I know there could have been a better title, but I feel like “The Fat Duck” in itself is attention-grabbing enough. It could be “WE WENT TO THE FAT DUCK!!!” or “We went to The Fat Duck.” depending on how much you know and care about, well, The Fat Duck.
Warning: a lot of the pleasure of eating at The Fat Duck is the surprise, which actually does not come when the food comes to your table, but when it comes to the table of those mofos who got an earlier reservation than you. It was still fun, for us, when the food came to our table, because while visual surprise was ruined, the tasting surprise was still there. If you read this post, you will surely be spoiled about both the look and the taste of all the dishes, so if you plan to go to The Fat Duck in the future, stop reading right now! Or, read and wait 10 years, I think they should change the menu then 🙂 That said, I will *only* post about the food. If a dish involves other (gimmicky!) devices or apparatus, I will not provide the pictures here, so as to save some surprise, if you decide to read the post and then go to the restaurant anyway. All photos were taken by me, please take out with credit!
[insert usual gushing about how going to TFD has always been a goal of mine etc., you know, like that of thousands of other people.]
The most pleasant surprise for me was the dress code: I was forced to dress in jeans for certain reasons, and was relieved to find some other guests were also in jeans. I don’t oppose to dressing up; it only stresses me out. Enjoying good food only requires clean clothes, and I’m glad the restaurant wasn’t being fussy about the dress code.
Without further ado, the food:
The infamous 14? 17? course menu sounds overwhelming at first, but while we left very very full, we didn’t feel gross (it’s hard to count because, well, we weren’t really counting; plus there was a menu within the menu and many tiny things that kept coming…). The just-right amount of food was probably the reason why they didn’t serve us our no-show friend’s portion (tickets were paid in advance so *technically* we could claim the food; believe me, I was tempted to ask at the risk of sounding ill-mannered.) Below is the food, in order of when they came out.
Not pictured (actually the last 2 courses!):
Malt, orange blossom, tonka, milk, meringue, crystalised white chocolate, pistachio
involved a really elaborate aparatus that is best left seen in person. The meringue itself was very good, though I can’t really tell which part of the flavor was the infamous tonka.
House of candies:
Oxchoc, Caramel in edible wrapper. Queeen of Hearts jam tart, mandarin scented aerated chocolate
Oxchoc was AMAZEBALLS. It’s a chocolate caramel sticky thing that also – wait for it – tastes like BEEF! Yup, apparently they used wagyu beef stock to infuse the chocolate with the flavor, inspired by a similar type of chocolate made in the 1890s that had meat extract. It’s like one of those things that shouldn’t work, but it does, and surprises you with every bite (or…every minute of it melting in your mouth, in this case.)
Was it worth it? Yes. Should/Will we go back? If someone else pays, sure!
Like everyone, I have great respect for Heston for trying to do so much with food, with how people eat food, and how people *experience* food. And most importantly, his food is GREAT. I don’t think the gimmicks would have been as fun as they were if the food didn’t live up to its reputation. And live it did!