Australian company Fable, which makes plant-based “braised beef” made primarily of shiitake mushrooms, has secured $6.5M in new funding on the heels of launching a major partnership with Australian restaurant chain Grill’d and Chef Heston Blumenthal. 

The fresh round of funding was led by existing investor Blackbird Ventures, with Fable planning to use funds for research and development, as well as continuing international expansion. Fable co-founder Michael Fox said the company will be able to lower its prices as it grows and scales production.  

“People want to reduce their meat consumption,” co-founder Michael Fox said. “The big drivers for consumers to actually reduce their meat consumption are the products have got to taste great and they’ve got to be reasonably priced. As we continue to scale we’re going to be able to bring those costs down further.”

The company’s partnership with Grill’d, launched 3 August, has brought three new plant-based burgers to menus nationwide, with an additional off-menu special experience featuring the ‘Heston Fable Burger’ created in partnership with Michelin star chef Heston Blumenthal using a specially designed Fable patty.

While the Heston Fable Burger will be a limited-edition menu item and in-store experience available to book at five select Grill’d restaurants, the restaurant chain will launch the other Fable burgers as permanent menu items, according to Grill’d founder Simon Crowe.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing the Heston Fable Burger to Grill’d. In partnering with Fable, we’ve had the opportunity to work with Heston Blumenthal, one of the world’s finest chefs, and expand our plant-based menu with four new Fable meaty mushroom burgers that taste just as good as the real thing,” Crowe said.

The collaboration between Grill’d and Heston Blumenthal will mark the first time that any of the English chef’s burgers will be served outside his own restaurants. 

READ MORE: ‘Got to be reasonably priced’: Plant-based meat products nearing tipping point [Sydney Morning Herald] 

Grill’d make a huge play for plant-based burgers in new partnership with Heston Blumenthal [The AU Review]