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“Culinary Conjuring”
Review of The Fat Duck

The Fat Duck
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $286 - $286
Cuisines: Contemporary, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Culinary Conjuring”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Four hours ending with a bill the size of a substantial mortgage payment. A cross between: a science lesson; a conjuring show and New Age therapy. Calling it a truly memorable culinary experience would ignore the difficulty of recalling all of the courses. Choosing the selection of wines to match the courses was a mistake, not because of the effect on the size of the final bill. There was nothing wrong with the wines selected, it was just the sensory overload of fifteen courses and trying to appreciate the subtleties of numerous tastings.
The egg shell made from chocolate was amazingly realistic. Even when you had tasted a piece the rest still looked like it had come from a chicken.
The theatre of the experience would benefit from a grander stage. The Fat Duck is a little bit cramped and emerging directly onto the race track of Bray High Street is not the best way to leave the show that you have just experienced.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Tunbridge Wells
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Second time, and just as fun as the first!”
Reviewed April 6, 2013

This restaurant isn't really about food as we know it, it's about using food as theatre and spectacle as well as taste. The only way I can think to describe it is that when you go to a fine dining restaurant, you get food that is much more beautifully sourced, cooked and presented than in a standard restaurant. Here, you get food that no other restaurant would ever dream of creating, there's no comparison. It's magical.

Along with the other diners, it wouldn't be fair to give away the surprises. In fact we did our best to look away (almost impossible) as amazing dishes were presented to the tables around us. If you can get there first, at noon, you will probably really appreciate the surprise element that is missing for diners arriving at, say, one or two pm.

The waiters were exemplary - friendly, informative, professional, certainly not at all about making you feel small for being in such a top restaurant. Indeed the whole style of the place is discreet, downplayed, and the customer definitely comes first.

Right ... off to print off my pictures!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LancyTunbridgeWells
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“DO IT or you will not die happy!!”
Reviewed April 6, 2013

Everything about the Fat Duck as already been said so I can say no more, except, do this before you die or you will never die happy. Thank you to all the staff and to the genius Heston for taking us on such a gastronomic adventure which we will talk about into our old age and cherish the pure theatre that the Fat Duck gave us and kept us entertained for 4 ½ hours. Go and do it, keep trying to book it and then try again and again…………………you will not be disappointed. Sad that its all over…………….!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BonnBouche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Twisted perfection!”
Reviewed April 4, 2013

Finally ate at The Fat Duck after wanting to come here for quite some time. We managed to book the time and day we wanted with the new online booking system which was not easy... It's a bit like buying a concert ticket! You have to be quick! However, I was quick and got what we wanted!

The experience was ten times better than I thought it could possibly be, the food, the service, the theatre of it all was incredibly precise and impressive at every course. There were 16 courses in total and took a total of four and a half hours. The restaurant was busy as expected but very comfortable, it was great fun watching other people's reactions to the food that was placed in front of them!

The food itself is like nothing I have ever tasted, completely incomparable. Won't go into detail as part of the experience is the surprise but expect the unexpected... All is not as it seems! But I guarantee you will love every course.

For anyone who is not going because they don't like a certain food please go anyway! I hate fish and haven't eaten it for 15 years yet I did here and it was amazing! They can also fit in with most if not all dietary requirements, I requested no neat alcohol as I was driving, they changed the menu to fit around this without any fuss at all.

The Fat Duck is not cheap. At £195 per person for the tasting menu (the only menu), £135 for wine pairing per person and then there is the tip! We left a £50 tip. I honestly felt like I had gotten value for money and will definitely be returning as soon as the menu changes enough for the experience to be renewed (I am told they change a couple of courses every 2 months so a once a year experience should be different enough).

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank graham w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Bucket list”
Reviewed March 31, 2013

It was an experience! hubby and I went (his xmas pressie), was amazing experience, but mad price. Glad we did it, will go back if someone else is paying :-)

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank thaddeus600
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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