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Chef Tim Says...

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Report from London: The Fat Duck

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That fun really came through with the Sound of the Sea. Again, this shouldn't work but it was really profound. You are asked to listen to sounds of the ocean through headphones attached to a iPod Mini hidden inside a conch shell.

Sounds of the Sea

While you listen you're presented a seafood course with fish, oysters, seaweed and foam. The dish looks like the beach on a stormy day and tastes like the smell of fresh ocean air on a cold morning. Combined with the roar of waves, sounds of wind and the seagulls you can't help but smile at how great the flavor is and how much the whole sensory experience enhances the dish.

Tired yet? No. Because the pace is slow and easy and the dishes so small there is no fatigue. It's hard to not want to know what the next dish will be like.

Next up was a small square of salmon poached in licorice gel. This came with small grilled artichokes and a light vanilla mayonnaise. So many restaurants try this hard with dishes are impossibly complex and I have had a similar dish at a restaurant in New Orleans. That experience was terrible, but The Fat Duck really pulls it off. Maybe it is because the serving size is so small and that the other ingredients are perfectly balanced but the dish tasted as fresh and bright as any piece of fish I have every had.


The duck course was equally good. A small slice of duck breast with seasoning of bay. Delicate, savory and perfectly cooked.

The Duck

The sweets courses are what I believe desserts should be. You don't really need more than a couple of bites and that is how it is at The Fat Duck. For starters they deliver Hot and Iced Tea with the tea served in a cup that is constructed so you get both hot and iced tea in the same sip. Brilliant.

The tiny cone of a tea infused ice cream was light and delicious and the final sweet brought a black forest cake rethought with a beautifully small constructed column of chocolate cake filled with chocolate and cherry served alongside a small quenelle of kirsch (cherry) ice cream.

Black Forest Cake

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