I was lucky enough to dine at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck restaurant during it’s temporary relocation to Melbourne from the UK and what a wonderful experience it was. For those of you who don’t know about the amazing food scientist Heston Blumenthal then take a look here; https://www.starchefs.com/cook/chefs/bio/heston-blumenthal
It was a sunny Autumn day in Melbourne when I began my 5 hour culinary adventure through 17 mind blowing courses at The Fat Duck. The restaurant is hidden away in Crown down a narrow dark corridor which opens up to a sophisticated dining area overlooking the Yarra. It looked like an exclusive club, but with a dash of whimsical that Heston is renowned for.
To prepare my taste buds for the adventure the liquid nitrogen was wheeled out on a trolley and a little ball of vodka and lime apéritif magically appeared before me. It looked like a ball of ice cream, it tasted like I was drinking a vodka lime and soda and it felt like a puff of air as it disappeared in my mouth, and that was just the beginning! One of Heston’s fabulous tricks to confuse your senses is to create a dish that tastes very different to how it looks, my favourite example of this was a mini Golden Gaytime ice cream (or so it looked) that was actually a deliciously smooth chicken liver parfait covered in fig gel and sprinkled with crushed almonds.
I enjoyed several small appetisers before various main dishes featuring delicacies such as abalone, marron, truffle, sea vegetables and gold leaf. Many of the dishes were made up of several components, all intricately presented. The stand out dish for me is one of Heston’s famed dishes, snail porridge. While oats with snails may not sound or look appetising it was absolutely delicious and I would have been content eating a big bowl, lucky I have the recipe book so I can recreate the deliciousness!
So 17 courses, that’s a lot, was I full? About 10 courses in and after several glasses of champagne I was feeling rather full, however it was then that the dessert courses began and I’m always one to find room for dessert, or 7!
Dining at The Fat Duck was like going to the theatre, I was immersed in the creativity and magic. The staff, most coming from the UK added that extra bit of something special to the whole experience. I was very grateful to have the chance to enjoy such an exciting lunch and I look forward to one day visiting The Fat Duck in Bray in the UK.