Fat duck #01628 580333 www.fatduck.co.uk tues-sun lunch 12pm-2pm, tues-sat dinner 7pm-9pm
Where do I begin? I went for lunch to Fat Duck. My reservation was at noon and the place was packed. Both lunch and dinner are restricted to a single seating and a set menu – evidence of the confidence of chef Heston Blumenthal. As the Fat Duck has been awarded three Michelin stars and was voted best restaurant in the world in 2005, this confidence is clearly warranted. The chef, Heston Blumenthal, has dedicated his menu to foods that evoke pleasant childhood memories; nostalgic foods that take you back to the decade in which you grew up. A mere suggestion of a particular flavour can produce the strongest childhood memory, and memory is highly personal. Smell can trigger a memory and emotion like no other sense can.
The menu consists of 13 courses with recipes dating as far back as 1660. The first course is lime grove, second is red cabbage gazpacho, third is jelly of quail with crayfish cream, and forth is roast foie gras. The fifth course knocked my socks off, mock turtle soup (1850): hot water pours over a gold watch made of edible gold leaf which dissolves into a delicious savory consommé, swirling with flecks of gold. I pour this into a large white bowl consisting of sous-vide terrine of ox tongue compressed with slices of lardo (a type of Italian salumi) and a mock turtle egg made of a puree of turnip with little enoki mushrooms, pickled cucumber, truffles, and brunoise (finely diced turnips , leeks, and carrots). The sixth course is the famous sounds of the sea where a conch shell plays sounds of the sea while you feast on clams, cockles, abalone, seaweed, and even the sand which is made with tapioca but tastes like popcorn. Seventh is salmon poached in liquorice, eighth is a powdered Anjou pigeon, ninth is a dainty taffety tart (1660). The tenth course is a creative no-so-full English breakfast; deconstructed it is dry parsnip cereal, nitro-scrambled egg, bacon ice cream, and hot and iced tea. Eleventh is chocolate wine “slush” (1660), twelve brings us a tablet of house made wine gums, and thirteen ends our journey with a selection of sweets. Like a kid in a sweet shop. It is now 6:00pm.
A full bar stocked with whatever your heart desires. They have an extensive wine list as well as wine pairings with your dishes.