'Hedone' is a Greek word means goddess of pleasure, enjoyment, and delight. Opened in July 2011 by the Swedish borned chef Mikael Jonsson, restaurant Hedone is definitely somewhere can bring you very best possible pleasures. Mikael is one of the most famous self-taught chefs in London, likewise the surprising truth of his background of a former lawyer, he continues to bring surprises by serving a secret ingredient-driven menu that changed everyday. Within three months after the Hedone since opened, Hedone soonly won the One to Watch award at the National Restaurant Awards and got its first Michelin star in one year. It is currently positioned No.60 of San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant list.
Hedone opens for lunch on Fridays and Saturdays, serving a Lunch Menu low at £45, a full-course Tasting Menu at £85 and Carte Blanche at £125 which are also available for dinner. The restaurant features a dining room and a 6-seat counter facing the open kitchen. We booked the counter seats where Chef Mikael and his team were carefully preparing the food in front of us. Before starting the meal, Chef Mikael asked each of us for any special dietaries, he also asked us whether we want to have the veal sweetbread - "it is the heart part, very expensive, but the best i've seen in a while", so direct and hardhead but anyway, why not?
Following is a review on the full-course Carte Blanche menu.
Dinner started with three canapés includes a trout tartare, foie gras and pepper crisp and Mikael's version of fish & chips. My favorite was the fish & chips which consists of a potato chip filled with luscious monkfish, dipped into the creamy pea puree to enjoy, such a memorable bite.
It is always fun to watch the chefs in the open kitchen moving around, what i really loved about this place was all the seafood here were freshly killed and cooked. We saw the chef shucking the oyster, killing the crab and lobsters, and even linting the feather of the pigeon, it was also a great fun watching them prepareing the grilled suckling pigs.
Likewise what i have heard, Mikael with his Hedone is a great ingredient obessive restaurant, the first few seafood dishes includes were all palatable. Very simple seasonings and let the ingredients tell. Of course, the culinary kills is crucial, and you certainly don't need to worry about this at Hedone.
Two of my favorite dishes were seabass and sweetbread. The seabass has a divinely flavor and texture especially the incredibly crispy skin, the pairing of olive sauce was aromatic and elegant. Sweetbread was as extraordinary as i expected, it soon melted in my mouth with marvellous tastes. The apricot puree added some acidity to balance the dish.
Compare to the suckling pig, i liked the pigeon more. The meat was cooked to point and flavorful on its own. I also loved the pigeon leg, even the bones are crunchy like crackers. Equally delicious was the smoked new potatoes, which brings a lovely chewiness to the dish. While even the offal sauce was quite sync with the duck, it is somehow a bit heavy for my liking.
Desserts includes a refreshing dish of greengage plums, matcha sauce and yogurt to cleanse our palates. Followed by one of my favorite mille feuille which was deliciously crispy, it was nothing but enticing with the Madagascan vanilla ice cream.
Although the location of Chiswick (West London) is a worry for traveller like me, my experience with Hedone was satisfying, which mostly credit to the top-notch ingredients. The menu was so reasonably priced for the amount of the dishes and quality of the food, Mikael's unique interoperation of the ingredients is definitely worth trying by yourself.
Address: 301 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 4HH
Hours: Friday & Saturday 12-2.30pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 6.30-9.30pm