When Heston Blumenthal announced that his revered restaurant, The Fat Duck would be moving to Melbourne for six months, the phone started ringing.
Calling the United Kingdom won’t get you a table though, and today, Blumenthal announced how you can get a table at the Melbourne iteration of The Fat Duck. “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,” he said. Relocating an entire restaurant team half way across the world isn’t cheap, and neither is the price tag for dining at The Fat Duck at Crown Melbourne, which opens on Tuesday, February 3. The menu – billed as a gastronomic journey of history, nostalgia, emotion and memory – and boasting some of Blumenthal’s most famous dishes – Sound of the Sea, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Snail Porridge – is priced at $525 per person. Bookings will be awarded through a ballot system, the details of which were shared today: ‘Everyone seeking a reservation at The Fat Duck Melbourne will be directed to the dedicated ballot website to register their entry – 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. 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 will open on Tuesday, February 3 and the last service will be on Saturday, August 15, after which the majority of The Fat Duck staff will return to the renovated The Fat Duck in Bray, and the Melbourne restaurant will become Dinner By Heston Blumenthal permanently. Read our interview with Heston Blumenthal here.