The rumour-mill creaked its rusty wheels last week when news began circulating that Heston Blumenthal, global leader in poultry inflation, caramel inhalation, and pistachio incubation, was preparing to open a restaurant in Melbourne; his first outside of his native England. Now we know that not only will he be opening a restaurant in Melbourne, he’s bringing his entire Fat Duck team out here for six months. Because why the hell not?
In February of next year, Blumenthal’s entire staff will relocate to Melbourne, and the Fat Duck will open for business at Crown Casino. And make no mistake about it, this is no mere carbon copy, the original Fat Duck in England will close for the duration of the move, and Blumenthal will be going to great lengths to bring as much of the Duck to Melbourne as he can, in order to make it a truly authentic Heston Blumenthal experience. Which is both an excellent marketing ploy, and a very convenient way to clear everything out while the kitchen in Berkshire is being upgraded.
Blumenthal will be bringing Fat Duck’s tasting menu to Melbourne; a fearsome marathon of “how is that even food?” that runs to a lazy 16 courses, taking around 4 hours to complete. It currently includes things that have been named with a series of what should normally be unrelated words, like Snail Porridge, Nitro Poached Aperitifs, and something mysteriously called “Sounds of the Sea” which comes with an iPod in a shell that plays ocean noises while you eat, for crying out loud.
Once the Fat Duck’s 6-month residency is concluded, the restaurant will remain open permanently, becoming a version of Heston’s signature London eatery, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.
Fat Duck at Crown will open in February of next year, but you can start placing your bookings from September.
Photo: Oli Scarff via Getty Images.