Find and book great restaurantsFind a Restaurant
|Address:||1 High Street, Bray, Berkshire SL6 2AQ|
|Price: £243.00||Wine: £30.00||Champagne: £65.00|
|Opening Hours:||Tues-Sat 12N-2pm 7-9pm|
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Went to The Fat Duck for a special occasion having eaten in many Bib Gourmand and Michelin starred restaurants in France and England. We were expecting great things from a 3 starred restaurant and were sadly a little disappointed. It certainly is an experience and the theatre of the service was fantastic. However, once the gimmicks were removed, the quality of the food didn't actually live up to the hype (The Mad Hatter's tea party was such an example) and some of the restaurants we have eaten in in the Languedoc in France. In fact, despite having a good appetite and being willing to give anything a go, we actively disliked a couple of items on the menu (The Sounds of the Sea was novel, but not enjoyable and the gelatinous salmon was not a pleasant experience). Also, although we enjoyed the Anjou pigeon, it and the Sounds of the Sea were over-seasoned and overpoweringly salty.
Another gripe was that, although the waiters were amazingly charming and very eager to please (and we would say worth the £50 service charge), our table appeared to have been staggered to align with another party so that there was an overly long wait between courses. This meant that two parties who arrived after us ended up leaving before us and we were left to pine over the arrival of the next course. Again, we are used to eating in French restaurants and appreciate time to digest each course, but this was slightly ridiculous, especially between the amuse bouche and starter courses. This is the only French restaurant where I have been able to eat three large slices of bread and still be able to finish our meal (in fact, I am sad to say that we both went home a little bit hungry).
On the plus side, the village of Bray is lovely and the decor in the Fat Duck is beautiful whilst being unpretentious. The deserts are fantastic and deserved their Michelin starred status.
We are genuinely sorry to have to give The Fat Duck a disappointing review, but if a Michelin star is an accolade that is supposed to transcend international frontiers, then I am afraid if one takes away the Emperor's New Clothes syndrome and the celebrity chef endorsement, then that sums up what we were – a little disappointed.
None of the reviews below seem to reflect this experience, so perhaps we had a slightly off night, but given that a standard tasting menu is served and given the accolades heaped on this restaurant, we wouldn't recommend it.