Jeez….talk about difficult to get a table. Seeing as though im trying to get back into my food again i thought it would be a great idea to take my girlfriend along to Heston Blumenthals fat duck restaurant for a double birthday treat.A great chance to experience what it would be like to eat the “Worlds best food” in the “Worlds best restaurant” and give myself some kickass inspiration to get in the kitchen again instead of living on takeaways .I`d got myself a copy of Hestons bible and spent a few months studying the “virtually impossible” recipes to cook at home ( unless you are called Auldo ) I decided that i had to give the experience a try for myself . So here`s how you go about doing just that……. “How to get a table at the Fat duck”
Pick the date you would like to eat at the Fat duck
Phone them up 2 months prior to that date…Exactly 2 months prior , not even a day before because theyll just tell you “sorry sir , 2 months isnt until tomorrow”
Phone them up at precisely 10am…. Not at 9.45 , Not at 9.50 or even 9.55 , you`ll just get the answering machine telling you to phone at 10am.
So phone at 10….on the dot , you will then find that its engaged….Hang up and redial…..then redial again……and again……and again……Carry on doing this until you get a ringing tone ( in my case this was 45 minutes )
WOW….I`m through…..To Alice in Wonderland……………..15 minutes of it….. O dear…..and finally
I get to hear the human voice after an hour.Even luckier , I GOT THE LAST TABLE FOR 2 on my chosen date, Fantastic….2 more months to research and read and look at photos of what we were going to experience……..and it went something like this.
Crunchy unripe green Olives , quite fruity and almost as good as the wierd green coloured ones from Harrods deli.
As far as bread and butter go then this has to be the best ever.Cornish unpasteurised organic butter was amazing , unfortunately unavailable in the supermarkets but possibly via mail order. And the bread…… and the bread , WOW , I`m hoping that someone out there can tell me what it is as i forgot to ask on the night.Crunchy and full of flavour straight from the oven and a taste like i`ve not experienced since i was a kid.As you can see in the 2 photos , its all shiny and waxy inside so cmon….Shout up and give me a clue.
So on to the first course , It`s called “Lime grove” and it`s cooked at the table in Liquid Nitrogen at minus 196 degrees. Basically a sweetened egg white mixture with lime , green tea and it`s served as a palate cleanser.A quick shake of lime / green tea powder, a couple of sprays of lime grove from a hand held aromatiser and its gone in one mouthful.
This one has to be the most theatrical dish served.Its official title is Jelly of Quail , Crayfish cream, Chicken liver parfait , Oak moss and Truffle toast ( Homage to Alain Chapel ).The dish comes magically to life when water is poured on to the dry ice hidden under the moss, scents of Oak drift across the table.
More has been written about this next dish than any other… Heston Blumenthals “Snail porridge”. My girlfriend was dreading this one but refused to change it.Guess what ? it turned out to be her favourite of the night.Gently braised snails , Green parsley flavoured oats , slivers of Jabugo Ham and finished with shavings of fennel.
Roasted Foie gras , Gooseberry , Braised Konbu and crab biscuit.
This next dish was straight out of Alice in wonderland , entitled “Mock turtle soup” from the “Mad hatters tea party”. A glass case was presented at the table containing gold pocketwatches.These were placed into a cupful of boiling water , the gold leaf instantly melted and inside was a home made bouillon tablet which turned the water into a gold leaf broth.This was then poured over the other ingredients to finish the do it yourself soup.
Sound of the sea , another Heston classic , and probably the most complicated recipe in his cookbook.I wont even attempt to describe all the various components in this dish, all ill say it “Dont try this at home” .Three types of fish , Yellowtail , Halibut and Mackerel , edible sand , seaweed , Baby eels , it was an amazing plate of food and comes with an ipod in a seashell playing sounds from the seashore. Salmon poached in a liquorice gel , Artichokes , Vanilla mayonnaise , golden trout roe and Manni olive oil.Completed with cells of pink grapefruit. This one was the main course , “Powdered Anjou pigeon” with blood pudding , potted umbles , spelt and pickles.The pigeon cooked in a water bath was melt in the mouth tender, blood pudding gel sauce was a little too sweet for my although it paired well with the meat.Baby turnips and a pickle foam finished the dish.
This one had the whole restaurant guessing , “Hot and iced tea” The left side of the glass being hot and the right side being ice cold….with no visible partition inside the glass.I wont give away how its done except to say “Gellan” and “Go buy the book”
Dinky little cornets filled with Jelly and ice cream.They accompanied the beautiful Macerated strawberries with Olive oil biscuit , Chamomile , and coriander.The red and white Gingham cloth was actually White chocolate , a visually very pleasing dessert , very pretty and definitely had the wow factor.
And so to my Fave of the night , the one i`d been looking forward to for 2 months… B.F.G , better known as Black forest Gateaux….a multi layered mini cake made from White chocolate mousse , Dark chocolate ganache , Griottine and Amarena cherries , Chocolate sponge , Aerated chocolate , Kirsch ganache , Almond biscuit and topped with a vanilla stem…..and yeah its a hard one to make at home too.The Kirsch ice cream was amazing and kirsch was also sprayed over the table from an aroma spray to finish off the ambiance of the dish i was savouring every mouthful of….Definitely my favourite of the meal.
A trip around the Whisky world ” Whisk (e)y wine gums which peeled off the glass , each one representing a different region of Scotland….and America
“Like a kid in a sweet shop”… A little taster ( complete with aroma card smelling of Olde sweet shops ) comprised of Queen of hearts playing card made of white chocolate containing a raspberry filling , Mandarin aerated chocolate filled with mandarin jelly , Coconut baccy infused with the aroma of Black cavendish tobacco and Apple pie caramel complete with edible wrapper.
“And finally sir , a wafer thin mint”……and here`s the damage ;-)
I knew what to expect and i have to say it was an amazing experience.As for “The worlds best restaurant” or even “Britains best restaurant”….Well the jury went out on that one in August…..It`s october now and they`re still not back.