This piggy isn’t made of money so we generally only go to very expensive places on special occasions. I’ve wanted to visit Dinner ever since it opened so it was great to finally get around to it.
The restaurant is situated in the luxurious Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge. We were, from what I could see, the only normal people in there. By normal I mean not filthy rich, not having an aperitif and drinking tap water. Bernie Ecclestone was on one of the diners on the next table if that makes things clearer.
The service was very friendly and not snooty at all. When we were seated, we studied the tome of a wine list but there was nothing below £35 so we opted to just have two glasses instead. This is a really good tactic to help limit the amount you spend in these kind of places.
We’d done a lot of menu research before coming so we swiftly chose the ‘meat fruit’ and ‘rice and flesh’. The wow in the meat fruit is way it is so skillfully made to resemble a mandarin. Such a shame to eat it but it was the most delicious and light chicken liver parfait either of us had eaten (as you would expect). But why do they always serve so little bread with these types of dishes..? The jelly skin tastes fresh and has the necessary acidity to cut through the richness of the parfait.
The rice and flesh was sadly the least enjoyable dish of the evening. The rice was actually a little crunchy (al dente was some way off) but neither of us had the balls to send something back to this kitchen! What would Heston have thought? The saffron, we found a little too overpowering and made the dish taste sour. The meat pieces are small and scarce and somehow didn’t quite bring the dish together for us. How disappointing, seeing as I’d read such praise for this particular plate.
On to the mains. We chose the black foot pork chop and the beef royale. These were both fantastic dishes. The pork chop was tender and nicely marbled. I was so keen to get into it, I forgot to take the picture first. The beef royale was so tender, it had a melting quality and the sauce was deep and rich. If only there was more!
For dessert, we chose the tipsy cake (needs 30min prep time so order before) and tafferty tart. The tipsy cake reminded me of brioche and the sweet sauce in the container tasted like condensed milk (in a good way). The spit roasted pineapple was nicely caramelised and also very sweet. The tafferty tart was beautifully presented and had a lot of flavours going on. You could taste the rose and fennel as well as salt in the topping, it was very interesting and enjoyable to eat.
We both thought the food at Dinner was excellent and the fact that we managed to keep the bill below ₤190 made it all the sweeter! What a steal! To be honest, for the quality of the food, I would happily pay to eat here again.
Address: Mandarin Oriental, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
Phone: 020 7201 3833