Restaurant review: Hedone

"Exciting", "imaginative" and "delicious": my simple criteria for the perfect meal.

Surprising then that only The Fat Duck (of best restaurant in the world fame) and L'Enclume (The Good Food Guide's number one) have ever hit the highest levels for me. But, to that exclusive list, I now add Chiswick resident Hedone - brainchild of Scandinavian super-chef Mikael Jonsson.

My nervousness about ordering a Michelin starred tasting menu that the waiter could not describe ("I've no idea what you'll get - but it'll be different to every other table here"), whilst perched on a bar stool like Norm from Cheers, quickly dissipated when the bearded lawyer-turned-chef-patron, lent over for a chat. 

"You hungry?"

I nodded.

"Really hungry?"

I nodded again.

"Excellent - I really need to get rid of some leftovers..."
 

Things started with the bread basket - so far, so dull. But the Hedone sourdough - supplied to a other michelin starred restaurants in the capital - was actually the reason I returned. The bread here really is good enough to bring any right sane person back for a second taste.

From then on the food kept coming - with Mikael checking in every couple of courses to check I could take more of his perversely delicious version of the Chinese water torture.

  • To start...a beautifully fresh mackerel tartar with umami custard and seaweed sauce. A lovely combination to awaken the taste buds...
  • ...crab - alive two minutes before it arrived on my plate - served with pistachio mayonnaise and crab consomm√©...
  • ...turbot, broken down so perfectly that you could still see the rainbow sheen of connective tissue, drizzled with caviar sauce...
  • ...Isle of Man scallop cooked live in it's shell until motionless and then BBQ'd until translucent and served with a pure white umami foam...
  • ...the sweetest langoustine ravioli you've ever tasted, pea puree and smoked sweetcorn...
  • ...pork belly with the thinest, crispiest skin imaginable...
  • ...wagu beef and smoked potato...
  • ...local venison served with pickled beets, elderflower jelly, figs and blood sauce...
  • ...a simple pre-dessert of raspberries, cream and dehydrated meringue...
  • ...and a chocolate crisp, chocolate mousse and mint ice cream to finish.

It's not unusual for chefs to use tasting menus to show off the latest impressive techniques at the expense of flavour, but here you'll find those same methods combined with perfectly executed traditional cooking to deliver the most delicious food you've ever tasted.

Anyone who can do this much with a few "left-overs" is a genius in my book and judging by the words of super chef Tom Kerridge on the downstairs wall, I'm not the only one to think so.