It’s been in the news this week that top chef Heston Blumenthal is to open a new restaurant in London. The 140-seat new restaurant will be based inside the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge. This is three times the size of his acclaimed Michelin starred restaurant The Fat Duck in Bray.
The Fat Duck is known for providing an amazing culinary experience – as well as being a bit pricey. The current cost of lunch from the tasting menu is £130 per person. You can find out more details from The Fat Duck website (which is currently undergoing an update – not before time, I’d say, the current design ain’t great).
Anway, I guess £130 wouldn’t break the bank for many people but quite often when the subject of Heston Blumenthal and The Fat Duck comes up on a website which invites comments from the public, it seems to attract a lot of envy and outrage. Comments such as, “It’s disgusting! That’s more than I have to spend on food for my family for a week,” are fairly commonplace. Personally, I’m ambivalent about it. If that’s what it costs, so be it. After all, no-one is forced to eat at The Fat Duck if they can’t afford it, and Blumenthal’s overheads must be pretty high, given the number of staff he has there.
But if you thought that The Fat Duck was expensive, here’s another lunch which blows it out of the water. Lunch at The Fat Duck is a cheap meal when you compare it with the price of a ‘Buffett lunch’. The BBC reported today that the chance to have lunch with Warren Buffett, currently the world’s second richest person, has just been sold at a charity auction for $1.68 million. Cheap at the price too! That’s 20% less than the same offer of lunch with Warren Buffett fetched last year. The lunch with Buffet will take place at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in New York.
I reckon I could stretch to paying £130 for lunch as a special treat, but $1.68 million? How the other half live, eh?