[London] 1* Hedone - Great Food but Weird Ambiance
Rating: ❤❤❤❤ (4/5)
Our dining experience at Hedone was an interesting one. The food was certainly very good given that the chef Mikael Jonsson is ingredients-focused - he apparently only sources the best ingredients possible. But the service and the ambiance were just...off. The staff were polite enough but certainly not warm and hospitable as the ones at The Ledbury and The Clove Club. Some also spoke with a very thick French accent so it can be hard to understand what each dishes were especially at a restaurant with no given menu (luckily I took audio notes of the staff introducing the dishes each time). We sat at the counter for lunch and got to observe the staff working in the open kitchen, and everyone just looked miserable for some reason. Maybe we were reading too much into it but it just gave off a very weird and awkward vibe for diners - it's like eating with your parents at the dinner table after they had a huge fight and they're not on speaking terms with one another. Speaking of ambiance, I didn't mind the casual brick-walled rustic decor but with the service and ambiance (or lack thereof), it's also not exactly the type of place I would recommend for a special or romantic occasion either. But we actually quite enjoyed the food here so hopefully if the service improves, then it can live up to the expectations of a true fine dining restaurant.
Besides the seats at the counter, there were also some small tables in the main room as well as a private dining room downstairs. The restaurant offers two set menus with a Tasting Menu at £95 and Carte Blanche at £135 as well as a shorter 4-course lunch menu but we opted for the Tasting Menu at the end.
Throughout the meal, we didn't see the chef inside the kitchen much. Occasionally he would check the dishes at the pass but there weren't many interactions with his staff in general.
Foie Gras with beetroot, black garlic, miso and lemon sauce
Chef's interpretation of "Fish & Chips" with monkfish, charred vinaigrette, potato starch crisp and homemade tartar sauce
Poached Oyster with cucumber ice cream, jelly and Granny Smith apple foam
The chef spent time training with a top baker in France so no wonder the bread was phenomenal here.
Devon Crab Claw in consomme with hazelnut mayonnaise
Asparagus with pistachio and avocado emulsion
Turbot with Japanese broccoli
Lamb with spring cabbage, seaweed mustard, smoked anchovy and Kale powder
Gariguette Strawberry with lemon meringues, coconut and lime sorbet
Chocolate Disc with whipped cream, chocolate mousse, hazelnut ice cream and balsamic extract
Petit Fours of Jasmine tea chocolate, pistachio and yuzu macaron and rose jelly
301-303 Chiswick High Rd, Chiswick, London W4 4HH, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8747 0377http://www.hedonerestaurant.com/
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