Monday, 13 October 2014

Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester

Glamorous fine dining

hotel lobby

The new Michelin guide was published recently and to most people's surprise, there wasn't any movement in any 2 star and 3 star levels. With my own experience in all the 2 star venues in London, what can 3 stars offer? Does it really mean it will take me to the next level, aka worth a special journey? Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester is one of the only 3 star Michelin restaurants in London and I was very excited to visit the place given the legendary status Mr Ducasse has achieved.

Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester
amuse bouche overload

Located inside the super posh 5 star Dorchester Hotel, I instantly felt the very attentive service and classy decor as soon as I stepped inside. We opted for the tasting menu and kicked off with a cold and refreshing Dorset crab amuse bouche, the sweetness and meaty flavour in the crab was just perfect. The odd moment of the night had to be the vegetables and fruit pot, while the seasoning and the ingredients were fine, it had no excitement in both taste and concept, it was the weakest dish on the night.
Dorset crab, delicate ‘gelée’, caviar
cookpot of seasonal vegetables and fruits
sauté gourmand’ of lobster and truffled chicken quenelles

However the signature dish saute gourmand of lobster was truly special, the lobster was so moist and blessed with powerful rich flavours, and the truffled chicken quenelles was also masterfully crafted, the combination was faultless and it was a very spectacular plate of food. The seared john dory was also finely cooked, lovely meaty texture with a soft and smooth calamaretti with well seasoned coco beans.

Seared John dory, calamaretti, Paimpol coco beans
Anjou pigeon à la broche, sautéed girolles & baby spinach

The dinner continued to maintain its high standard, the Anjou pigeon was cooked medium rare, tender and moist with a not overly rich earthy and gamy flavour, the girolles offered a lovely contrast of texture and the whole dish came to life with a luxuries pigeon jus. Dessert of the evening was some well crafted macaroons followed by the red and black berries vacherin, the flavours were clean and refreshing with a well balance sourness and sweetness, it was a great way to end a special evening.

French cheeses
petit four
Red and black berries contemporary vacherin

The overall dinner experience was fabulous, apart from the very questionable vegetables pot, I really enjoyed all the dishes. But the real question was does it really merit its 3 stars and stand above all the 2 stars places I've visited? I am not so sure, given the food at Ledbury and Hibiscus was just as good if not better and I was really puzzled about how the cheeses were presented, it looked like something from a plane meal tray and there was no choice on what cheese we could have. But that aside, the cooking is without a doubt at a very high London standard and the service was world class, you can't get more fine dining than that.

Food 4/5

Executive chef: 
Jocelyn Herland

What I paid: 
£145 per head with a glass of wine

Average cost without drinks and services:
£60 lunch menu
£125 tasting menu

53 Park Ln, London W1K 1QA

Alain Ducasse At The Dorchester on Urbanspoon

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