This is one of those experiences that you’re willing to save up for. Nonetheless, I was glad I waited for Dinner by Heston and didn’t end up winning those Fat Duck ballot seats, as it was almost in the ‘affordable’ range.
First off, I have to say, I was not expecting the view from the restaurant to be so breathtaking, but I should have probably anticipated this given it is a fancy restaurant at Crown. Secondly, the bartenders are excellent, and rather than perusing the menu I highly recommend having a chat to them about everything you like, and everything you don’t like. Give them as much detail as possible. For example, I told the bartender that I liked sour, so he recommended me a cocktail with apple in it, and it wasn’t bad. However, when (after trying mine) I told him that I really liked things that were so sour your face would involuntarily screw up, he produced one MUCH more to my tastes (which I was determined to remember the name of but have nonetheless forgotten!). Thirdly, the clock, that is not a clock, that is connected to the spits roasting the pineapples, is fascinating and beautifully made.
Now on to the food.
I’m not the most… ADVENTUROUS of diners, but I was determined on coming here that I would try something out of my comfort zone. That something was the meat fruit. And it was insanely delicious. Generally, I avoid anything… innards-y. So I wasn’t really sure that I would like it. But like it I did. The artistry in the lifelike fruit is of course amazing, and this dish alone pretty much made the night worthwhile for me. It also a very generous portion, being so rich – while it comes with one slice of sinfully delicious toast (fried in some sort of fat I’m sure) you can ask for more toast if you like. I’d say the amount of pate would easily cover 3 pieces of toast, should you care to share with your table-mates.
I did have designs on the pork belly which was sadly unavailable that evening, so I opted for the special of the day, a 72 hour braised beef rib. I don’t think it is necessary to explain the result of this, as you imagine, so it was. And for dessert, the goats cheese cake, which is both cheese cake and goats cheese, complete with it’s disguise as a soft cheese coated around the rim with ash. Another very rich, very creamy, heavenly dish.
I would warn you to anticipate the richness and order much less than you think you can eat. Leaving the venue I felt quite sick, not from quantity but seemly from the severe MUCHNESS of everything. Every bite filled your mouth with flavour, fattiness, richness, over indulgence, and sad to say we didn’t even have room for the optional nitro gelato at the end.
It’s an expensive experience and certainly an indulgence, but if you’re going to do it, do it at a Heston’s restaurant. It’s a far cry from heading out to yet another up market modern Australian venue, and if you don’t drink too much alcohol, you could get away with around $150 pp, which really isn’t too much of a stretch, even if it means forgoing the Friday night take out for a few weeks. It certainly beats the $500+ for the Fat Duck, yet still delivers some unique flavours and visual masterpieces.
Oh, and I nearly forgot. The little roll of butter with the pre-dinner bread was the most adorable and perfectly formed butter I have ever seen.
It’s the little things.