Address: The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London W1K 1QA
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7629 8866
Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, Waterside Inn and The Fat Duck are the three Michelin three-starred restaurants in Greater London in 2012.
Situated in one of the landmark hotels in London, Alain Ducasse offers a luxurious, refined dining experience. Seeing that it was such a renowned restaurant, I was really surprised to find a 15% discount on Toptable for its Tasting Menu which was originally at £120 for 7 courses. I immediately messaged my colleague to ask if he was up for a “quick” dinner after work. “Sure,” he said. “where?” “Hmm…how about Alain Ducasse?” “Oh….ok!” And off we went.
The setting of the restaurant was spacious and sumptuous, and the place was also conspicuously French, with French waiters and French families surrounding our table. The food at Alain Ducasse was truly exquisite, and the service was seamless and professional. Indeed, we were impressed by how each waiter could swiftly provide extensive information on each course that we had!
These Homemade Cheese Puffs adoringly awaiting us on our table set the bar high for our meal right from the start. These extravagant little balls of goodness were so addictive that I could barely stop stuffing myself with them! Even the bread basket at Alain Ducasse shone with elegance, and I completely fell in love with the absolutely beautiful garlic-shaped butter!
(1) The amuse-bouche was a Warm Dorset CRAB, delicate royale, which was stunningly creamy and rich, and had outstanding flavours from the Dorset crab.
(2) Next on the Tasting Menu was a Crispy raw and cooked VEGETABLE tart, which was fantastically crispy and light. The accompanying fresh herb condiment was startlingly fresh and delicate, and it was one of the best vegetarian appetisers I have ever had!
(3) The fact that Alain Ducasse uses seasonal produce of the highest quality was evident in this “Saute gourmand” of LOBSTER and truffled chicken quenelles. The lobster was impeccably chewy and flavourful, and the truffled chicken quenelles were an excellent match with the lobster.
(4) This Simmered HALIBUT, celeriac, shellfish and squid was a mild course compared with the other stronger, more distinctive dishes. The fish has a firm and slightly tough texture, and the sourness of the sauce gave this benign dish some citrus, fruity flair.
(5) This Saddle of VENISON Grand-Veneur, pumpkin, beetroot and quince was extravagantly tender and cooked to perfection. What was most striking was the chocolate sauce for the venison, which provided a provocative hint of bitterness to this soft and delicate dish. I was so full by this time that I had to ask the waiter for a reduced portion of the venison, as otherwise I would not be able to finish all 7 courses of the Tasting Menu. If I had one complaint about this commendable meal, it would be the overly generous portions of each course, leaving you not much room to yearn for more.
(6) Even though I was full to the brim, this Assortment of four French CHEESE, country bread and condiments still completely impressed me. It was a divine combination of all my favourite cheeses, individually matched with a bespoke sauce carefully prepared by the chef. My favourite were the soft cheeses, and this magnificent platter magically revived my appetite at 11pm in the evening!
(7) After conquering the previous 6 courses, we were then presented with this alluring CHOCOLATE and HAZELNUT biscuit, which practically just screamed “eat me, eat me!” The hazelnut taste was exquisite, and the presentation was too inviting for me to turn it down despite how full I was. I adored the thinness of the chocolate and biscuit and the gentle sweetness of the caramel ice cream, which made for a mellow course towards the end of our meal.
We had finally finished our Tasting Menu, and this was the Trolley, with a selection of indulgent, petite French pastries, to go with our tea/ coffee.
We finally left the restaurants after having some of their decadent MACARONS and homemade Chocolates. Quintessentially French, each macaron was intricate and delightful, except for the liquorice macaron that I personally found a bit weird.
Conclusion: I have read some reviews on Alain Ducasse where diners expressed a lack of surprise element, but to me, it a truly exceptional and spectacular French dining experience, and the chef Jocelyn Herland had a consistently fabulous performance on all of her dishes. Besides trying out the sublime, 7-course Tasting Menu, so you could opt for their 3-course lunch menu priced at £50.