Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hedone, London

Hedone, opened by former blogger turned chef Michael Jonsson, was one of the most exciting new restaurants to open in London when it opened in 2011, and since then has won high praise for its brand of modern European cuisine that emphasizes the flavours of the ingredients. 

We took the 1 hour ride to Chiswick in west London to try the food and ended up suitably impressed. 

The breads were quite delicious - the sourdough being light while having some weight, if you know what I mean. Sprinkle some sea salt and slab on some butter and you're in for a treat.

The amuse bouche was a suitable appetite whetter though the exact nature of the same now eludes me.

Hedone offers a tasting menu for 65 quid so we all took that offer - wasn't that expensive for many courses.

The first course was a poached Cornish rock oyster with a foam made from Granny Smith and shallots. This was delicious - the oysters were lightly poached to give a succulent texture and then finished with the sweet foam. The whole dish was perfumed and delicate - the sweetness and slight tartness combining well with the sea flavours of the oyster. (8.5/10)

Next up - Mediterranean tomatoes, Orleans mustard, dill and yoghurt sorbet. Again a very flavoursome dish. Everything was fresh and light: the classic combination of tomatoes and dill and an inspired choice of pairing them with yoghurt. It was delicious - I'm partial since I am very fond of dill. (8.25/10)

Next up- hand dived scallops cooked in it's own shell on its juices, and seaweed powder. This was simply incredible - the scallop was huge and tender, tasting of the sea, sweet and intense- the pure essence of scallop subtly heightened with some seaweed powder providing umami. (8.75/10). Especially nice when it's eaten in its own juices.

Next up was a Parmesan ravioli with onion consommé. It was an okay dish certainly delicious too. 7.5/10

The main course then arrived - a roasted breast and leg of squab, with beetroot. Good depth of flavour in the squab, and complemented well by the beetroot. The fats and skin were a particular highlight. Compared to the pigeon from Ramsay some days ago it didn't have that intense a flavour but that's to be expected being a younger bird. (8.25/10)

The palate cleanser came in the form of rosemary sorbet with blueberries - refreshing and it's nice to have rosemary in a sorbet. 7.5/10

The main dessert was a warm chocolate, powdered raspberry and passion fruit jelly. Extremely rich and chocolatey and lifted by the passion fruit. (8/10)

The dining room had a really nice ambience with drawings on the ceilings and a grouse on the wall. 
Overall I enjoyed the meal at Hedone as much as any meal in London thus far, and definitely on par with the Ledbury and Gordon Ramsay. Some of the dishes were just as good as the two or three star michelin places. Michael Jonsson has really succeeded in sourcing the best ingredients and presenting it well to maximize flavour and to construct accompaniments that complement the flavours of the wonderful ingredients he sources. it's certainly worth the one hour ride to Chiswick- and certainly one of the best and most exciting restaurants in London. highly recommended.

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