Friday, January 26, 2007

The Fat Duck





Introduction Renowned for the last 2 years as "the best restaurant in the world" I certainly rank it among the best I have ever enjoyed In the tiny village of Bray, about an hour and a half out of London - near Windsor currently it has no sign in front of the restaurant but with so few houses in the main street it is not hard to find. Reservations open 60 days ahead and usually close very soon after -say an hour or so!

Ambience In a ?18th century building, whitewashed walls and black painted thick wood beams. Old England atmosphere somewhat decreased by the slightly crowded white linen covered tables with specially made very modern crockery

Service Immaculate

Food The degustation menu with matched wines is unique

For the record this was it
Nitro-Green Tea and Lime Mousse (2001) This palate cleanser is available at Fenix and I love it!
Oyster,, Passion Fruit Jelly, Lavender. The lavender was a lovely addition
Pommery Grain Mustard Ice Cream, Red Cabbage Gaspacho
Jelly of Quail, Langoustine Cream, Parfait of Foie Gras (Homage to Alain Chapel)
Manzanaen Rama Barbadillo - Spain

Snail Porridge
Joselito ham shaved fennel
2004 Vin de Pays Cotes Catalannes de Soula Gaury Roussellon - France (could you guess)

Roast Foie Gras Almond fluid gel,cherry andchamomile , 2003VinoptimaGewurtztraminerReserve, =Gisborne NewZealand

Sardine on Toast Sorbet Ballotine of mackeral 'invertebrate', marinated daikon, sea salad The only dish I did not care for very strong sardine taste Rashiko Ginjo-Sake, Yamatogawa - Japan


Salmon Poached with Liquorice Artichoke, pink grapefruit, Manni olive oil 1999 Douro, uinta Daleda, Casa Ferreirinha, Doura Valley - Portugal


Poached Breast of Anjou Pigeon Pancetta Fastilla of its leg, pistachio, cocoa and quatre 'epices 1999 Barolo, Costa Grimaldi, Poderi Luigi Einaudi Piedmont - Italy


Hot and Cold Tea This is a bit of magic the cup has hot tea on one side and cold tea on the other!


Mrs Marshall's Margaret Coronet Mrs Agnes B Marshall was one of the finest cooks in Victorian times (1855 - 1905). She wrote four books and tested all the recipes - they have stood the test of time. She was the Queen of Ice cream, invented an extremely efficient machine capable of making a litre of ice cream in 3 minutes and was the first to suggest making an edible cone (the coronet) from which to eat ice cream


Pine Sherbet Fountain - a fine example of nostalgia food - reminds me of my childhood sweet delights!!


Mango and Douglas Fir Puree Bavois of lychee and mango, blackcurrent sorbet 2003 Schneiderberger Reisling eiswein, Weinviertel - Austria


Carrot and Orange Tuille, Beetroot Jelly


Nitro Scrambled Eggs and Bacon Icecream (2006) Pain perdu and tea jelly NV Buller fine old Muscat, Rutherglen Victoria - Australia


Whisky Wine Gum Violet Tartelet


By the time we got to the scrambled eggs is was a bit that way myself. Every dish is unique. Either you love it like or don't but the next will soon be there


At the end of all this you can have a choice of 12 different teas fom 12.50 (eg Silver Needle Jasmine picked in early spring before the April rains, doubtlessly by 15 year old virgins, and only the topmost buds then scented over 5 consecutive nights with fresh Jasine flowers!) to 4.75 pounds sterling that is.
Wine It was an extra 90 quid to have the matched wines. The were very generous and without hesitation offered more of anything you might wish for however you need to have a designated driver if you really want to take all that's offered I would have been perfectly happy with a reasonable bottle of white or red but we're only here once
Price I think it was 165 pounds for the Sunday lunch degustation which lasted about 4 hours

Comments Heston Blumenthal has my unbounded admiration. Without formal training , with a scientific approach and the assistance of a food chemist - Dr Peter Barham, he has reinvented modern cooking. He deserves his success
Score: 19/20

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