At the beginning of this year, self-taught British chef Heston Blumenthal packed up his three Michelin-starred restaurant The Fat Duck, lock stock and barrel (staff and crockery included) and relocated to Melbourne, Australia to operate as an ambitious six-month pop-up. Now, the Duck has finished its migratory path and flown back to its original home of Bray in the English countryside, reopening in a renovated space.
Now 21, The Fat Duck has propelled Blumenthal into the public eye as the UK’s premier advocate of molecular cooking (though he has long shunned the term). Most famous is his The Sounds of The Sea, a dish served with the unexpected pairing of an iPod playing seaside sounds to enhance the sensory eating experience. Try it now for yourself.
Tasting menus from Dhs1,420 per person (food only). Advanced online reservation and pre-payment required. High Street, Bray, Berkshire, England, www.thefatduck.co.uk.
El Celler de Can Roca
Even after the closure of El Bulli, Catalonia, its chefs continue to steer the culinary curve globally, and the Roca family rule the roost. Operated by the three Roca brothers Joan, Jordi and Josep, El Celler de Can Roca is currently ranked number one in the world on the San Pellegrino list.
São Paulo, Brazil
Amid all the barbecue and fruit juices Brazil is famous for, you might not associate this nation with innovative dining. Not yet, that is. Opened in 1999 by chef Alex Atala (a former punk and DJ), D.O.M. uses unique Amazonian ingredients to elevated and thrilling effect, making it Brazil’s number one restaurant right now.
Assuming you can afford it, no visit to northern Europe is complete without dining at Noma. Chef René Redzepi has redefined Scandi flavours, in all their fresh and foraged glory, creating the much-praised New Nordic school of cooking, inspiring a flood of Danish references on menus across the globe.