Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, the chef’s award winning London restaurant, will open a second establishment in Melbourne 20th October 2015. The opening will mark Heston’s first permanent restaurant outside of the UK.
Located on the third floor of Crown Towers Hotel, the 120 capacity restaurant overlooks the city across the Yarra River. The menu offers contemporary dishes inspired by historic British gastronomy dating back to the 1300’s.
Blumenthal’s fascination with history and gastronomy was triggered back in the late 90’s after reading a 15-century manuscript known as The Vivendier. The book spoke of a dining experience full of playfulness and theatre, as well as intriguing ingredients and recipes. What started as an exercise in curiosity triggered almost 20 years of research and discovery, with historic inspired dishes appearing on the menus of both The Fat Duck restaurant and Hinds Head pub. When the opportunity arose to open a restaurant in London the idea of ‘Dinner’ began to emerge and in January 2011 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal opened its doors. Alongside Ashley Palmer-Watts, the two chefs created a menu inspired by the tastes and flavours of Britain, from the farmers’ table to the royal courts, offering a contemporary gastronomic insight from Medieval c.1300 to Victorian c.1800. The Restaurant achieved great recognition including 2 Michelin stars, a rare accolade for an establishment of this size. Now almost 5 years later and in a country that has become very personal to Heston, ‘Dinner’ will open its second home and begin an exciting new journey.
Seating 120 guests, the restaurant will be located on the 3rd floor of Crown Towers in the space vacated by The Fat Duck, and will serve dinner 7 days a week and lunch on Friday’s and Saturday’s. The history and modernity combines in the open kitchen, where the past meets hi-tech and guests can watch the chef brigade prepare, using the latest kitchen technology alongside historic pulley operated spit roasts. Located inside the kitchen, the chef’s table allows up to 6 guests to interact direct with the team, whilst enjoying an exclusive tasting menu served by the head chef. The private room, which offers dining for up to 10 guests, enjoys clear views of the kitchen, the Yarra River and Melbourne’s CBD.
The Menu, inspired by historic British gastronomy, does not replicate dishes from the past but rather uses historic elements in the creation of brand new modern dishes. Some are heavily influenced like Rice & Flesh (c.1390) and Frumenty (c.1390) while others Black Angus Rib eye have the addition of the original mushroom ketchup (c.1830). In the creation of the Dinner by Heston menu the chefs worked with food historian Ivan Day, the kitchens of King Henry the VIII at Hampton Court Palace and drew reference from the historic collection of literature at the British Library. However the menu at Dinner by Heston in Melbourne uses these dishes as a framework to celebrate Australian ingredients and introduces historic Australian dishes too, like the The Lamington Cake (c.1900)
The bar, exclusively for guests of the restaurant, also marries ancient and modern. In collaboration with Barman Tony Conigliaro, a bespoke collection of cocktails has been created, each with a unique historic reference and representing the history between Britain and Australia.
Guests enter the restaurant through a 20-meter dark wood corridor that has its own aroma based on the notes of damp moss, wood smoke and leather. The room designed by Australian company Bates Smart, creates a rustic yet elegant atmosphere using rich natural materials such as wood, leather and iron. The Tudor Rose chandeliers in London inspire the ceiling pattern and the walls are decorated with custom-made porcelain Victorian jelly moulds. The chef’s table is surrounded by an original illustration by English artist Dave McKean, whilst the room will display historic inspired sculptures commissioned by Australian artist David Bromley. The rich palette of the “old masters” photography of Romas Foord, from the book ‘Historic Heston’, is not only featured in the room but also inspired the colour palette for the soft furnishings. A mechanical moving art piece by UK artist Robert Higgs, is located in the heart of the dining room and pays homage to the watchmakers of Greenwich, who created the mechanical pulley systems for the Royal Courts of England spit roasts.
Reservations for the restaurant open on-line www.dinnerbyheston.com.au on Tuesday 20th October.