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The Fat Duck offers more than a dining experience; it offers a journey of the senses. We dined in some of the best restaurants in the world and the Fat Duck deservedly ranks highly among them.

 

The Fat Duck: Foodie mecca

 

The Fat Duck: Avi @ Fat duck

 

The Fat Duck: Beetroot delight

 

The Fat Duck: Amazing…nitro poached aperatif

 

Compared to, for instance, the top restaurants in San Sebastian (e.g., Martin BerasateguiAkelare  and Arzak) I’d say the Spanish restaurants express their creativity more in terms of flavour combinations, whereas The Fat Duck puts more emphasis on showmanship.

 

The Fat Duck:  Red Cabbage Gazpacho (10/10)

 

The Fat Duck: The show

 

Chicken Liver Parfait, Oak Moss and Truffle Toast (10/10)

 

The Fat Duck: Chicken Liver Parfait, Oak Moss and Truffle Toast (10/10)

 

The Fat Duck’s aim is to take you back to Heston’s childhood and experience it with all your senses (sight, sound, smell, touch and taste). And the people guiding you through this tour of delight (both front of the house as well as behind the stove) are some of the best in the business!

 

The Fat Duck: Snail Porridge (10/10)…mock turtle soup

 

We visited the Fat Duck, Waterside Inn and the Hind’s Head in the same weekend. I’d say all three are at the top of their game, but offer a completely different experience. The Fat Duck is all about evoking all your senses and sparking your imagination; the Waterside Inn is about classical French flavours combined with extremely fresh produce; and the Hind’s Head is about British soul food.

 

The Fat Duck: Roast Foie Gras with Rubarb, Sesame seeds, Braised Kunbu and Crab Biscuit (10/10)

 

The Fat Duck: The wine book at The Fat Duck…massive

 

The Fat Duck: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (9/10)

 

The Fat Duck: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (9/10)

 

The menu at the Fat Duck consists of 14 courses, an amuse bouche and a palette cleanser and takes about 4 to 4.5 hours. I would recommend choosing your own bottle(s) of wine.

During our lunch at the Fat Duck we tried the, 2009 Riesling Spätlese (available by the glass, 9/10), the 2004 Dão, Quinta da Falorca (available by the glass, 10/10) and the superb 2009 Alella, Dolc Mataro (available by the glass, 10/10). These were all excellent recommendations by our glass. Do note that the wines are very expensive (even for a 3-star restaurant), but worth it.

 

The Fat Duck: Sound of the sea (9/10)…notice how they’re created an edible beach, sea fruits and sea…genius

 

The Fat Duck: Sound of the sea (9/10)…the sea brings lovely food on shore

 

The Fat Duck: Sound of the sea (9/10)…the sea brings lovely food on shore

 

Some of the highlights of the menu at the Fat Duck were:

  • Chicken Liver Parfait, Oak Moss and Truffle Toast (10/10)
  • Snail porridge (10/10)
  • Roast Foie Gras with Rhubarb, Sesame seeds, Braised Kunbu and Crab Biscuit (10/10)
  • Anjou Pigeon with a delectable Blood pudding and amazing Risotto of Spelt and Umbles (11/10). This was the best dish of them all. I could write a whole chapter about this dish…but let me just paraphrase it by saying: simply amazing!
  • Black Forest Gateau (10/10)

 

The Fat Duck: Salmon Poached in Liquorice gel, Artichokes, Vanilla mayo and Trout Roe (9/10)

 

The Fat Duck: Salmon Poached in Liquorice gel, Artichokes, Vanilla mayo and Trout Roe (9/10)

 

The Fat Duck: Anjou Pigeon with a delectable Blood pudding and amazing Risotto of Spelt and Umbles (11/10). This was the best dish of them all. I could write a whole chapter about this dish…but let me just paraphrase it by saying: simply amazing!

 

A few facts for you to consider about the Fat Duck:

  • Amazing service (you tell something to one waiter, they make sure to mention it to the other waiters and when you speak to any other waiter afterwards they will follow-up on whatever you’ve asked for/spoken about with someone else)
  • Unlike any dining experience…more than a dining experience
  • Proper spacing between the tables
  • Come 30-45 mins early so that you can explore the beautiful village of Bray and have a drink beforehand in the Hinds Head…it’s worth it

 

The Fat Duck: Galette of Rhubarb, Neroli scented Yogurt and Rhubarb sorbet (9/10)

 

The Fat Duck: Black Forest Gateau (10/10)

 

The Fat Duck: Black Forest Gateau (10/10)

 

The Fat Duck: Black Forest Gateau (10/10)

 

The Fat Duck: Cheese

 

Some minor quibbles about the  Fat Duck:

  • As mentioned before the emphasis more on engaging all senses and therefore for some dishes taste has been sacrificed for the sake of evoking other senses. For instance, the sandwiches served during the ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ very pleasant but certainly not amazing.
  • Wait time between the dishes was quite long
  • The wines are good, but expensive (even for 3-star restaurant)

 

The Fat Duck: Edible white chocolate card (10/10)

 

The Fat Duck: Edible white chocolate card (10/10)

 

Overall rating of the Fat Duck: 9.5/10