Foodie fanatics have made a bee-line to its unpretentious premises ever since it made headlines in 2005 as the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine.To get a table at the 40-seat restaurant, you need to make reservations months in advance and you also need a fat wallet to take in the 17-course sampler menu which comes at around 130 pounds(USD 190).
The Fat Duck is a 3-star Michelin restaurant, about an hour’s train ride out of London, run by chef Heston Blumenthal who specialises in molecular gastronomy (applying science to the art of cooking).
In February, the award-winning restaurant made the wrong kind of headlines when it was forced to close on February 24 after a total of over 400 diners were struck by diarrhoea and vomiting. Customers cried foul and the health authorities called in to investigate what was thought to be food-poisoning. However, all tests for causes of food-poisoning yielded negative results.
The Health Protection Agency , according to the Telegraph 20 March 2009 has now narrowed down the culprit to norovirus infection, commonly called stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis. 6 members of the staff were found to have been infected and presumably passed on the infection to customers. Find out more about this infection here.
Which goes to show- such viruses are no respecter of status or style. But viruses being viruses,the infection is self-limiting and diners are flocking back since the restaurant re-opened March 13.