Hedone


Before Chef Mikael Jonsson was Chef Mikael Jonsson, he was an influential food blogger at gastroville.com. He is the role model of authors I look up to, and to write about such an icon brings immense pressure to a new writer. I here humbly share my experience at Hedone.

We were the first to arrive at the rustic, dimly-lit restaurant. We sat at the counter, where we had first row seats to all the action. Mikael Jonsson’s obsession with sourcing for the best ingredients was immediately apparent, as we peered over the counter to see the crab, scallops and the fish we were about to have. Chef Mikael travelled across the United Kingdom and even beyond to source for the best ingredients. Still, top qualities are scarce, thus there is no proper menu. Diners are presented with a choice of 7 or 10 course meal, then leave the team to work their wonders.

Chef Mikael Jonsson in the house. He works with this quietly assertive aura, being mentor to the team of young chefs.

“Cornetto” cone of chopped tuna, citrus mayonnaise.

Yellow pepper meringue, Foie gras terrine, Spanish ham jelly. Foie gras is luscious. To serve this so early on, Hedone does so by combining it with meringue and jelly which cuts through the richness.

“Fish and Chips” of monkfish in potato, homemade tartar. In a square tube of potato crisp, the monkfish is expertly slotted such that it sits perfectly within. Oftentimes, blind pursuit of breaking culinary boundaries lead to clumsy dishes. Here, Chef Mikael reinvents a classic in a way that is both delicious and elegant – in a single bite, you have both your both fish and your chips. On its own, it tastes extremely clean and simple. But with a good scoop of their tartar, I felt a multitude of flavours exploding in my mouth.

The intricate preparation for the home-made tartar – individual pickle cubes are placed piece by piece with tweezers.

Poached Rock Oyster, Green leaf foam, Cucumber ice cream. The oyster was so incredibly creamy. I tasted the sea as a tinge of brine flirted with my tongue, then I felt an exciting contrast from the cucumber ice cream.

Venison tartare, Potato ice cream, Oscietra caviar. The caviar brought savoury bursts of richness, while the potato ice cream was velvety and silky. However, I am so sorry that the invisible barrier in my mind prevents me from liking this dish, because I cannot get past the idea of raw deer.

Devon Crab, Granny Smith Apple, Horseradish and parsley oil, Hazelnut cream. Chef Mikael’s way is to cook the crab ala minute, then take out the meat intact while it is cooling. He asserts that this technique holds the liquid within the meat, and it does – this is the juiciest crab I have had. Yet, these medallions were also the most delicate. At first bite, their flavours just burst out. Together, the hazelnut cream adds an earthy dimension, while the granny smith was a refreshing contrast.

Scrambled eggs, white truffle. I talked to my friends about this dish, and told them this was in the running for “best scrambled eggs”. Yet it is almost cheating – because the truffles are so good, they alone already smelled heavenly.

Scottish scallops with Japanese dressing

Sea bass fillet, Green olive sauce

Deer Sweetbread, Apricot puree. Sweatbread (when it is not one of those smelly disasters) is one of my favourite foods. This sweetbread had a perfectly silky texture. It was tender with a beautiful crisp on the outside.

Suckling pig, aubergine with miso, lemon puree

Rack of lamb, lamb belly bits

Ginger, pumpkin, and peach tart. Meringue bits, clementine sorbet.

Yuzu gel, milk ice cream, praline biscuit, chocolate mousse.

Chocolate, Sour Jelly, Canele

Hedone, like its name suggests, brings one on a journey in pursuit of epicurean pleasure. Chef Mikael Jonsson’s known obsession with sourcing for the best ingredients is further complemented by his relentless effort in cultivating techniques that allow them to best express their character. With an uncompromising take on both quality and handling, it is no wonder that the meal was such a delight.

Hedone

301-303 Chiswick High Rd, Chiswick, London W4 4HH, UK

Tel: +44(0)208 747 0377
Email: reservations@hedonerestaurant.com