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.
The first snack was a yellow pepper crisp with chopped red pepper, a disc of fois gras topped with onion jelly.
Followed by a beetroot cornetto filled with smoked sea trout.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scallops with butter, lemon, soy sauce and nori powder had a lovely burnt quality.
The first main was a breast of pigeon squab, with bok choy and cherries. The reduction was flavourful with a nice umami balance.
Second was a well-balanced dish combining the saltiness of tender lamb (France), earthiness of soft mushrooms and the sweetness of crunchy carrots.
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.
And the last dessert was a warm chocolate mousse with yuzuu puree, raspberry powder (or pralines for nut eaters) and vanilla ice cream.