I am on a roll. It seems I am visiting a Michelin starred restaurant a week at the moment, with terrible consequences for my waistline and my wallet. There is a reason, of course, which I am not able to share fully yet, however those brave enough to accompany me on those culinary trips are fully aware of. Valid reason, I assure you.
Last week it was Hedone‘s turn. Motivation to get on a tube and head west was pretty low, but the prospect of an interesting meal was high enough to make me move my backside. A bit of a sensation since it opened, I was intrigued to try Mikael Jonsson’s food, as he made the transition from food blogger to restaurateur. Not a transition I am inclined towards myself, mind.
As we changed the booking from two to three very last minute, we were asked if we’d like to eat at the ‘bar’ right in front of the kitchen.
Of course, was my answer – never one to miss a bit of pass action. We opted for the tasting menu (£65) rather than a la carte, and I am glad we did, as it gave us of course the opportunity to taste more dishes.
The first in the tasting menu would have been an oyster – I asked for a substitution and enjoyed a very strange ‘Umami‘ dish, a sort of savoury pannacotta (for lack of a better description) with a layer of sea weed get on top. It was very intense and I enjoyed it, it was also the right size, I imagine any bigger would have been too much.
Our second course was beautifully displayed on dark plates, and served by the chef himself.
|Broken duck’s egg, asparagus, green peas, morels, red bell pepper|
A duck’s egg yolk, cooked at 60c for two hours, with fresh asparagus, peas, pea mousse. Also, a dollop of an unusual mayonaise made with egg white and vinegar, which was an interesting addition but I personally found it a bit too strong, too acidic for the gentle flavours of the dish. Yet the speckle of bell pepper not only was a pretty burst of warm colour, it was also a sweet, delicious hint.
Next a fantastic hand dived Scottish scallop, which was incredibly good – its texture was just right, and the right size too.
While we were still marveling at how good that dish had been, we were served the next, which is possibly my favourite of the whole meal.
|Liquid parmesan ravioli|
Ravioli with liquid parmesan and a Roscoff onions broth. It was pure delight, the hand made pasta enclosing a bursting Parmesan liquid centre, which, once mixed with the gentle onion consomme’, became a wonderful union. Our Breton dining companion told us why Roscoff onions are famous this side of the channel and that was something I definitely did not know. A very interesting foodie fact.
The following course was disappointing for me. I just did not quite get it.
It was a Roasted squab breast and leg (and yes, the Italian diner had to ask what a squab was). Despite asking for medium / well it was still a tad too bloody for me, and the paw of the bird on the plate looked a bit grotesque. It was placed on a offal and liver sauce which was too intense for an already gamey meat and to top it all, it had a couple of dabs of hollandaise sauce, again not the most light of condiments. I found it strange – too many rich flavours and textures in one plate. Certainly an inventive dish, but not entirely to my liking.
We were finally at the first of the desserts, and it was really entertaining to watch the two young chefs preparing the dishes right in front of us.
Cox apple millefeuille was very good, the millefeuille crispy and light. But what was to come was the icing on the cake. Kind of.
|Warm chocolate, powdered raspberries, vanilla ice cream|
Wow! Not only it was stunning to the eye, it was just as good to the palate. The chocolate was intense, to die for and then at the bottom, a heart of cold mango ice ... yet the thin crispy layer of chocolate biscuit (the ‘lid’) and the intensely tart powdered fruit.. it all went hand in hand so perfectly. By now I was not sure the raviolo was the best, dish, this probably topped it.And it was it. A lemon verbena tea, some lovely and cute petit fours (the financier was the most special) and a shake of hands with the chef and our evening was over.
The place is small, cosy and warm with plenty of wooden furniture and quirky decor (I loved the giant wooden spoon and fork). The room downstairs is very welcoming too. The dishes were all specials, even if in my humble opinion not all of the same amazing taste.
Perhaps, another meal at Hedone might as well be worth getting on the tube for!