Fat Duck Reopens This Month - With $390 Tasting Menu
Booking started at midday for the Fat Duck, which reopens on Sept. 29, nine months after chef Heston Blumenthal moved his restaurant and staff for a temporary residency in Melbourne.
Prospective diners must pay 255 pounds ($390) per person in advance for their meal, with extra charges for drinks and service on the day at the restaurant in Bray, west of London.
That's a lot to pay but there is unlikely to be any shortage of applicants: The Fat Duck is usually booked up months in advance. Diners are drawn by dishes such as the Sound of the Sea, where guests wear earphones to listen to a tape of gulls and crashing waves while consuming seafood scattered on edible sand.
Blumenthal is serving a new menu and promises a new style of service at the restaurant, which is known for the theatrical presentation of dishes, sometimes involving magic tricks.
The restaurant, housed in a former pub, has been refurbished during the Melbourne residency. There is a new kitchen, too, while the menu will take the form of a map and uses a nostalgic day in Blumenthal's childhood as a framework.
The Fat Duck is a former winner of the World's 50 Best Restaurants awards and Blumenthal has influenced a generation of chefs with his experimental style. It's often described as molecular gastronomy, a term he and fellow chefs Ferran Adria and Thomas Keller reject.
Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter @richardvines.