The Fat Duck

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  • Visit Date: 22nd April 2022
  • Restaurant: The Fat Duck
  • Address: High Street, Bray, Berkshire

I must say, I have been wanting to come here for so many years but just never had a moment to do so, until now. The first thing to say, is that I had a slight wardrobe malfunction, the zip on my outfit just kept opening and unzipping itself completely, leaving my whole back exposed. So my first task was to see if they could find me a safety pin, and hey presto, they arrived moments later with one to lock my zip in place and crisis averted. Super grateful and one big tick. Time to drink some champagne and relax into this visit. We meet Thomas, who looks after us for most of the meal.

This menu, Volume 3 of their Anthology Series, was a celebration of their 25th anniversary and a combination of different popular dishes throughout that time. So, it was exciting to finally experience some of the classic signature dishes that I thought I had missed out on from not visiting in years past.

Thomas came out with a trolley and created our Aperitif, which were Nitro-poached and super cool. You’ll see more of this on the video highlights. I opted for Pina Colada (2014) it was delicious and just the fun playful element you want from being here.

From there the journey continued with Aerated Beetroot ( 2011 ), a Tonic of Botanicals which was lovely and clean but warming too with the addition of cumin (2015). Some excellent bread followed, and then into A Walk in the Woods ( 2015 ) which was fun but just fell down for me on any taste or enjoyability.

A Beetroot Risotto followed for me, while others had the Crab ( 1998 ) and then came the one dish I had most been looking forward to, and one I had a very different vision in my mind’s eye of how it would be. The Sound of the Sea ( 2007 ) in my mind, I imagined the headphones and conch shell would be providing relaxing soft waves, transporting you to a Caribbean beach. Instead, I got squawking seagulls which transported me to Newquay and overflowing dustbins, then came the dish.. which I can only describe as having a giant wave wash over my head and I was left drinking half the seawater. Just a salty overload. I ate the raw fish and ended up eating everyone else’s leftover mackerel too so that the plates went back empty-ish, but the ‘sand’ and the foam I just didn’t enjoy. Sorry guys.

Onward, to the Veal Sweetbread Smoked in Hay (1999 ) and the Triple Cooked Chips (1993), this was all good and felt like we turned a corner, and an excellent Anjou Pigeon dish too ( 2007 ) and then for me, the best dish of the entire meal, being the dessert, a Black Forest Gateau (2006 ).

A fun element was introduced with some cards which we gave up with quite fast, and Thomas returned with a Sweet Shop ( 2006 ), where I got to put a coin in and the drawers opened with our chocolates, that was all very fun and the vibes I wanted more of throughout. There was also a new dish that Oli sent out, which is coming soon, which was a play on grapes and wine.

A thoughtful gesture at the end was a keyring they produced with the mymuybueno logo engraved into the wood, it was very sweet and it takes a lot to surprise me, so this won bonus points.

I’m glad to have finally made it, and a few really nice dishes, others of course felt dated, but then that was because they were paying homage to the classics, so that aligned. I did a visit a few years back at Dinner by Heston, you’ll need to scroll right back, with things like the meat fruit, the pineapple, the tipsy cake, of which I have good memories.  

Thomas made the meal, with his banter and interaction with our table and adding lots of humour throughout. We interviewed Head Chef Oli recently too, so do go and read that also.

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