Hedone

Hedone; you wouldn’t know it was there unless you knew it was there. Inconspicuously nestled on Chiswick High Road somewhere between Domino’s and Chiswick’s best kebab, I have been passing it daily wondering if that is really the place where the cooking is that good.

Once welcomed through the curtains however, it was just like many a high-class restaurant. Immediately in front is the bar overlooking the kitchen, headed up by the gregarious Mikael Jonsson and then to the side a smattering of tables under dim lighting.

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The first snack was a yellow pepper crisp with chopped red pepper, a disc of fois gras topped with onion jelly.

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Followed by a beetroot cornetto filled with smoked sea trout.

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A Dorset oyster poached in its own juices and topped with nasturtium was subtly complimented by refreshing cucumber ice cream and slightly acidic apple foam.

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The warm parmesan flan with chia seeds and umami jelly, was certainly a lot of umami – it left the aftertaste of marmite in one’s mouth, a real crowd divider.

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Confit and dried tomatoes were served with a cold almond and milk sauce or almond ice cream. The confit tomatoes were really tasty and the almond added a welcome nuttiness to the sweet acidity. However I really could not reconcile the milk.

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On to the more substantial courses, we were served up grilled crab with dill, horseradish mayonnaise and apple (and hazelnuts for MD) in a fish stock broth. The crab meat was tender though underwhelming in flavour.

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A coral lobster foam with grapefruit sauce produced good flavours, but I didn’t feel it paired well with the lobster which I will always prefer with butter, being a traditionalist in that way.

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Scallops with butter, lemon, soy sauce and nori powder had a lovely burnt quality.

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The first main was a breast of pigeon squab, with bok choy and cherries. The reduction was flavourful with a nice umami balance.

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Second was a well-balanced dish combining the saltiness of tender lamb (France), earthiness of soft mushrooms and the sweetness of crunchy carrots.

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Finally the pre-dessert was strawberry, balsamic vinegar, lemon meringue and a sugar crisp with raspberry and cinnamon. It was sharp and sugary, partialy offset by the vinegar.

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And the last dessert was a warm chocolate mousse with yuzuu puree, raspberry powder (or pralines for nut eaters) and vanilla ice cream.

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