If there are meals worth a flight, then, by extension, there must also be meals worth missing one. For me, Hedone in West London falls into both categories. I returned to this shockingly underappreciated Chiswick restaurant last month after a nearly nine month absence (and on the eve of its 1 year anniversary). It was Friday at lunch and I had a 6pm flight from Gatwick…Not the best case scenario considering Hedone is a place where I would voluntarily spend weeks, but considering its limited lunch hours (Friday and Saturday only), I was game.
My buddy Sam and I indulged in Chef Mikael Jonsson’s never ending tasting menu, which had evolved significantly since my October 2011 visit. In spite of travel exigencies, chef Johnnson kept us at the table, or more accurately the bar seat overlooking the kitchen, for nearly four hours. Throughout the meal, which was curated by the chef, Sam and I were treated to dish after dish of technical and flavor perfection. Maniacally sourced ingredients, mainly from nearby in Kent and across the Channel in northern France, were summoned to produce clean, intense flavors and aromas which delighted the mind and palate at once. Here is what we had at our tremendous meal:
Crab and apricot amuse bouche.
Poached oyster on Granny Smith jelly foam, topped with a violet flower.
House smoked wild salmon.
Datrini tomato gazpacho with dill.
Duck egg, fresh peas, girolles, apricot.
Cuttlefish “tagliatelle” with squid ink ragout.
Aged Black Angus fillet served black and blue.
Roasted squab, beetroot, and cherries.
Lemon variation palate cleanser.
Fresh raspberries, cinnamon, horseradish, vinegar.
Hedone’s chocolate torte and passion fruit sorbet.
In a tragic loss, we had to pass up the petit fours, as I high tailed it to Victoria Station, where I narrowly made the train that got me to check in a minute before it closed. And all I could think was I should have stayed at the table.
Hedone is located at 301-303, Chiswick High Road, London, W44HH. Reservations essential +4420 8747 0377.