The restaurant is known for its menu of unusual dishes, created following the principles of molecular gastronomy: “bacon and egg ice cream”, “salmon poached with liquorice”
Beyond applying the results of chemistry and physics to cuisine, at The Fat Duck, Blumenthal exploits psychology, experimenting with the diners' perception. Among the starters in the restaurant's tasting menu is a "jelly of orange and beetroot", a serving of two separate jellies, where the red has been made using blood oranges, and the orange from orange beetroots.
The restaurant was opened in 1995 and is one of only four in the United Kingdom and Ireland that hold a three-star Michelin Guide rating; this has been the case since 2004. In 2005, it was named as the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine and Best Restaurant in the UK in 2008 and 2009, scoring a maximum 10 out of 10 in the Good Food Guide.
On 27 February 2009, Blumenthal closed his restaurant indefinitely after a number of customers reported feeling unwell along different times. On 6 March it was reported that 400 people had stated they had felt unwell after eating at the restaurant. Boxing promoter Frank Warren said he was "very disappointed" with his treatment after becoming sick following his visit. He said "Everything was fabulous about the evening -the food, the setting, the service, it was unbelievably good but unfortunately, afterwards, all of us were ill”. The restaurant was criticised for its cleaning methods and response to the incident. Reports of illness totalled 529 from late January