glasses to go with. This is what was on the menu:
First amuse bouche was a crunchy cone filled with tuna tartare. Tasty.
Beetroot Crisp with Foie Gras and Miso
Second amuse. Delicious. Crispy beet shell with rich foie and a salty miso paste.
Fish and Chips with Tartar Sauce
Third amuse? A play on fish and chips, with a nice firm and delicate tasting piece of I think halibut inside a crispy thin potato shell. It came with a tartar like dipping sauce on the side.
Topped with a cucumber gelee and some sort of foam. The slightly cooked oyster was large and meaty but kind of tasteless. Not very oyster-y and a little too subtle for me. Maybe this is just how rock oysters taste. I think this was my first rock oyster.
Bread and Butter
Sea Plankton, Eel Jelly, Caviar
I forgot to take a picture of this, which is unfortunate as it was one of the best bites in the meal. It was a green custard made from sea plankton, topped with eel jelly, and then topped with caviar. The custard had kind of a chawanmushi like consistency. Caviar was salty and briny, with the eel jelly adding a bit of meaty flavor.
Claw of Crab
With diced apple, horseradish oil, and some sort of mayonnaise. The warm broth was crab flavored and delicate, with a subtle kick from the horseradish oil. The little apple cubes were sweet and crunchy. Very good.
With a hollandaise sauce and some carrot and pea (and maybe corn?) flavored sauces. I thought this was excellent. Sublime vegetables that were lightly cooked. Light hollandaise sauce. Very pretty presentation.
From the Isle of Man, with courgettes and I think sorrel. Large meaty sweet scallops, maybe could have been a little less cooked. The sauce on bottom was a little tangy and sour.
Inspired by the south of France, the fish was served on a sauce made from fennel and olive, with some beans from Brittany. The fish was cooked perfectly, and had a crispy skin. The olive and fennel sauce was very nice with a meaty olive-ness.
With apricots, carrots, and mushrooms. Good. Was nicely seared and served on a rich demi-glace like sauce.
Before the meal started, chef Jonsson came by and asked if I liked grouse, with the warning that it could be a little bitter for some people. Apparently grouse season was just beginning. I’d never had it before but said that I would like give it a try.
This was served with a soubise and beets. The breast of the grouse was cooked very rare and a little bloody. It was not super gamy but indeed had a little bitterness. Tasted a bit liver-y. The leg of the grouse, artfully presented with claws draped over the edge of the plate, was more well done. It was pretty funky and gamy tasting. Not sure I like grouse. Maybe it’s an acquired taste.
Lemon Meringue, Clementine Sorbet(?)
Light and refreshing creamy things and a sorbet on top of an airy meringue wafer.
With pistachio cream, cherries, and cherry sorbet. Didn’t really work for me. The millefeuille was kind of tasteless and shattered into little bits when biting into it. I found the pistachio cream to also be kind of tasteless. It tasted like - and had the texture of - frozen whipped cream with a hint of pistachio. The cherries and cherry sorbet were good though.
Raspberry Pâté de Fruit, Macaron, Milk Chocolate
Just in case two desserts weren’t enough.
A piece of nougat came with the bill.
Overall quite a good meal, albeit a little pricy (it was a lot of food though) and with a couple misses. My favorites were all of the amuses, the sea plankton, the crab, and the summer vegetables. I also discovered that I’m currently not a big fan of grouse. It came with fair warning though, and I’m glad I tried it.
Service was excellent and friendly.