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The Fat Duck – Maidenhead, United Kingdom | Restaurant Review

Exceptional fourteen course dinner in the outskirts of London


Restaurant Category : French, International

The Fat Duck - Maidenhead, United Kingdom: Usually repeated calling and messaging are the purview of serial stalkers. However, this behavior could easily describe anyone who has attempted to get a reservation at The Fat Duck - Heston Blumenthal’s famous Michelin starred restaurant known for its amazing and unique dishes. I managed a Thursday evening reservation for two after calling with both hands simultaneously (one for my cell and the other on Skype) for one and a half hours. Thankfully, the meal was worth the wait.

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I went to The Fat Duck with my husband and I have to admit that it was a real treat from our day-to-day lives. They only serve the tasting menu, which is seasonal and currently costs £180 per person and takes between 3.5 and 4 hours to complete. It’s great because it takes a lot of pain out of choosing the best choices - all of the options are amazing. The wine list is another issue though. You need to read it beforehand, choose an option and ensure that they have it in stock upon your arrival. We had a friend recommend a wine to us and it was not available when we went meaning that we spent a lot of time with the sommelier trying to figure out what we wanted. The wine list is extensive and prices range from 39 to 4000. I won’t tell you about the courses - it is sort of like telling someone a movie ending - but you can always take a peek at the online menu to get an idea. My only regret is that I do not have a larger stomach. By the time I got to the twelfth course, I was so full that I was concerned they would think I was unhappy with the food. I could barely eat anymore.

The setting is small, intimate and filled with soft lighting. The decor is very plain and simple. Most of the patrons were dressed as if they came straight from work (lots of suits) and there was also a contingent of tourists wearing ripped jeans, shorts and sporting backpacks. Don’t worry if your table manners aren’t up to par, they often have to explain how to eat certain items. This is really performance art disguised as a meal. You are part of the show so just play along. One of the best parts of the meal was the end because they give you a little takeaway goodie to enjoy. Don’t miss the edible seal (if you get the goodie bag, you’ll know what I am talking about).

The Fat Duck is perfect for a special occasion but you need to call months in advance and not be very picky about what day you go. Start calling a few minutes before the lines open and hope for the best. If you get a reservation, it’s a real treat.

What I liked: Amazing attention to detail.

What I didn’t like: Travel to Maidenhead is difficult unless you are lucky enough to have a weekend reservation.

Rating: Bombastic

Address and Telephone Number:
The Fat Duck
High Street, Bray
Berkshire, SL6 2AQ
+44 (0) 1628 580 333

By Joy Adams, contributor to Bombastic Life.

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