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Anyone been to the Fat Duck?

msmancuniamsmancunia Posts: 1,457
edited November 2013 in Commuting chat
Not a gloat - have been invited to lunch there in a couple of weeks. Very excited and it's a lovely thought but I am a bit nervous as despite being a former chef (a long long time ago), I am quite a fussy eater.

So, is it really weird food? And by "fussy" I don't mean I'll only eat steak and chips. I can do the whole offal, steak tartare, weird fish type of thing, but I can't do things like eat meat and fruit in the same dish, or weird flavour combinations, or sweet and savoury together. Or snail porridge.

Basically, I don't want to look like an ungrateful cow and leave half my meal on my plate. Any advice?
Commute: Chadderton - Sportcity
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  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,386
    Look at the on-line menu and decide whether to pull a sicky or not.

    He does like to mix it up a bit.
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    I turned my nose up at the frankincense tea. It was rank.

    I don't think it resulted in them spitting in my next course
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  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    Before you put it in your mouth, give it a good sniff. If it doesn't smell too bad then put it in your mouth, maybe swill it over your tongue a bit, then close your eyes and swallow.
    Then open your eyes, look your companion in the eye and tell them how good it tasted.

    If it doesn't really taste good, have your glass of Pinot G handy.
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  • jamescojamesco Posts: 687
    You can order à la carte - no need to get the tasting menu - if you prefer to eat a bit more conservatively.

    I took my mum there for her 60th and we both loved it. The only thing I didn't like was the sherry, which tasted like dirty socks smell. If you get the tasting menu and the accompanying wines, you'll be quite full and absolutely sloshed by the end!

    Sweet & savoury go together - pork & apple sauce, poppadoms and chutney... Blumenthal's own meat fruit seems strange but is yummy.
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    msmancunia wrote:
    Have been invited to lunch there in a couple of weeks.

    Date number four?
    msmancunia wrote:
    being a former chef (a long long time ago)

    One way of describing flipping burgers in McDonalds :lol:
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • WheelspinnerWheelspinner Posts: 5,859
    Mate of mine here booked way in advance for himself, wife and #1 son for lunch when they visited UK on holidays. He's a bit of a foodie and a lot of a wine-ie (or whatever they're called. "Drunk" springs to mind.. :D ).

    They were advised to arrive at 11.45 sharp. He thinks they left about 5.30pm. There is substantial photographic evidence of what they had, but descriptions were lacking in detail beyond the superlatives. For an avowed agnostic bordering on atheist, he reckons it was as near as he'll ever get to a religious experience.

    More surprisingly for a Scot (albeit transplanted to Oz and naturalised here), he said the bill, while eye-wateringly epic at about 650 quid for lunch for 3, was in fact entirely reasonable, justifiable and even good value.

    I'd say you are in for a good time. Enjoy!
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  • It's all good. Very good. And expensive - about £180 per head, but that included a lot of wine.
    But as mentioned before, it is an experience. We were there for 12 and didn't crawl out until 5 ish.
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  • msmancuniamsmancunia Posts: 1,457
    redvee wrote:
    msmancunia wrote:
    Have been invited to lunch there in a couple of weeks.

    Date number four?



    Date number four was the last one - I kind of bailed out after that. He was really nice but he shares custody of his kids with his ex (he actually has them more than she does) and it all turned into a logistical nightmare every time we tried to arrange something.

    Not even sure if I'm going to drink - can only get that day off, so it's either drive down from Manchester, or get the train (and I have to change at Euston and Paddington) which makes for a very long day either way. And despite popular opinion I'm not really a big drinker, and not at all knowledgeable about wine. To me, there's red, white, pink, and fizzy, and I only like white and fizzy.

    Wonder if they do Vimto?
    Commute: Chadderton - Sportcity
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,386
    Date #1 then?

    Trying to hard. :wink:
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 25,289 Lives Here
    And destined to fail if the girl's on Vimto and driving home.
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,505
    msmancunia wrote:
    redvee wrote:
    msmancunia wrote:
    Have been invited to lunch there in a couple of weeks.

    Date number four?



    Date number four was the last one - I kind of bailed out after that. He was really nice but he shares custody of his kids with his ex (he actually has them more than she does) and it all turned into a logistical nightmare every time we tried to arrange something.

    Not even sure if I'm going to drink - can only get that day off, so it's either drive down from Manchester, or get the train (and I have to change at Euston and Paddington) which makes for a very long day either way. And despite popular opinion I'm not really a big drinker, and not at all knowledgeable about wine. To me, there's red, white, pink, and fizzy, and I only like white and fizzy.

    Wonder if they do Vimto?

    So, what you're saying is you're available, right?
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • msmancuniamsmancunia Posts: 1,457
    Depends who's asking (and whether they can put up shelves, lay turf and fit a new shower...) :wink:
    Commute: Chadderton - Sportcity
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 25,289 Lives Here
    msmancunia wrote:
    Depends who's asking (and whether they can put up shelves, lay turf and fit a new shower...) :wink:
    I can do all of the above, and fit a chain to a bicycle. Problem being my wife would probably be more of a logistical nightmare than his kids were. :-)
  • verminvermin Posts: 1,739
    msmancunia wrote:
    I'm not really a big drinker, and not at all knowledgeable about wine. To me, there's red, white, pink, and fizzy, and I only like white and fizzy.

    Wonder if they do Vimto?

    It's worth opening your mind on the wine front. Before I was treated to the tasting menu at Simon Radley at the Grosvenor, Chester, earlier this year I might have been accused of being a bit snobbish on the subject of New World wines. However, the talents of the sommelier transformed my opinion and inspired a trip to Napa Valley to find out more.

    If the wine dude at the Duck is half as good, prepare to be dazzled and enlightened. Just as you would be, were you to accept Veronese's kind offer.
  • tilttilt Posts: 214
    I'm sure the menu will have changed (slightly) since I went but for me the only dishes which some people may have found challenging were sounds of the sea (basically a load of raw fish and tapioca) and salmon with liqourice gel. I thought both were great but could see why some wouldn't.

    Overall it's a great culinary experience, I would say I've visited a number of restaurants with fewer stars where I've had better food though.
  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 3,994
    None of them will be as good as the dirty burger bar outside B&Q.

    It makes me dribble everytime I stop outside on the commute.
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

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  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    Go to the Hind's Head across the road. Best pub grub I've ever had!
  • estampidaestampida Posts: 1,008
    have eaten in many 1 star places

    and a few 2 star

    there is a very good reason they charge so much, its like no meal you will have ever eaten, and service that makes high end steak and chip restaurants look like a BK or similar fast food out let

    and for info:

    1 star - if your in that city, its worth a visit
    2 star - in the country? well its worth a visit to eat
    3 star- its worth travelling to that country for the meal

    hold your nose and man up ffs
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 49,347
    I'm surprised nobody has suggested a trip up The Oxo Tower as an alternative.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 25,289 Lives Here
    I was saving that for a more romantic occasion.
  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    jamesco wrote:
    You can order à la carte - no need to get the tasting menu - if you prefer to eat a bit more conservatively.

    I took my mum there for her 60th and we both loved it. The only thing I didn't like was the sherry, which tasted like dirty socks smell. If you get the tasting menu and the accompanying wines, you'll be quite full and absolutely sloshed by the end!

    Sweet & savoury go together - pork & apple sauce, poppadoms and chutney... Blumenthal's own meat fruit seems strange but is yummy.

    Nope sorry a la carte is a thing of the past, it's just the tasting menu...

    The tasting menu is amazing it's a solid four hours you'll never forget. Sadly the price has skyrocketed of late, it cost me £252 I suspect now you're looking at 350-400 per head once you've added service etc. It is amazing though

    I've been the once but the menu's not changed enough for me to warrant going back
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  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    I'm surprised nobody has suggested a trip up The Oxo Tower as an alternative.

    It's expensive and not very good for the money

    Alyn Williams at the Westbury or The Ledbury would by my alternatives... Obviously there's the Waterside Inn as well which is brilliant in every way
    Purveyor of sonic doom

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  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    schweiz wrote:
    Go to the Hind's Head across the road. Best pub grub I've ever had!

    it's got a star and is damned fine... Get yourself to the Hand in Flowers 2 starred pub, amazing
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  • andy83andy83 Posts: 1,558
    It is a great experience and food was amazing, if not a little too inventive!

    It cost us £225 each including service charge but we had no wine.

    The staff are some of the best I have ever experienced at a restaurant.

    Go and enjoy the experience. There was a woman on the table next to us saying "where is the cavier" her face was a picture when she was told it was a cavier gel :)

    Id go back again but not until the menu changes more.
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,386
    Clever Pun wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    I'm surprised nobody has suggested a trip up The Oxo Tower as an alternative.

    It's expensive and not very good for the money
    :lol:
    Such innocence is always funny.
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    daviesee wrote:
    Clever Pun wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    I'm surprised nobody has suggested a trip up The Oxo Tower as an alternative.

    It's expensive and not very good for the money
    :lol:
    Such innocence is always funny.

    It would never happen in BB :wink:
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

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  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    daviesee wrote:
    Clever Pun wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    I'm surprised nobody has suggested a trip up The Oxo Tower as an alternative.

    It's expensive and not very good for the money
    :lol:
    Such innocence is always funny.

    I chose to ignore that particular alleyway
    Purveyor of sonic doom

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  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    andy83 wrote:
    It is a great experience and food was amazing, if not a little too inventive!

    It cost us £225 each including service charge but we had no wine.

    The staff are some of the best I have ever experienced at a restaurant.

    Go and enjoy the experience. There was a woman on the table next to us saying "where is the cavier" her face was a picture when she was told it was a cavier gel :)

    Id go back again but not until the menu changes more.

    We had the wine flight when we went about 7 years ago.. the menu's not changed much I wouldn't hold your breath.
    Purveyor of sonic doom

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  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 49,347
    Clever Pun wrote:
    daviesee wrote:
    Clever Pun wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    I'm surprised nobody has suggested a trip up The Oxo Tower as an alternative.

    It's expensive and not very good for the money
    :lol:
    Such innocence is always funny.

    I chose to ignore that particular alleyway
    I've never heard it called that before.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    estampida wrote:
    ...and for info:

    1 star - if your in that city, its worth a visit
    2 star - in the country? well its worth a visit to eat
    3 star- its worth travelling to that country for the meal

    I've heard different:
    1 star - if you're passing, it is worth stopping
    2 stars - if you're close, it is worth making a detour
    3 stars - it is worth making a special trip for

    Seeing as the ratings were originally in a travel guide, I'll stick with what I've heard.
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    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
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