The Fat Duck is a phenomenon in the restaurant world! After leading the way in contemporary cuisine, it keeps opening new avenues for the entire dining experience! Heston's creations have withstood time, and continue to evolve. The menu unfolds as a story around the holidays. What sets this restaurant apart is the tremendous attention to detail, from the chairs to the lighting of the table. The staff led by Dimitri Bellos are in a separate league when compared to their peers from similar establishments. All the dishes were masterfully executed once again by Jonny Lake as detailed in our prior review of the restaurant. One more time, an unforgettable experience. No doubt among the best restaurants in the world.
3 Michelin stars
Pharmacy 2 is located within Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall, south London. This restaurants breaths contemporary art as conceived by Damien Hirst. He launched this restaurant in collaboration with Mark Hix. The menu reflects classic British and European dishes. Pharmacy 2 gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy the food while experiencing some of Hirst's most iconic artworks including the "Medicine Cabinets" and the "butterfly Kaleidoscope paintings". The staff were warm and welcoming. The restaurant has a really young and vibrant atmosphere. A really fun night out!
The Fat Duck was relocated for a few months to Melbourne, Australia, while the original restaurant in Bray was undergoing extensive renovations. The restaurant just re-opened and, with the most recent transformations in the space and the menu, it is clearly becoming a league of its own. Heston Blumenthal, who defined the way we think about modern cooking, has reinvented himself and is opening new avenues in culinary excellence and the dining experience overall!
The charming English pub has maintained its character, but the changes have made the space more functional and aligned with the menu. When entering, the guests are greeted by the host in a small corridor with holograms from the menu being projected on a side wall. The kitchen has at least doubled in size, and now the staff have more space for their creations!
The traditional menu has now been replaced by a map guiding you to a journey down the path of nostalgia, childhood memories, and innovative concepts. There is a distinct story-line taking you through a day in Fat Duck time. This includes a dining experience (with a real table d'hôte menu!) and ends with drifting off to sleep. As the figurative time changes, the light on the table (yes every table's light is regulated individually) changes in color and intensity to reflect the appropriate time. The contribution of light gives a new dimension to the experience. This innovative new concept, where food becomes a vehicle, has brilliantly achieved Heston's goal to create a memorable experience by allowing the most precious memories of the guests to surface and be connected with the food!
In terms of specific courses we were really happy to see the evolution of the "walk in the forest" dish. It really integrated all the flavors in one dish instead of the multiple that it used to be, while maintaining the mystique of the dry ice generated fog. The outcome was spectacular! We also thought that the new crab dish (transforming in a caviar dish in front of your eyes) was phenomenal, both in presentation and in taste. It was really one of our favorite courses! We loved the new trolley for the nitro poached aperitifs (the lighting complemented it perfectly). The bowl is now transparent and you can witness the poaching process in real time! The boxes of cereals were also an amazing new addition! Heston has been able to enclose the taste of full English breakfast in this creation, while with the playfulness of the hidden gift in the package he makes the guests travel back in their childhoods and act like kids again! The "sound of the sea" was great as always. The staff take extra care to record every guest's favorite memories and try to bring them to the forefront during this journey. I received a personalized postcard during this course to reflect my most candid memories by the sea as a child... A really sweet and thoughtful gesture that personalizes the experience and sets this restaurant apart from all others. The wagyu beef and the duck were mouthwatering as usual!! Overall, head chef Jonny Lake again masterfully orchestrated this spectacular experience!
We have written before that the sweet part of the menu is superior to any restaurant we have visited. The new menu continues this tradition! We were very happy to see that the Botrytis desert survived the changes. It is one of the most complex, innovative and perfectly conceived and executed deserts we have had. The "counting sheep" desert was a really positive surprise and now one of our favorites. The tastes and textures were really evolved and we could see that a lot of work went into this creation. A floating pillow added to the simulation of a dream state and took the whole experience to another level. The "kid in the sweetshop" is now presented with a complex trolley that works with coins that are offered as part of an earlier course, giving a nice closure to the meal. Great concept and execution!
The front of the house staff set the standard against which every fine dining establishment should be judged! Masterfully led by general manager Dimitri Bellos, they contribute to a seamless experience. The staff is friendly and always responsive to the guests' needs, and at the same time extremely attentive to detail (even changing the way they set utensils for left handed guests)!
Once again, a phenomenal and unforgettable experience!
3 Michelin stars
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is located in a stunning setting at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in London. This restaurant is another testament to the culinary brilliance of Heston Blumenthal. Recently awarded a second Michelin star, DBHB offers a menu inspired by historic traditional British recipes. However, as always with his creations, Heston has added theatrical presentations, and the element of deception in all his dishes. The highlights of our menu were as always the meat fruit (chicken liver parfait) and the tipsy cake (with the ingenious concept of spit roast pineapple). The restaurant interior is contemporary, yet mindful of tradition, reflecting Heston's philosophy for this space. The dining room features floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Diners have an unobstructed view of the kitchen and its unique pulley system. Modeled after a similar design in the royal court, the pulley's rotate the spit on an open-fire. The front of the house is led masterfully by Nick Skarkalis, who coordinates an amazing team. Service is warm and welcoming, but at the same time attentive to detail and perfect in every way. Another really amazing experience at Dinner! Definitely one of the best restaurants in London!
2 Michelin stars
The Fat Duck remains at the top of the culinary world! We had another amazing experience in this phenomenal restaurant. Heston Blumenthal understands more than anyone the chemical reactions involved in cooking, and uses those properties to create unforgettable tastes, textures, and smells. As we have said before, nostalgia is key in these dishes. Through his creations Heston revisits memories familiar to all his guests, and reinforces them with new and exciting flavors! Above all this restaurant is its amazing people. Isa, the sommelier achieves perfect wine pairings. Dimitri Belos masterfully heads an exceptional team of staff that lead you in an unforgettable culinary journey. Jony Lake, the chef de cuisine, perfectly coordinates his kitchen staff to achieve perfection every single time. During this visit, we experienced all the classical dishes that we have loved through the years, but also some new creations, like the "umble pie" accompanied by a spectacular risotto, which simply blew us away with the richness of their flavors. Once again, this was an unforgettable night in one of the best restaurants in the world!
3 Michelin stars
Another unforgettable experience at The Fat Duck! Heston Blumenthal is a true culinary genius and his creations are a testament to that. This is a non-pretentious, down to earth restaurant, which delivers the absolute perfection and consistency in cooking and service! Nostalgia and childhood memories are a component of every dish. Sometimes so intense that you feel removed from the restaurant... Who hasn't closed their eyes, and travelled to their favorite beach while listening to the waves and tasting the "sound of the sea", a course during which all service stops in order to allow the guest to submerge in the experience. Who hasn't felt they are taking a walk in a foggy forest while smelling the wet oak of the "jelly of quail" dish. Who hasn't travelled back in their childhood memories of "Alice in wonderland", while sipping on the "mock-turtle soup" or tasting the "queen of hearts". Heston's artistic creations, as executed by chef de cuisine Jonny Lake, stimulate all your senses, with unique tastes, textures, images, sounds, and smells!
3 Michelin stars
The Ledbury is located in beautiful Notting Hill in London. Amazing space, welcoming and attentive staff. The dishes are exceptionally executed. Chef Graham's innovative cooking gives a modern twist to fresh ingredients!
2 Michelin stars
At The Fat Duck, culinary excellence meets service perfection. Not enough praise can be given to the amazing team that makes this restaurant one of the best (if not the best) in the world currently! Once you walk through the door of this small old pub in Bray, you enter a familiar space, even if you have never visited before. The staff make you feel right at home, and you become the center of their attention. The genius of chef Heston Blumenthal is obvious in every course. He plays with nostalgia and theatrical presentations. Chemistry is at the forefront, with dry ice and liquid nitrogen setting the scene for some unforgettable presentations. There is an intricate story behind every dish, which on average takes several year of development before it makes it to the restaurant. Chef-de-cuisine Jony Lake masterfully conducts a symphony of tastes, colors, textures, and sounds that will forever remain in your heart. Once you visit The Fat Duck, you will always remember courses such as "sound of the sea", "snail porridge", "mock turtle soup", "licorice poached salmon", "the black forest gateau", "hot and iced tea". This restaurant has one of the most balanced menus we have ever seen. The peak comes with deserts. One after the other mouthwatering dishes transport you to another universe; and everything finishes with a queen of hearts... Be prepared for a 4 hour experience (at least)!
3 Michelin stars
The restaurant of this beautiful Inn in the small village of Bray, has been holding 3 Michelin stars since 1985! This accolade is certainly well worth it. Classic French cooking to perfection! Full flavors stimulating your palate. Spectacular cart de fromage, with imported and local cheeses. The general manager Diego welcomes you and makes you feel at home. He makes it clear that your table belongs to you for the night, and he attends to every need of the guest. Alain Roux, the chef-patron, personally sees his guest out, and is looking for honest feedback. A relaxing night of culinary excellence.
3 Michelin stars
Strikingly different concept from The Fat Duck in Bray, but equally successful! This restaurant is located inside the Mandarin Oriental hotel in London. All courses are inspired from classic English recipes (in fact the menu provides the year of creation of the original recipe) with a final explosive twist! Deception and minimalism are central components of the presentations. Tastes are captivating... Almost every table tries the meat fruit, and the tipsy cake. For the latter, pineapple is cooked on a spit in a rotisserie, acquired exclusively for this desert! Some patrons travel across the world to taste the "tipsy cake", and their effort is rewarded with an explosive taste! Great front of house staff masterfully lead by Paul Downie.
1 Michelin star