As a food glutton, there is always a bucket list of restaurants to visit and try their cuisine and many of these restaurants are located overseas. Whenever, I get the chance to visit a country with an extremely good restaurant, I will always make a reservation in advance. When we talk about the United Kingdom, there are plenty of world reknowned chefs like Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal. Heston is famous for innovative and molecular cuisine and has a number of restaurant under his name. One of his most famous one is The Fat Duck which has been named Best restaurant and awarded a 3 star Michelin award.
The Fat Duck opened on 16 August 1995 within a 16th-century building in Bray, Berkshire, England. In 2005, the restaurant was listed as the best restaurant in the world and as of 2017, it is one of only five restaurants in the entire United Kingdom with three Michelin stars. The Fat Duck focuses on molecular innovative cuisine and is always introducing interesting dining concepts to diners.
The restaurant has fourteen tables and can seat 42 diners and to get a seat here, you need to make a reservation up to 2 months in advance. In 2011 it was receiving some 30,000 calls for reservations per day although it has since moved their reservation platform online with a prepayment service. The interior of the restaurant itself is quaint and full of heritage and the service standards are extremely high as the proportion of chef and staff per diner is almost 1 to 1.
Everything was very magical from the moment you get seated by the staff and you can find your menu for the meal nicely presented in an envelope. I visited in 2012 and paid £195 for the degustation menu without drinks. The menu has since changed after their renovations in 2014
The actual menu for during my visit has the theme of Alice in Wonderland so many dishes were highly inspired by the story. Many of the dishes can’t really be described in words and trying them yourself will be a better experience.
Nitro Poached Aperitifs – Vodka and Lime sour, gin and Tonic , Campari soda
Red Cabbage Gazpacho – Pommery Grain Mustard Ice Cream
Snail Porridge – Iberico Bellota Ham and Shaved Fennel
Roast Foie Gras – Rhubarb , Braised Kombu and Crab Biscuit
Mad Hatter’s Party – Mock Snail Soup
Mad Hatter’s Party – Toast Sandwich
Sound of the sea – Audio representation where you hear the sound of the sea via a player placed inside the shell
Sound of the Sea – The actual course with pieces of raw seafood and jellyfish
Salmon poached in liquorice gel – Pomelo, vanilla mayonnaise and golden trout roe
There are also pretty desserts and gifts given to every guest
Overall, the food is fantastic and the taste is extraordinary which is not commonly seen or found in other restaurants. Most importantly, the entire experience is a journey with a storyline that you can almost visualise from the menu, service, explanation and presentation and taste. While it is not the most affordable meal but every gourmet should try this restaurant at least once.
Address: High St, Bray SL6 2AQ, UK
Operating hours: 12 pm to 1.15 pm and 7 pm to 8.15 pm