Great ethos, but not for me…
17th September 2011
It seems that Hedone, based in the heart of surburban Chiswick, has had quite a love affair with critics, bloggers and gastrophiles. I stayed away intially as:
1) Chiswick is quite a trek
2) It looked on the pricey side and
3) I really wasn’t sure it would be my cup of tea
After some coercion I accompanied two of my ‘twitter’ food-loving friends to deepest, darkest Chiswick. I knew from reveiws, that Mikael Jonsson (Previous Blogger , now Restaurateur/Chef) used and sourced amazing produce and his execution was simple, allowing his ingredients to be the star. Not my cup of tea, as I’m not one for surprises, I like to know what I’m going to eat and what it consists of. Call me boring, but I am a little fussy and having the quirk of wanting to order what I want to eat, hence I rarely opt for ‘surprise’ tasting menus. A lack of a menu on the website, knowing that the Restaurants change menu based on produce availability (which I appreciate and herald as a great trait) and then cryptic descriptions made me twitchy… Alas, I’m trying in vain to be more ‘adventurous’, try more styles of cuisine, ingredients and so this was the perfect opportunity to embrace this.
I’ll hold my hand up, I was late majorly late (by an hour). I apologised profusely to my dining cohorts and to the waiting staff. I’m sure neither were pleased, as this delayed service somewhat, it was quiet that Saturday and by the time we had finished, I’m sure service had meant to have been over.
True to form, the fresh, seasonal ingredients sung out loud, like Julie Andrews on the top of the Alps, in the Sound of Music
There were unique and original combinations that danced beautifully on the plate
I liked the fact, there were polar taste combinations, such as sweet and salty, testing my palate
The Low Points:
I felt my sea-bass dish was partially under-cooked… this was declined by Chef, not even addressed by the Waiting staff until I asked and not replaced or taken off the bill… (Big disappointment!)
The waiting staff on the note above as well as when we asked questions, were pretty off-hand and elusive like they didn’t want to undo the cryptic menu descriptors
The decor wasn’t to my taste, bizzare ceiling print, with fish grafitti. My cohorts loved it, it was minimalist, but this is a small point, as for me, it’s the food that should take centre-stage
One major advantage of dining with food-loving friends, is that you can all take the opportunity to order different things and then share/sample dishes between you. This is exactly what we did. We dined on the 3 courses for £30, as we were already late to start. I’m not sure if the Gougeres mentioned on the menu were given to my friends, whilst they were waiting for me, a mystery somewhat like this restaurant for me.
Hedone has just won The National Restaurant Award’s ‘One to Watch’ (2011) and in 2012 they are looking to expand with a Wine bar, so I’m sure they will be lauded with more accolades. I value their ethos and I can understand why it ticks so many of diners’ boxes, but the brusque service and contrived taste combinations are a step too far for me.Hedone: 301-303 Chiswick High Road, W4 4HH Telephone: 020 8747 0377 Website: http://www.hedonerestaurant.com/Home.html