Significant changes have been introduced at Mikael Jonsson’s outer Chiswick open-kitchen venture Hedone. The lauded “truly staggering!” restaurant – which snagged a coveted place on the Harden’s top 10 gastronomic experiences in London list this year – has reopened after a short closure without a conventional menu and also sans a few seats.
Only 24 guests will be accommodated (26 at a push) in the dining room (previously there were 40-covers) with four high chairs available at the counter where you can watch the chefs work. If you do manage to nab a table (surely a much more difficult task now?) you won’t be offered an Ã la carte menu. Instead there will be two tasting menus to choose from – one with more ‘exclusive and rare’ ingredients than the other.
Hedone will also no longer be open for lunch on weekdays and will be closed altogether on Sundays and Mondays. This is part of Jonsson’s mission to create a work environment that is attractive to staff and thereby improve both recruitment and retention. “I want my chefs to come back to work every week rested and full of energy. That wasn’t the case before,” he said.
Saturday lunch will be served noon-2.30 pm with a regular lunch menu of £45, a tasting menu from £85 and a Carte Blanche at £125. Dinner is served Tuesday-Saturday from 6.30-9.30 pm. Both lunch and dinner menus offer wine pairings. The dinner menu also includes a selection of five cheeses (£14.50) as an extra course.
The only aspect of this relaunch that has actually grown in size is the 400-strong wine list, which apparently focuses on little-known bottles and winemakers. Jonsson and business partner Aurelie Jean-Marie-Flore opened Hedone in July 2011 and since then it has received nothing but plaudits from our reporters who praise its “incredibly clever” modern Scandi dishes delivering “small bites of perfection and amazement”.
Jonsson now also oversees Antidote wine bar and restaurant just off Soho’s Carnaby Street.