Last Thursday, we had the immense pleasure of returning to Hedone for our fourth visit of the year.
The consistency of the meals we had at Mikael Jonsson and Aurelie Jean Marie Flore’s this year has been amazing so after three meals at lunchtime we were back for our fourth visit, dinner this time.
With the aperitif we were served three appetizers: a beautifully balanced cherry meringue with a foie gras cream and thin slices of mushroom, a crisp cone filled with tuna and spices, packing all the typical ‘salade niçoise’ flavours and a sour dough crisp filled with Jerusalem artichoke cream topped off with some caviar. Mikael immediately had our undivided attention with these three heavenly creations (18/20).
Oyster, green apple and echalotte were the main ingredients for our first starter of the evening. The oyster was served poached, in the shell, resting on a foamy cream of apple and onion…nice dish, but could have done with a bit more saltiness and ‘seaflavour’ (16/20).
Second dish was one of the legendary Mikael Jonsson flans…. this time eggplant flavoured, topped with variations of cucumber (coulis, pickled, sorbet)…what a dish!!! This was very very good cooking and we were only just getting started! The depth of flavour in this dish was just wow…and then the subtle eggplant aroma, which worked very well with the fresh cucumber (18,5/20).
Now it was time for what will probably be part of my best starters 2014 overview: a delicate cylinder of sliced avocado, filled with apple and Dorset crab, topped of with an incredibly light, fragrant pistachio cream and finished off with a foamy curry emulsion…it doesn’t get better than this, really, a perfect dish (20/20).
Up next was a warm preparation of scallop, chestnut, Jerusalem artichoke….and a generous sprinkling of white Alba truffle…oh yeah…life can be good…what an evening, here in Chiswick….(17/20).
To follow this came a beautiful piece of wild turbot…again, with some well chosen additions…a creamy smoked potato puree, shavings of baby fennel and a black olive and olive oil sauce. To me, another perfect dish (20/20).
Even though I had the next one a few times this year, I simply cannot get enough of it…the delicious liquid parmigiano ravioli with horseradish foam. No words can describe the sensation you get when you bite into the perfectly cooked ravioli and your palate is flooded with the lush, delicately salty liquid parmigiano…Oh man…(20/20).
Five to six week Porc Noir de Bigord suckling pig came with superb Cévennes onions, quince puree and a thin slice of pear…what an ode to this kitchen style…less is more, a few first class ingredients make the day…The cracking of the crisp skin, the perfectly cooked pinkish pork, the onions….amazing (19/20).
Pickled carrots and baked and raw cèpes came with some beautiful deer for the gents, duck for one lady and monkfish for the other…a special thank you for the flexibility of chef Mikael here who wanted to accommodate all of us in the best possible way (19/20).
After a very nice cheese selection (18/20) we finished this glorious meal with two desserts. The first was a superb Raspberry/Hibiscus/Vinegar and Lemon Meringue creation which could be enjoyed this late in the year because of the mild Indian Summer we had (18/20) followed by the traditional Choc/Vanilla Ice Cream/Raspberry (16/20). We ended the evening with a chat with chef Mikael and some tasty mignardises.
We opted for the wine pairing, which is one of the best you can get, but do note that it comes with a price, 105 GBP, which could seem steep compared to the price of the Carte Blanche menu, 95 GBP. However, given the quality of the wines poured, you will not hear me complaining!
We had another great meal here and what a pleasure to see a restaurant performing so consistenly! Without the slightest doubt, I give Hedone a 19/20 rating.
No wonder that Andy Hayler (www.andyhayler.com) has come to this restaurant 52 times since it opened it’s doors just over two years ago now…this is as good as it gets…. without any distraction what so ever from what it’s really all about some of the best food and wine you’re ever going to enjoy.