Having had to go through God to get a table, we were finally at The Fat Duck. You could feel a sense of excitement and anticipation as soon as you were seated.
Every table was taken, the clientele being a mixture of overseas visitors and “special occasion” parties. A very casually dressed lot.
The Show started promptly, and thankfully the staff were very knowledgeable about the dishes, as it was not necessarily apparent as to what they were! The tiniest, most delicate beetroot and horseradish macarron was the first taster, like a flavoursome puff of air. This was followed by the Nitro Poached Aperitif – a frozen, meringue-like mouthful infused with vodka and lime, Campari soda or Tequila and grapefruit. It really did cleanse the palate.
Inspired side effects, such as smoking moss with the jelly of quail and truffle toast, enhanced the imagination and taste buds.
Listening to The Sounds of The Sea with headphones, you actually felt as if you were at the seaside, whilst the presentation of the fish encaptured a scene from the beach, including the frothy seawater!
The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party….well! The “pocket watch,” a stock cube in fact, covered in gold leaf, dropped into the glass teapot, creating a golden cup of mock turtle tea, accompanied of course by finger sandwiches.
With the foie gras, there was seaweed like an edible leather. The melt-in-the-mouth salmon was coated in a liquorice gel, a striking black and pink dish with a heavenly vanilla mayonnaise. It was all very clever, not forgetting the now infamous snail porridge, a relatively straightforward dish of snails, oats and fennel – not at all frightening! As for the rhubarb, here it took on another dimension, retaining its texture, colour and taste….simply marvellous.
This really was an event. I am sure we had as much fun as Heston did inventing it. The drama keeps you on your toes at every moment and one should try and get there, if but once. That is, however, if you can get a table!
The Fat Duck
+44 (0) 1628 580 333