Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
So after Le Meurice, Joel Robuchon, Pierre Gagnaire, Hibiscus, Dinner by Heston and The Ledbury we’re at my last Michelin-starred restaurant, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. Alain Ducasse was recommended to me by a friend who used to live in London and I’m soooo glad I went.
I booked in for lunch because they have an extremely cheap set lunch menu and I knew I’d be needing to tighten it up in the finance area at the end of my trip. This, like some of the other lunch and dinner set menus I tried, was very good value and for £55 you get three courses, two glasses of wine, a half bottle of water, coffee and petits four – considering this is a three-Michelin-star restaurant I was very impressed!
The restaurant is quite simple with mostly white and baby pink accents except for a huge purple crystal installation to the side of the room. I thought this was just for effect but my friend told me you can actually dine IN it. It costs about £60 extra per person but I’d definitely do it next time just to see what it’s like. I imagine it would be kind of like being in a very sophisticated cubby house.
Due to the very reduced price compared to the rest of the menu the dishes are not as advanced as the regular a la carte selection. Of course you still get a feel for the restaurant but the a la carte menu featured dishes like sauté gourmand of lobster, truffled chicken quenelles and home-made pasta compared to The Lunch Hour Menu from which I ordered wild fennel veloute, pecorino nero for entrée, corn-fed chicken fricassee, citrus and farro for main and vanilla and strawberry composition for dessert.
Amuse bouche was an emulsion of foie gras (which I was a bit over having eaten it almost every day for three weeks) and as well as bread there was a plate of savoury choux pastry heavily flavoured with black pepper. These were surprisingly more tasty than they sound and I accidentally almost ate the whole plate. The waiter kept asking if he could take them to which I refused and then they basically forced me to get rid of them before dessert. LOL! I love the little snail walking up the side of the plate. It’s all in the details, people!
My meal was delightful which was to be expected and the stand out was the main. I’m normally super picky with chicken and I only eat the breast but I practically licked the plate clean, there were just the two little bones left, and the waiter even commented on how unusually sparse my plate was. Oops!
I was so full by the end of the meal it’s a shame I couldn’t fully enjoy all the petits fours they brought out. The guy sitting a few tables over also sent over a glass of wine for me which was sweet, but I could barely fit it in.
I wish I’d asked to take the petits fours – which were a selection of macarons, passionfruit toffee, chocolate-covered, silver-rolled nuts and various chocolates – home with me because it’s a shame to waste beautiful food.
I must say that the staff at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester were the best I’ve ever come across. They were warm and welcoming, intelligent, attractive, very knowledgable about Australia and, from the sound of things going on around me, multilingual. I had high tea at The Dorchester the next day and a few of them spotted me out in the lobby and made the effort to come over and say hello – seriously lovely!
At the end of my meal my waiter took me in to the kitchen which was really exciting, actually. I couldn’t believe how HUGE it was and so quiet. Like, silent. The pastry area was separate to the rest of the kitchen and was temperature controlled so the desserts wouldn’t melt. Everything was pristine and stark white and it felt like being in that scene in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory where TV Mike gets shrunk. Apparently the kitchen at Alain Ducasse in Vegas is even bigger which I just couldn’t fathom! Anyway, that’s probably the first and last time I’ll be in a three-Michelin-star kitchen so it was a really cool experience.
I left Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester completely full, not much poorer and feeling really happy at having received such amazing service for the afternoon. Obviously this is added to my ‘must-do’ list and I will be back for sure next time I’m in London. I’ll probably stay at The Dorchester next time so I plan on going for the full a la carte menu when I do.Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester Park Lane, London W1K 1QA http://www.alainducasse-dorchester.com