“Australia's response to the news that The Fat Duck would make Melbourne its home for six months has been absolutely overwhelming. I am utterly humbled by the reception," states chef Heston Blumenthal.
Earlier this year the lauded British chef announced that he would bring his award winning restaurant, The Fat Duck, to the renowned Crown Tower Resorts in the cultural hub of Southbank, Melbourne. Today he named 3rd February 2015 as the opening date and announced how to make a reservation at his ground breaking first international restaurant.
In an unprecedented move for any restaurant, much less a three Michelin starred restaurant celebrated for the very magical - and very technically precise - multi-sensory gastronomic journey that it provides to its guests, The Fat Duck will temporarily relocate to Melbourne almost in its entirety. Every bite of the multi course Tasting Menu, every whisper of nostalgia and emotion, every aspect of the flawless service, and every team member will move half the world away and call Australia home for half a year. Even design pieces from the original building in Bray, UK will make the journey. Doors to the restaurant in its idyllic English village will close in December for the holidays as they usually do, only to reopen two months later to the southern hemisphere's warm February sun and the heady urban buzz of Melbourne. Food enthusiasts from continents afar will find one of the world's most acclaimed restaurants on their doorstep with Heston's iconic dishes such as 'Sound of the Sea', Mad Hatter's Tea party and Snail Porridge right at their fingertips.
There is one addition to The Fat Duck that will be exclusive to Melbourne and truly a once in a lifetime experience, a Chef's Table. Multi-sensory dining becomes supersensory with the opportunity to get an exclusive behind the scenes glimpse. For a limited time during The Fat Duck's tenure, four guests per service will be seated in front of the pass, witnessing the kitchen's inner workings and interacting directly with the chefs throughout service.
Heston Blumenthal first visited Australia in 2003 and his love for the country's beauty, diversity, produce and people was immediate. For over a decade, he had his eye on opening a restaurant there, so it was with unabashed excitement that he revealed The Fat Duck Melbourne's opening date and how to reserve a table at his first Australian restaurant. The support and eager interest that both heston and The Fat Duck have received have been absolutely incredible, so in order to accommodate demand in the most equitable way, a ballot process will be utilised for all reservations.
Anyone - anywhere in the world - who would like to make a reservation at The Fat Duck in Melbourne will need to register for the ballot system. All available reservations for the restaurant's entire six-month visit to the Crown Melbourne Resort, including reservations for the Chef's Table, will be allocated through the ballot process. No further reservations will be added once successful applicants have been randomly selected and the ballot process is complete.
Everyone seeking a reservation at The Fat Duck Melbourne will be directed to the dedicated ballot website to register their entry – http://www.thefatduckmelbourne.com. Ballot entries will be accepted from 9:00am Monday 8th October through midnight Sunday 26th October 2014 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time). Multiple ballot entries by the same applicant will be excluded, so potential guests only need to register for the ballot once. After the registration period closes and all registered ballot entries are gathered, a draw by an impartial third party will indiscriminately select successful applicants. As the draw is made from the entire pool of ballot entries, “first come, first served" does not apply. Whether someone is the first or last to register their ballot entry during the open registration period will have absolutely no bearing on the outcome.
The Fat Duck reservations team, in conjunction with the Crown Melbourne team, will be in regular communication with all those who register their interest in a reservation. All applicants who register on http://www.thefatduckmelbourne.com for the ballot will receive a confirmation notice that their entry was received. At the time of registration, an option to join a standby list will also be available for those able to take advantage of any last minute cancellations. Once the draw is complete, all registered applicants will be notified of the outcome via email on Monday 10th November. A member of The Fat Duck reservations team will contact all successful applicants directly, after they have been initially notified via email on 10th November, to confirm and secure their reservation.
The Fat Duck at Crown Melbourne will be open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday beginning Tuesday 3rd February 2015. The last service will be dinner on Saturday 15th August 2015. Open for only six months in its alternate home almost 17,000km from its first home in Bray, it is a very unique event. Guests should anticipate about four hours to complete their multi-sensory gastronomic journey of history, nostalgia, emotion and memory. The cost of the menu is AU$525 per person, exclusive of beverages. Taking into account both the dining room and the Chef's Table, the restaurant will accommodate 50 guests each service. Tables will be available with seating for either two or four guests with a very limited number of six seat options available each service.
Following The Fat Duck's return home to the UK late September of 2015, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will take up residence within Crown Melbourne Resort permanently,becoming the only restaurant the chef has in his portfolio outside of the UK. It joins ranks with The Fat Duck, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal located in London, The Hinds Head, The Crown at Bray, and The Perfectionists' Café