EXECUTIVE chef Uwe Opocensky, formerly of Ferran Adria’s El Bulli, is having the time of his life. To celebrate the hotel’s landmark year, he’s creating retro dishes that are fun, funky and occasionally utterly mad. They include steak diane and prawn cocktail that in no way resemble the classics and, in an homage to Julia Childs, an interpretation of her 1960s beef bourguignon.
As an example of Opocensky’s Heston Blumenthal-like zaniness, take his deconstructed baked alaska of ‘‘raspberry, vanilla and snow’’, which comes with a miniature polar bear crouched on sprinkles of frost and contemplating an igloo of icecream, or his savoury take on the multicoloured Froot Loops breakfast cereal, introduced by Kellogg’s in 1962.
Opocensky presides over the Mandarin Oriental’s 10 restaurants and bars (the topfloor Pierre is the preserve of Michelin maestro Pierre Gagnaire, who jets in from time to time), but his most exclusive domain is the Krug Room, separated from the kitchen by a long glass panel and featuring a high table for 12 diners who perch beneath a chandelier of suspended bud vases and cups and saucers, and gaily sip champagne matched to all courses — the hotel has the largest cellar of Krug bubbles outside France.
There is no menu and Opocensky typically serves 10 to 14 courses based o his playful ‘‘progressiv gastronomy’’ — the 19 theme will prevail all y The Krug Room takes bookings Monday to S and is tucked behind th Chinnery bar where, w breathtaking irony, ba mash is the order of th washed down with a pu (Hilariously, the bar di admit women until 199
Uwe Opocensky’s baked alaska, top, and the Krug Room