Following on from part 1 of our review we now move on to part 2 (naturally!).
- Background and arrival
- The Menu: part 1
- The Menu: part 2
- The Bill plus conclusions
The Menu: part 1
We opened the sealed Fat Duck tasting menu envelope and were presented with this on the first page.
The Nitro-poached green tea and line mousse started the meal. We’ve had this before and I think the recipe has changed. Rather than the mousse instantly disappearing in your mouth it had a thicker, rather chewy consistancy. It was okay, but not as nice as I remember.
The Pommery Grain Mustard ice cream with Red Cabbage Gazpacho was unchanged but I must admit, as a “hater” of gazpacho I really liked it this time. Maybe it was slightly different?
Next came the first change in the menu. The Jelly of Quail, Langoustine Cream and Parfait of Foie Gras was as before but with it this time was Oak Moss and Truffle Toast. The Truffle Toast (below left) was amazing!
The Oak moss was one of those small thin wafers that melts instantly on your tounge. Along with the liquid nitrogen mist (see below) this was supposed to transport you to a woodland. Now, as I’ve mentioned before, we were all feeling a little “coldy” so I’m afraid the oak moss wafer did nothing for me. The liquid nitrogen forest mist was WOW though!
Next up was the famous Snail Porridge. Again, we’ve had this before but I think Heston has changed the recipe. The snails had an extra “meaty” flavour. A bit like “Steak and Onion” crisps, but in a very nice way! It was delicious.
Following Snail Porridge was a new dish (to us anyway). Roast Foie Gras “Benzaldehyde”. According to Wikipedia Benzaldehyde “is an important component of the scent of almonds, hence its typical odor”. This was quite nice. I think the Foie Gras texture was a little strange, lighter than I thought it would be. The variousl gel’s and accompaniments were tasty additions which complimented the Foie Gras well.
The “Sound of the Sea” was next. This was the dish I was looking forward to most. The sheer theatre of eating a meal whilst listening to “sounds of the sea” through an iPod hidden in a conch shell is classic Heston!
The sand was tapioca and deep fried eel apparently. There was a “sea foam” plus various preserved fish. I was… disappointed. First of all I work on at the coast so seagulls and crashing waves mean WORK to me 😦 so the iPod sounds were a distraction. The “sand” was very tasty, a little too sweet maybe? The preserved fish was VERY fishy. I’m a fan of fish but the picked herring (in the middle) was a little too much. This dish was probably the biggest disappointment of the evening. I had been expecting another WOW but ended up just feeling a little queasy.
The final dish on page 1 of the tasting menu was Salmon Poached in Liquorice Gel, another dish we had previously had before.
This was never my favourite and I must say it hasn’t changed much. On top of the mixture of salmon and liquorice (meh!) I personally thought the vanilla mayonnaise didn’t work. Mrs ITs Food on the other hand LOVES this dish though, it has some of her favourite flavours in it.
I think this is a key point. There are some amazing dishes on The Fat Duck tasting menu but everyone likes different things. That’s what I love about food and wine, the sheer variety of flavours, textures and tastes.
I realise that this part of the review has been a little negative. I think I was maybe a little extra critical as I was comparing it to my previous visit so am being a little extra “picky”. Next we’ll move on to the second page of the Tasting Menu. Did things improve? Find out soon…