The Fat Duck is set to re-open in September after a six-month refurbishment but the dishes created by Heston Blumenthal and his kitchen brigade are being kept “top secret” until the launch date.
Blumenthal is remaining tight-lipped about the finer details of the new menu, however he has stated that the restaurant won’t simply be a place for dinner, it will be a “story”.
In an interview with Observer Food Monthly, Blumenthal commented: “In the sense that we cook food and it’s served to people, we’re a restaurant. But that’s not much, is it? The fact is the Fat Duck is about storytelling. I wanted to think about the whole approach of what we do in those terms.”
He added: “It means the menu will now be a story. It will have an introduction and a number of chapters and chapter headings that will give you an idea of what is coming.”
While he didn’t go as far as revealing what specialities would be on the menu, he did reveal what wouldn’t. Old favourites such as snail porridge and egg and bacon ice-cream are both coming off after “evolving as far as they could.”
One new addition to the Fat Duck will be a £150,000 sweet trolley built in the shape of a doll’s house. It will come round on a trolley at the end of the meal and puff smoke rings out the chimney as customers choose their sweets.
Blumnthal hopes to bring even greater personalisation to the dishes, revealing that he has even spoken to magician Derren Brown for advice on auto-suggestion techniques so that diners get what they think they most crave. Psychologists, font experts and artists have also been consulted, according to the report.
The Fat Duck’s multi-course tasting menu cost £220 a head without drinks or service before its refurbishment, but the price is likely to be increased when it re-opens. “You’re getting something that’s handmade, and there are more than 70 staff for 40 seats at each service. We won’t be making vast amounts of money on this.”
The report also said that the Fat Duck will introduce an online reservation system after being deluged with telephone bookings. “We were getting 30,000 calls a day for seats, so we’re replacing the phone lines with an online ticketing system,” said Blumenthal.