First, the bad news: no more snail porridge for a while, as The Fat Duck temporarily closes its doors from December. Then, the good news: the three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Bray is relocating to the sunny climes of Melbourne, where it takes up residency at Crown Melbourne Resort from Tuesday February 3. Here, gourmands will be able to enjoy signature dishes from Heston Blumenthal (third picture), such as Botrytis Cinerea (first picture), Sound of the Sea (second picture) and Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, until September 2015.
The restaurant, which opened in 1995, was awarded its Michelin étoiles in 2004, and its entire staff will relocate for the year. As an added highlight Down Under, guests will also be able to experience a chef’s table. This will be an immersive multisensory experience, in which four guests at a time will be seated in front of the pass, watching the workings of the kitchen.
Those looking for a reservation at the restaurant should register their interest at www.thefatduckmelbourne.com between October 8 and 26. Names will then be picked at random by a third party. Successful applicants will receive an email on Monday November 10, while a standby list will alert others who haven’t made the cut in case of any cancellations. Hopeful diners cannot make multiple entries and applicants are not chosen on a first-come, first-served basis, so those who apply anytime within that period have the same chance as all others.
Each evening meal will take around four hours and cost A$525 (about £290) per person, for food only. The restaurant will have 50 places for each service, seating tables of predominantly two or four people, with a limited number for six.
Then, from September, Australian diners will have the chance to feast on the moreish meat fruit served by Blumenthal’s other restaurant, Dinner, in London’s Mandarin Oriental, when that restaurant opens a second, permanent outpost within the Crown Melbourne Resort.