My first meal at Hedone, in December 2011, was a meal of many discoveries. I remember how I listened carefully when Chef Mikael Jönsson told me about his approach to the restaurant industry in general and the importance of top quality ingredients in particular, in a way that was equally entertaining and convincing.
Mikael Jönsson is a former lawyer, food blogger and obsessed about ingredients. Without a doubt I have to count him as one of the most exciting profiles I have ever met when seeking dining experiences all over the world.
Last week I had the opportunity to come back to the unfashionable suburb in West London, called Chiswick, where Hedone opened up its doors about one year ago. And I was happy to find out, after spending almost five hours in the open kitchen counter, that not much had changed. And if it had, it was to the better.
I had lots of food this evening (perhaps to much) but the few times I have the chance to come here I am prepared to try whatever Jönsson serves to me.
Some of the dishes from this night I would like to highlight, as it has to be counted as some of the very top notch food there is to find in a restaurant today.
The oyster was cooked in its shell and served on top of a cream made from apples and shallot. This might look very simple, but the pudding-like texture of the oyster with its length and complexity in flavour was absolutely amazing. This was a top quality oyster which I have only tried once before. Last time I was here.
I was served a gazpacho with chilled dill and mustard cream. The tomatoes used had such an intense flavour I cannot remember I have ever tasted tomatoes like this earlier. The dill and mustard cream worked very well with the dish without overpowering the tomatoes.
To follow I was served a ducks egg with peas, girolles and apricot. The egg was cooked for two hours at low temperature and then broken using the egg white to make a mayonnaise with Muscat vinegar. The different textures and balance of flavours in this dish was stunning with the light mayonnaise balancing the richness of the egg, the crunchiness from almonds, sweet peas and apricot and high quality girolles. Again a very simple dish but absolutely gorgeous.
Wild Dorset sea bass was served with yellow courgettes and an emulsion made from seaweed. The fish had a beautiful texture, firm yet perfectly tender, with an incredibly clean taste that I have only come across at a small number of restaurants earlier. The crispy skin on the fish had maximum flavour and a light but still very rich seaweed emulsion, that somehow reminded me of anchovies, was a great complement to this dish.
The tagliatelli made from cuttlefish served with a cuttlefish ragú and confit tomato was an outstanding dish. The body of the cuttlefish had been sliced into tagliatelli-like slices and steamed for just 40 seconds with a little basil added. Offals from the cuttlesfish were used to make the ragout and mixed with squid ink and lemon juice. The ragu had an incredible depth of flavour, the “tagliatelli” had a small bite to it before melting in my mouth with the tomatoes adding beautiful sweetness to the ragu. This dish was one of the most pleasurable experiences I have ever had at a restaurant.
Then there was a 55 days aged Black Angus beef served “crousti bleu”. This was some of the very best beef I have ever tasted because of the quality of the beef and the technique used when cooking it. It had an impressing crispy exterior and was blue on the inside. Not cold or warm, more like body temperature, were the flavour of the beef and its juices exploded in my mouth when chewing it.
Roasted brest and leg of squab pigeon was served with sweet beetroots, cherries and a little crunch from pistachio nuts. This was a pigeon of superb quality, the brest was like cutting in foie gras and packed full of flavour.
The desserts had very much improved since my last visit with a beautiful variation of lemon followed by fresh raspberries served with horseradish, cinnamon and aromatic vinegar.
Hedone has to be one of the must-visits for any foodie out there. I cant wait to come back.
Address: 301-303, Chiswick High Road, London, W44HH
Phone Number: 020 8747 0377