Reviewed by Justine Murphy, CEO of mymuybueno – March 2017
Hedone was opened in 2011 by Mikael Jonsson, a Swedish-born former lawyer, who went from food blogging to opening Hedone – his first restaurant. Mikael is the Head Chef and the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2013. The content of his surprise menus is governed entirely by which ingredients are in their prime. Mikael was present for lunch service upon my visit. He greeted me personally and also confirmed my crab allergy.
I sat at the bar so I could oversee the kitchen, which was lovely. Because everything is based on the best and freshest ingredients, there is no set menu, so I chose the ten-course option.
Cornetto – Seared Tuna, Veal Jelly, Lemon Mayonnaise and Fried Caper Powder. The cone was made from pea powder and natural starch. These flavours played on my palate to recreate those of a Nicoise Salad.
Yellow Pepper Crisp, topped with Foie Gras, Pickled Red Pepper, and a Ham Jelly. This was good, and the flavours worked.
‘Fish and Chips’ – Fillet of Monk Fish in Starch Potato, Chardonnay Vinegar and Homemade Tartare Sauce. This was excellent and a far better version than the one I had at Pollen Street Social. The fish was from Dorset and was perfectly cooked. The shell of potato with a hint of salt and vinegar made this a total winner.
Venison Tartare, Potato Ice Cream, Osetra Caviar. This was simplicity refined. The potato ice cream worked, and caviar added a different dimension. It was salty and meaty and very, very tasty.
White and Brown Sourdough with French Butter. This was good but I had far higher expectations of what the bread would be like here, as Mikael had trained with legendary French baker Alex Croquet and perfected his techniques. The Ledbury had raised the bar with theirs and this one didn’t scream out to me much at all – nice, but very standard.
Langoustine in Coconut Foam, Cauliflower Chutney with Kafir Lime Leaves. The coconut foam was beautiful and light, there was also a lobster coral foam, and the way they were plated made it look like a fried egg with the white and yellow. I have never experienced this pairing of ingredients before – they were delicate and just genius. The techniques were executed very well, and the final result was a very good dish. The sweet, beautiful langoustine was the star of the plate.
Fillet of Dover Sole on Plankton Sauce and Brussel Stock with Sprout Leaves. This was okay, probably the weakest dish.
Veal Sweetbread, Bitter Leaves, Truffle Dressing. A rich sweetbread, with amazingly good freshly-shaved black truffle, a truffle vinegar, truffle nuggets and sharp bitter leaves. A good dish.
Mille-feuille, Madagasgar Vanilla Cream, Bourbon Ice Cream, Aged Balsamic. A super rustic flaky puff pastry made in-house and filled with an outstanding crème pâtissèrie. It was finished with a generous drizzling of an eight-year old balsamic, what a treat this was.
Petit Fours – Peach and Rose, Pistachio and Passionfruit Marshmallows, Dark Chocolate and Cinnamon. Once again, as full as ever, but a taste of each confirmed how lovely they were.
Wine: Not today
Favourite Dish: Provence Asparagus, Pistachio Mayonnaise, Primrose and Avocado.
Napkin Fold: Yes
Menu to take home: N/A
Meal for two, including drinks and service: £400.
Final Thought: This was a very good meal with plenty of delicious ingredients in abundance, all clearly handled with care, respect and love. The dishes were clean, refined and simple,not overcomplicated in any way, and truly allowed the ingredients to speak for themselves.
Address: 301-303, Chiswick High Road, London, W4 4HH
Telephone: +44 (0) 208 747 0377
Hours: Friday & Saturday Lunch: 12pm – 2pm Dinner: Tuesday – Saturday 6.30pm – 9.30pm