Chef Heston Blumenthal's famed Bray, England restaurant The Fat Duck is reopening after a nine month hiatus and and the exacting chef has made many changes. Most notably, The Fat Duck is the latest restaurant to make the switch to a ticketed reservation system. According to a press release, starting today, customers will have access to The Fat Duck's "new online book system" where they will pre-pay for their meal, wine, service, and other drinks at the time of booking.
A spokesperson tells Eater The Fat Duck is using ResDiary as its ticketing platform. The restaurant did look into using restaurateur Nick Kokonas' (Alinea, Next, Chicago) recently launched Tock ticketing system but "at the time we were putting the system in place, Tock was not fully developed for front and back end use."
Blumenthal announced in June — while in Australia for The Fat Duck's six month pop-up — that he would be overhauling the menu at the English restaurant. The chef revealed more details late last month: The restaurant will retire popular menu stalwarts like snail porridge and egg and bacon ice cream to a "Hall of Fame" menu. The release notes that the dishes will be brought back for special requests.
Blumenthal worked with an illustrator, a coaching psychologist, a font designer, and the writer of Billy Elliot to "reimagine The Fat Duck's tasting menu into a story ‘from childhood holidays in Cornwall between the ages of five and seven.'" The new menu will "take the form of map and uses a perfect nostalgic day in Heston's own childhood as framework." It will also be much pricier. The Fat Duck's original tasting menu was already $350 per person, but the cost will now jump to $390 per person.
During its nine month hiatus, the restaurant also underwent a serious renovation. Structural maintenance and refurbishment was performed, and a brand new kitchen was installed. The Fat Duck reopens with its new menu on September 29. Check out the course-by-course "journey" of the new menu below:
Chapter 1: Are we nearly there yet?
Just the tonic!
A welcome drink, who will be the dragon?
Chapter 2: Rise and shine, it's breakfast time
Excuse me, there seems to be a rabbit in my tea
Why do I have to choose between a variety pack and a full English?
Chapter 3: First one to see the sea...
The original Sound of the Sea
Can I have some money for the ice cream man?
Then we went rockpooling
Chapter 4: If you go down to the woods today...(and we did)
Damping through the boroughgroves
...we discovered the Mock Turtle Picnic
Chapter 5: Are you ready for dinner?
Digestif (serious enough for the kids, fun enough for the adults)
Chapter 6: Off to the land of Nod
Chapter 7: And then to dream
Like a kid in a sweetshop