I only like surprises when they are immediate. No waiting for me. Being told that ‘somewhere’ had been booked for Saturday night, and thus waiting through 5 days of guessing and general uneasiness of not being to pre-read the menu before ordering was not pleasant. Being led out of Knightsbridge station to the front of the Mandarin Oriental was a relief. No scary unfamiliar menu; we’ve been to Dinner once previously for Sunday lunch and it was amazing. Very happy to be given a 2nd chance to eat there again. Even more excited to be sat at a table with a clear view of the pineapples slowly turning; being given a basting every once in a while.
A very poor photo, my excuse was I was too excited to be sitting in the Dinner dining room once again. Roasted scallops, brocolini, herbs, cucumber ketchup.
As much as I wanted to order the Meat Fruit again and taste that smooth, rich livery parfait again, I resisted in the desire to try more of the menu. Last time a neighbouring table ordered the Lamb of Broth and the look of it intrigued me. A slow cooked egg surrounded by crumbed sweetbreads, celery, radish and turnips, shallots and herbs; the broth was added table-side. This dish was all about the texture. The creaminess of the egg, vegetables that still had a slight bite to them, the crisp sweetbreads.
Chicken cooked with lettuces. Spiced celeriac sauce, oyster leaves. Clean, beautiful flavours.
Cod in cider, with mussels, greens, char-grilled shallots. The sauce was my favourite part. Acidity from the cider, rich from butter and cream, I could have easily been sat with a bowl full and been perfectly content.
Baked Lemon Suet Pudding, thick, rich tangy lemon caramel; it came with a small jug of pouring cream.
Even though I wanted to try dishes I hadn’t tried last time, I couldn’t say no to having the Tipsy Cake again. Like eating buttery clouds, BUTTERY CLOUDS I say. Buttery clouds topped with crunchy sugar, and caramelised pineapple. I still miss the Staub.
Complimentary earl grey tea ganache to finish, this one has evolved slightly from last time, where white chocolate was used instead of the milk chocolate. I think I preferred the white chocolate truth be told; the flavour of the earl grey tea was more prevalent with white chocolate, but this was still lovely all the same.
Dinner is definitely up there as one of my favourite fine dining restaurants in London, up there with Pollen Street Social. The service is exemplary, almost seamless. Food is comforting, yet surprising at the same time. Expensive, yes, but with a doubt worth every penny. I’ll be back, without a doubt.