Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, London: Disappointing

There’s never a bad excuse to go to a good restaurant, right? Under the pretext of celebrating my wife’s birthday early, I booked a table at Alain Ducasse’s signature London restaurant at the Dorchester Hotel. A look back at this disappointing experience.

The concept

This is a gourmet French restaurant, with a menu featuring some of Chef Ducasse’s signature dishes.

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The restaurant is crowned with 3 macaroons in the Michelin Guide, the highest distinction.

The setting

The setting is obviously elegant, in one of the most prestigious hotels in the British capital. Nonetheless, the premium experience is somewhat degraded due to the extensive renovations that were taking place in the hotel at the time of our visit in early March 2022.

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The menu

The menu is quite simple since a single tasting menu is proposed.

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The meal and the dishes

With various appetizers and entremets, the list is quite long.

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Sesame, avocado and almond toast: super fresh, refreshing

Lobster rolls : too small but succulent, perfect citrus flavour

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Artichoke: excellent free water taste, caviar does not take over

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Comté cheese soufflé with artichoke shape, cauliflower sauce, black truffle: difficult to do more creamy and succulent

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Cauliflower cooked in brioche, black truffle, raw cauliflower: excellent, balanced with the acidity of the sauce

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“Sauté gourmand”: a balanced masterpiece, Chef Ducasse’s signature dish

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Turbot: served in two courses. The main part was excellent with this black garlic powder – the second part I did not like so much

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Beef: excellent, perfectly cooked and perfect leek

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Second service with marrow bone a little disappointing

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Delicious cheese

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Pre-dessert: pear sorbet and marmalade

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Dessert : interesting but not very satisfying combination of tastes

Overall, a feeling of disgust appears in the middle of the meal, making the following bites difficult.

The service

This is where the problem lies. If things seemed rather well orchestrated at the beginning of the meal, the machine broke down towards the end. How can you mistake someone’s identity for a birthday? Such a service error is just unacceptable in a property of this standing.

And then I spend 20 minutes waiting for the bill and the feeling of being totally ignored, frankly unpleasant.

The atmosphere

Cosy, warm and offering privacy.

Bottom line

A mixed experience despite a price paid for perfection. We will not return.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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