I have wanted to try Hedone in Chiswick since it opened. I can’t recall any reviews on the board which struck me as odd given how well reviewed it is in other places. So a rare weekend in London and a free lunchtime gave me the opportunity to venture out to W4 (nearest tube Chiswick Park). It’s a good size space with about two thirds of it taken by an open kitchen, and the ten or so bar seats give you a great view of the chefs in action, who are a really focused team, delivering very precise dishes.
FOH service is really good with some excellent advice on wines, I ordered a Pinot Blanc to start which went well with my first course, but when I ordered another the sommelier came over and said it wouldn’t work and a white burgundy would be far better – throughout the meal her suggestions were spot on.
The menu offers a £28.50 for two or £35 for three course set lunch on Friday and Saturday (and whilst Friday wasn’t that busy I understand Saturday is packed) and then a tasting menu at £55 and a Carte Blanche menu at £85 (dinner prices are slightly higher). The wine list seems expensive to me but after going to the pub later in the day I now know it wasn’t two bad for London – the set menu’s also have wine pairings which given how good the sommelier is may be a good option.
I went for the tasting menu and started with an amuse bouche, the start of which was a little Foie Gras sandwiched between two wafers. Bread is house-made and god served with unpasteurized butter. The first course proper had two “Poached Cornish oyster, granny smith, shallots” this saw two plump oysters sitting on a dense granny smith foam with shallots – I say sense because most foams don’t add a lot but this one was substantive and full of flavor. This is followed by a “Broken duck’s egg, green asparagus, green peas, fresh morels, red bell pepper” the egg yolk was cooked so it’s was really gooey and sticky working well with all the vegetables and morels, the red pepper appears as a sauce on top of the egg yolk and the whole lots s brought together with a pea of sauce and an egg white mayonnaise. Next a very simple dish “Dorset wild brill, potato skin emulsion, beef juice” – the fish is perfectly cooked and the complemented perfectly by the emulsion. It’s a really, really, simple dish with a few ingredients and shows Hedone’s minimalist style perfectly.
The best dish of many perfect dishes comes next, “Liquid Parmesan ravioli, Roscoff onion consommé, mild horseradish”. The flavors are both really clean and intense; the only problem with it needs to be ten times as big so you can wallow in the flavor’s. “Roasted breast of Challans duck, beetroots five ways” sees a very rare piece of duck and different beetroots brought together by a intensely rich offal based sauce – almost liquidized liver. Again quite a simple dish but the intensity of flavor carries it off.
I add a course of cheese at £11.50 which is offer 5 small portions of well-kept cheese with homemade fruit toast.
Two desserts kick off with “Fresh Gariguette, mint and rhubarb sorbet” Gariguette are wonderful French strawberries and their deep intense flavor pairs well with the other ingredients. Last but not least is “warm chocolate, powdered raspberry, Madagascar vanilla ice cream” this turns out to be a warm emulsion of chocolate, a modern take on a chocolate mousse, sitting on a small amount of mango puree, topped by a chocolate disk dusted in raspberry powder and a quenelle of ice cream. Its again wonderful. I finish with some good petit fours and a decent macciato.
Overall a perfect meal, the dishes are deceptively simple with far fewer elements on each plate than you get at somewhere like the Ledbury. It’s a great t contrast the two kitchens, both perfect, but I think I enjoyed Hedone’s deceptive simplicity better. If I lived in London I would eat here as much as I could.
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