Hedone ★ // Chiswick // London

Hedone is an open kitchen restaurant, which runs like a “silent running” machine, perfectly calibrated and orchestrated by Swede Mikael Jonsson. After changing his career to follow his passion for food, Jonsson gained his first Michelin star in 2013. The restaurant, due to its location is very local, with a modern bistro feel.

Food-wise, chef doesn’t disappoint, demonstrating some serious cooking technique and product understanding. The open kitchen, in a similar style to La Scene, Prince de Galle in Paris, doesn’t leave any space for error. Cooking, plating, dressing, building, frying; everything is done on demand before you.

A highlight (if available) is the simple, yet perfectly cooked turbot à la nacre. The fish is cooked so delicately that its flesh glistens with a mother of pearl effect. A classical French technique, mastered by this chef of a very high calibre. To accompany the fish is a sublime, smoked eel and black olive elixir and steamed Brussels sprout leaves. The overall dish is balanced, clean, and the quality of the buttery smooth turbot is apparent.

The main also demonstrates the importance of the product quality. Piglet from les Pyrenees is cut across the saddle is served with crackling, roasted onions and pear. Here again, sumptuous products, so there’s no surprise that the plate reaches perfection. The slow cooked meat is impeccable.

The only slight let down is with the dessert, but this seems to be a trend in the United Kingdom. Dessert aren’t puddings, puddings aren’t gateaux. What you’ll get is something sweet. Nothing bad overall, but such simplicity at the 1* level can lead to confusion sometimes.

What would take Hedone to the next stage? The menu would need to be more surprising. Hedone would need to create, invent, renew, without hunting for star for the sake of it. While it figures that out, it is an exceptional West London local restaurant, and that is a very welcome thing.

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