Oh beautiful Meat Fruit, sitting delicately on my plate at Dinner last week. As my knife sliced through your shiny orange skin, I asked myself ‘how can chicken liver pâté disguised as a mandarin cause so much fuss?’.
About ten seconds later, I had my answer. This was the smoothest, creamiest, tastiest pate I’d ever eaten. Forget Dinner, this pate was fit for a banquet on Mt. Olympus.
I’d have happily eaten Meat Fruit for starter, main and dessert, but there were other temptations on the menu that evening. For main, I very much enjoyed Beer Cod with steamed mussels, along with a couple of mouthfuls of The Boyfriend’s Rice and Flesh (the flesh being calf’s tail). They may have lacked the theatre Heston is famous for, but they more than made up for it in flavour.
When it came to pudding, there were three to share – Brown Bread Ice Cream with Salted Butter Caramel and Pear (my personal favourite), Chocolate Bar with Passion Fruit Jam & Ginger Ice Cream, and an Autumn Tart of roast figs, blackberries, cinnamon and black current sorbet, all sitting on a light puff pastry base.
Everything was expertly cooked, but it was the starter (surprise surprise) and puddings that stood out for me. The whole meal was sublimely special, which you’d hope for when you consifer the scary ‘only for VERY special occasions’ price tag.
The Meat Fruit alone gives Dinner a LLE Rating of 9.5/10. As my good friend C said last night, ‘once you’ve tried that pate, there’s no turning back’.
PS – just in case you think I’ve got a new camera and enrolled on a food photography course, the picture was taken by the extremely talented Head Chef, Ashley Palmer-Watts.
Dinner, Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA