Everything at Hedone was flawless and spot on. The food quality goes beyond the one Michelin star it received recently to directly comparable to 2 stars like the Ledbury. The dishes here have a strong focus, no irrelevant textures or confusing flavours. For example, the 55 days aged beef is the only star of the dish, beautifully cooked and so succulent that every bite just addictively leads to the next. That powerful richness reminded me of Wagyu beef from Japan and the only place I’ve tried something as good in London was at Hawksmoor, who produces some of the best steaks in London. To let the beef take center stage, only a few vegetables were on the side to balance with light honey or acidic flavours, simple and gorgeous.
Head chef Mikael Jonsson was formerly a blogger and lawyer who obsessively travelled to find the best artisan suppliers UK has to offer. Everything is freshly delivered in the morning which then determines the menu. You can choose between the tasting menu or the a la carte. At lunch time, a £25 three course set menu is also available.
Talking about focus, the restaurant clearly directed all the attention to the fully open kitchen (similar to Viajante). All the diners were intriguingly watching the step-by-step on how each dish was assembled with so much care and detail. When these landed on each table, waves of wow immediately followed. Each plate I saw was wiped clean, next table even used bread to clean away all the sauces!
Two of us ordered the 3 course a la carte (lunch) at £35 each (not the set lunch menu).
Appetiser - Crab salad
Slow cooked pork belly, brussel sprout, quince
Just about the most perfect pork belly I’ve tried, a thin yet crunchy crackling with really succulent meat that just melts in your mouth. Beautifully cooked and faultless!
Broken duck’s egg, girolles, red wine sauce, guanciale, parsley
The duck egg stayed relatively intact when sliced open than instantly oozing down the plate. It had a subtle woodsy flavour from the girolles and grew more intense in flavour with each spoonful. Delicate flavours compared to the powerful pork belly starter.
55 days aged Black Angus beef, dauphinois mousseline, caramelised echalin, carrots
Like I mentioned earlier, the beef was the star. That extra fat at the end of each piece was the best with the most flavour. On the side, the carrot and beetroot were both caramelised with a light honey flavour. The shallot had more acidity to it, which balanced the beef’s richness really well. What a brilliant dish!
Pan fried Dorset seabass, Jerusalem artichokes, vin jaune hollandaise
Based on the few bites I tried, the sea bass was flawless. Crispy skin, tender flesh and great flavours from the rather light vin jaune hollandaise.
Cox apple millefeuille, caramel ice cream
The desserts were less impressive compared to the mains but still decent to eat. The cox apple millefeuille was the better dessert out of the two with refreshing flavours of apple and interesting textures of pastry. The lemon variation tasted like an elaborate take on lemon cream, not a whole lot special in terms of flavour.
Verdict - 5/5
Food (stunning) - this is what Michelin food is suppose to be, not extravagant molecular techniques but a focus to make the best ingredients shine. Every dish was amazing, the beef and pork belly were some of the best I’ve ever tasted! Lunch was so great I’m already planning the next visit to Hedone!
Service (casual) - service can be slow but you do have the fully open kitchen to watch for entertainment. Hedone is quite easy to book compared to Ledbury or Dabbous. The location is not the easiest to get to, at the end of Chiswick High St.
Cost (£80pp) - at lunch time, the 3 course set menu is £25, 7 course tasting is £55 and 3 course from the a la carte is £35. For dinner, the 7 course tasting menu is £75. Two of us spent £160, but £60 was on wine.
Tube: Chiswick park
301-303 Chiswick High Road
020 8747 0377