With so many reviews of The Fat Duck! on the net, I don't think there is any point for me to add another. You can go here, or here or here. Or simply Google it and see how easy it is to burst your gut with the grease of this number one restaurant of world.
There is no in-between feelings for this restaurant. The mad science, combined with the trickery of Heston Blumenthal make everything bound for extremity. You either love this duck or hate it.
Love it, you'd utter one of those "out of this world," "wizardry," or "meal of your life" exclamations... In any case, it is for the adventurous eaters, not any faint-hearted. It's a kind of experience that you'll find it hard to share. I mean, how can anyone understand how sardine sorbet, or scrambled egg-flavored ice cream, or white chocolate with caviar taste like until they have try it for themselves?
Hate it, you'd argue the whole edgy meal adds up to nothing but a "fart of nothingness" and the whole molecular chef and Frankenstein's kitchen mix was elegantly plied to make an ass of its guest. It is, to some, a very felicitous way to say it.
The set menu costs 97 pounds. With an extra 90, you'll get a menagerie of exceptional wines to pair the food with. By all account, the pairings are exotic and original to wash down the food. Sake, vodka, vintage whiskey and vintage Champagne, all major league stuff (including a 1989 Riesling Beerenauslese Scharzhofberger!).
It's very easy to spot celebrities in such a famous and "hush" place. I must confess that the picture on the left was badly-focused. I was taking the picture of the sake without even aiming at it -- can you make out the dark silhouette at the back? That WAS Tom Hanks, with his wife and some Hollywood's big shots eating at a table that was barely one Yao-Ming foot-stretch away from me. He was sporting the same hairdo as he would in the movie "The Da Vinci Code" (judging from the trailers). So go see this movie and picture how he was dining under the same roof with a guy called Chaxiubao when he was off the set... Maybe, just maybe, at some point, Tom Hanks and I, a
not-so wise man from the East was deciphering the "Da Fatduck Code" together -- I am quite sure the spokesperson of Mr. Hanks would give a total denial on such linkage -- but you know how thing goes in Hollywood, do you not?
Ah, always remember to ask for a copy of the menu before you check the bill. Check if Mr. Blumenthal is hovering somewhere in the kitchen. If yes, ask for a autograph. An extremely friendly chap he is. If you explain to him what chaxiubao is and tell him that it is the best dim sum in the world with sincerity, he will happily write you this on the sealed envelope containing the menu: "To Chaxiubao, the Bao of the East!"