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|Address:||The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London W1K 1QA|
|Tel:||020 3641 8324|
|Price: £97.00||Wine: £40.00||Champagne: £85.00|
|Opening Hours:||Tues-Fri 12N-1.30pm Tues-Sat 6.30-9.30pm|
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As with all enthusiasts of a developed interest, there is always one experience considered la crème de la crème and that for me in a food sense, is dining at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. As Gregg Wallace might say, “dining doesn’t get much better than this”.
The food is everything you’d expect from a 3-Michelin starred French restaurant; rich, classic and gutsy and whilst I couldn’t stomach it too regularly (oh to have that choice), it was the epitome of deluxe dining.
We were welcomed with an appetiser of gruyere and parmesan gougeres, lightly spiced with paprika and pepper which were delightful and highly addictive. This was followed by an amuse bouche of mixed chestnut, apple and goats cheese with a silky butternut squash veloute, poured over the top at last minute.
For starter, my partner and I both opted for Hereford snails; a dish that far overshadowed the other two menu options hence its choice and, well, being a treat, was a novelty dish and therefore a must in my book. Far from the classic escargot bourguignon, these enormous snails were presented minus their shells and cooked in a rich and creamy veloute with wild mushrooms and crispy chicken. Now I am certainly no stranger to delicacies and this dish certainly was delicious, but after snail number 4, I was struggling somewhat to ignore the niggling thought of garden gastropods. But struggle on I did and finished the dish, albeit at snails pace, if you’ll pardon the pun.
For main course, again my partner and I coordinated our menu choices and went for the steamed turbot, which was presented in a perfect cylinder and served simply in a shellfish mariniere, decorated daintily with fine slices of razor clam and pretty little mushrooms that had been carved into flowers. The fish was cooked beautifully, firm but moist and accompanied by a deliciously rich sauce that was so reminiscent of the sea, I could barely believe I was in Mayfair.
Before dessert we were given Alain’s signature mignardise consisting of three different flavoured macaroons, nougat and milk and dark chocolates, most of which were kindly packaged up in a posh ‘doggy bag’ to enjoy at home.
Dessert was a tough decision between the rich and indulgent chocolate fondant and the digestion-friendly roasted pineapple, so my partner and I ordered one each and shared. The fondant was so utterly perfect, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven, until the refreshing tang of the pineapple dessert hit me and brought me back to earth again.
All in all the food was fantastic, served within opulent surroundings by respectful and attentive staff. The lunch menu is incredibly good value at £50 per person for three courses, two glasses of wine and coffee, or if you prefer infused tea, which they make fresh at your table from a trolley of fresh herb plants and a selection of honeys.
If you want the opportunity to sample the delights of Alain Ducasse without breaking the bank, then this is the way to do it.