The Fat Duck experience

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    Lucky diners well fed in ‘once in a lifetime experience’ at The Fat Duck
    • FEBRUARY 03, 2015 9:05PM


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    Heston Blumenthal inside his new The Fat Duck restaurant at Crown Casino. Picture: Nathan Dyer
    WHAT, no duck?
    It’s a safe bet that question didn’t pass the lips of any of the 50 lucky diners who pulled up chairs to a table at The Fat Duck Melbourne on Tuesday.
    They were the first of just 14,000 people who, over the next six months, will experience a 4½ hour “gastronomic journey of history, nostalgia, emotion and memory”.
    That’s the way the restaurant’s Heston Blumenthal describes his 14-course offering.
    And all for just $525 a head — before drinks, that is.

    The Sound of the Sea dish.

    The Botrytis Cinerea dish.

    Diners’ first impressions were overwhelmingly positive.
    Ryan Perry and Alison Bannister flew down from Sydney on Tuesday morning for lunch.
    Both rated the experience 10 out of 10.
    “Waiters were so friendly, so understanding; just wanted to share the experience with us,” Mr Perry said.
    “It wasn’t what I was expecting. Very different — the flavours were unbelievable.”

    Alison Bannister and Ryan Perry exjoyed their Fat Duck experience. Picture: Paul Loughnan

    Ms Bannister said the meal truly was a “once in a lifetime experience”.
    Pauline and Roger Copsey had flown over from Ireland.
    “To be married for 46 years, and to spend 4¾ hours and not be bored, says it all,” Mr Copsey joked as they left after lunch at the restaurant, which is located at Crown.

    Roger and Pauline Copsey flew from Ireland. Picture: Paul Loughnan

    Blumenthal explains the food: “I’ve done a lot of work looking at the DNA of the Duck ... It’s all about memories and experiences.
    “You can’t just come up with that. It takes months, years, perfecting the dish.”
    The menu of the original British restaurant, which is closed for renovations, has been adapted to take advantage of local produce.
    “They are all Fat Duck dishes, but tweaked to give it an Australian feel,” Blumenthal said.

    Inside The Fat Duck at Crown casino.

    He won’t be in the kitchen but will be “just around, chatting, meeting guests”.
    After the Fat Duck returns to its home in Bray, West Berkshire in August, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will take up residence at Crown Melbourne permanently.
    It will be Blumenthal’s only restaurant outside the UK.
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