Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester 333

The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane , London, W1K 1QA

  • The main dining room at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
  • Dorset crab, celeriac and caviar at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
  • Table set for lunch at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
  • Dry-aged beef with artichoke and bone marrow at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
  • Exotic fruit contemporary vacherin at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
  • Halibut, oyster and seaweed dish at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
  • Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester salon Park Lane
  • Heritage tomatoes with a herb condiment at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
  • Native lobster, celery and homardine sauce at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
  • Rib and saddle of venison with parsnip and peanut at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
  • Baba Monte Carlo at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
  • Parisian chocolate at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
  • Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester restaurant interior
  • Table Lumiere at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

SquareMeal Review of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

The combination of a superstar name and three Michelin stars means that expectations are always sky-high at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester; in return, diners are treated to “an exercise in superlative service and presentation”, with hushed tones barely disturbing the reverential calm in the classic creamy-toned dining room – an “oasis of serenity” away from the bluster of Park Lane. Head chef Jean-Phillipe Blondet is his master’s voice, delivering a measured parade of profound and deeply flavoured dishes hinting at the “culinary genius” behind the scenes – just consider the “heavenly” sauté gourmand of lobster accompanied by homemade pasta and truffled chicken quenelles or the signature ‘contemporary’ vacherin with a coconut boule, pomegranate seeds and exotic fruits. In between, the ever-fabulous rib and saddle of venison with coffee sauce and a peanut-stuffed parsnip vies with fish classics such as fillet of turbot with beetroot and clams marinière or line-caught sea bass with braised chicory. Prices, as you’d expect of somewhere called Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, take no prisoners, and the platinum wine list promises a galaxy of French stars with hefty mark-ups – although fans still think that dining here is “time exceptionally well spent”.   

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Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester is recommended for

Formal | Glamorous | Quiet Conversation | Traditional | Widely Spaced Tables | Special Occasions Under 40S | Brunch | Three Michelin Stars

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Hyde Park Corner Tube Station 635m

Green Park Tube Station 693m

Address

Address: The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane , London W1K 1QA

Area: Mayfair Oxford Street

Opening times

Tues-Fri 12N-1.30pm Tues-Sat 6.30-9.30pm

Nearby Landmarks

The Dorchester Hotel 23m

Curzon Mayfair Cinema 297m

Details

Telephone: 020 7629 8866

Website:

Cuisine: French

Lunch: £60 (3 courses)

Dinner: £100/120/140/180 (3/4/7/7)

Private Dining: 7, 12, 30

8.0

Food & Drink: 8.2

Service: 8.7

Atmosphere: 7.5

Value: 6.7

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

Gourmand Gunno platinum reviewer 13 January 2017

As one of only two spots in London and four in the UK that hold three Michelin stars (the others being Gordon Ramsey, the Fat Duck and the Waterside Inn), expectations run pretty high prior to a visit to the Dorchester. Once you’ve fought your way past the throngs of wealthy tourists in the lobby, the restaurant itself feels like an oasis of calm, serene furnishings and a view onto the greenery of Hyde Park. Dining here was undoubtedly an experience, an exercise in superlative service, presentation and cooking. However, it wasn’t perfect and I have had better dining moments elsewhere in London. Anywhere where diners are expected to feel almost reverential about what they eat is somewhat off-putting and an atmosphere which is dominated by the hushed tones of business people in suits is not necessarily where I would choose to eat. The cooking throughout was exemplary, from the almost airy balls of bread with a cheese casing that were placed on the table to welcome us, through to the generous quantities of petit-fours with which we ended (and were allowed to take home the remainder). For lunch, my comrade and I both chose from the a la carte menu. To begin, a portion of Dorset crab with celeriac and caviar. It was very good, but not absolutely amazing (3-Michelin starred amazing) and I couldn’t help feeling that both the flavour combination and texture of the dish were somewhat muted, not necessarily bringing out the best of the underlying ingredients. The main was markedly better; a rib and saddle of venison cooked in a coffee flavoured sauce and accompanied by a peanut-studded whole parsnip. This was culinary genius, a deeply intense and profound dish. The wine match, of a 2014 Pinot Noir by Littorai from Sonoma, was also superb. It was hard to surpass this (or indeed my comrade’s scallops) and there was a slight anti-climax ahead of dessert, particularly since there was a surprisingly disappointing wait. Our 2 hours at the Dorchester were exceptionally well spent, but came at a price – a quite steep £100/head, and that’s just for the food. When I left, my belly was content, but my soul (as well as my comrade’s wallet) less so; and when forced to ask, was my experience considerably superior to that provided by, say, The Ledbury or The Square at its peak, then I would be forced to answer in the negative.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Paul A. platinum reviewer 17 November 2016

It can be a rewarding experience, lunching at Alain Ducasse. Although relatively infrequent visitors, the history had been done and we were greeted like old friends, and the standard of the front of house staff, under the auspices of Damien Pepin was as high as ever. It was our first acquaintance with the new chef, and, naturally, we wanted to try his cuisine and determine whether it was a more traditional house style or perhaps something more in keeping with current trends, and in keeping with the high ranking of the restaurant. The eternal gougères were light as a feather but lacking in cheese, the barbajuans though were really first-class. Lovely Dorset crab started the dishes building up to the main course and it was matched by pickled celeriac lasagna in good crab sauce with a texture contrast in the form of a fried crab leg and a helping of caviar which augmented rather than overpowering the delicate white crab meat. Unfortunately I got some shell. The duck and foie gras terrine was beautifully put together and exhibited a wonderful deep taste but the pickled baby veg “condiment” didn’t really convince. Happily the “sauté gourmand” of lobster made up for it with its heavenly sauce and surprisingly good accompaniment of truffled chicken quenelles. This was followed by another shellfish dish, all of which were deliciously matched by a Californian roussanne recommended by the ever reliable sommelier Chris Bothwell. This time it was the turn of a scallop with cauliflower gratinée and purée and a fried egg yolk. Not bad but somehow lacking. The star of the show was some super saddle of venison, fairly locally sourced - North Wales, with a coffee sauce and black pepper sprinkle and a sweet parsnip coated in a peanut purée which with the venison was a match made in heaven. It was just a shame that there couldn’t have been a more generous serving. The standard cheese course was populated by four French favourites, crottin, brie de meaux, beaufort and roquefort, each with its own special sauce. A pre-dessert of passion fruit with its sauce and a lime meringue was followed by the signature dessert - the “contemporary” vacherin with more melt-in-the mouth meringue, a coconut boule, pomegranate seed and “exotic” summer fruit. Coffee and petits fours were, of course, top quality, with Alain Ducasse Paris-made chocolate. Finally, although this could possibly be put down to his perfectionist approach, we were very much aware of the chef’s presence in the kitchen, sounding rather like a French Ramsay, which had never been the case with Jocelyn Herland. Overall, then, a minor turn towards the less classic and as far as we are concerned judgement has to be reserved.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Paul A. platinum reviewer 19 December 2015

Just fabulous! We are very close to finalising our long list of restaurants to return to, and so the raison d'être of our exploratory reviews is all but eliminated. The fact that most of the entries on our list are in London is a true reflection of the situation in the UK and not just because we have not tried places elsewhere in the country. Up there with the very best is Alain Ducasse, with the best "unknown" chef in Britain in the person of Jocelyn Herland, some of the best front of house staff you will find anywhere, an attention to detail reflected in the provision of a spoon with every course to ensure that every drop of the fine sauces can be enjoyed, and a perfect setting for a top-class meal. This was a skilful demonstration of the four Ts, taste, texture, temperature and technical mastery, and the big P, presentation on the plate, making each dish a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. This is what the Professional Masterchef competitors should be aspiring to... The seasonal tasting menu is a perfect example of how to achieve the right balance of dishes, never exaggerating individual elements to the detriment of others; likewise the accompanying wine flight. However, we decided to cut down on our vinous intake and so Chris, the excellent sommelier, recommended a surprisingly Puligny-like Australian chardonnay to accompany the fish-based dishes, plus, for me, a superb Prum Spätlese to go with the foie gras and a lovely Rioja with the venison. The scrumptious signature canapés of three kinds of gougères and then the very moreish barbajuans were followed by perfectly caramelised and unbelievably sweet hand-dived scallops with seared lettuce and a delicate creamy sauce and a superb addition of caviar, its amost almondy aftertaste blending in beautifully with the scallop. The duck foie gras was quite special with its mushroom and duck reduction, a lick of lapsang souchong and the freshness of wild parsley. The next course announced itself with that wonderful aroma you get with perfectly cooked lobster in a rich reduction, in this case made even more unctuous with a mash of creamy paimpol beans. Then came the king of fish, turbot, bathing in an amazing truffle and mushroom reduction with raw and cooked artichoke adding to the satisfying richness of the dish and provoking the desire to eat it all over again. We asked for a substitute on the main dish, venison instead of beef, and we think we made the right choice. The Grand-Veneur sauce accompanying the tender, almost sweet, saddle was properly rich and unctuous and cleverly set against the fresh bite of celeriac. We had enjoyed the aged Comté before and its crystalline texture matched with the classic mushroom and truffle mix and nut and fig bread was, in its way, the equal of all the other dishes. A brilliant palate cleanser of orange segments with dehydrated coffee and cumquat on a delicate biscuit base set us up well for the rum baba (rum from Panama!) and the terrific orange sorbet that brought our feast to an end. This was a genuinely top-class dining experience, and if there are those who are unsettled by the easy luxury of the Dorchester, that is a reflection on them not the fault of the Dorchester; if there are those who are not impressed by the professional expertise of the front of house staff, in particular the restaurant manager Damien and his able assistant Matteo, and their ability to interact with the diners, we wonder just what they would expect; and if there are those who report their dissatisfaction with the cuisine, we can only assume that they have their own particular agenda.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Paul A. platinum reviewer 13 April 2015

It is somehow easier to review a poor meal. When it is as superlatively good as this you have to search for more and more superlatives to describe the consistently brilliant showcasing of ingredients cooked classically, without resort to theatrics or scientific trickery but with a modern twist which never loses sight of the fact that making the simple stunning requires great talent. The dining room exudes luxury and creates the expectation of something classy, and the expert, seamless, unobtrusive yet friendly service, the right tempo, and the unstuffy, professional advice from the sommelier, who was quite happy for us to take an Australian wine, the superb Cullen Kevin John Chardonnay, help to add to the diners' receptiveness. From the canapés of a pyramid of gougères done three ways, cheese, pepper, paprika, and tiny barbajuans, to the light yet almost cakey hazelnut soufflé with its balancing pink grapefruit sorbet, no dish in this seasonal tasting menu was less than stupendous. Just imagine the best the following could possibly be and you have an idea of the quality that is the norm here. We started with a generous langoustine medaillon, bread crisps, asparagus jus, morels, whipped cream and a morel rouillade; then came seared foie gras topped with pepper, chicken stock jus, morels stuffed with lardo, white and green asparagus, mascarpone and parmesan; this was followed by lobster with the tail dipped in butter and fried, asparagus cream and Albany sauce; wild sea bass with diced asparagus on top accompanied by mushroom purée and an asparagus velouté; roast Landais chicken, boasting heavenly aromas, crispy coated breast, leg flavoured with Lapsang Suchong, almost sweet morels, and an Arbois yellow wine sauce; the cheese course was a crystalline 3-year old Comté with a truffle mousse and proper oat biscuits; the desserts were the signature vacherin with its signature aroma of passion fruit, crunchy coconut, meringue and tarte, and the soufflé mentioned above. The mignardises were of the same highest class. Altogether a quite stunning performance by a consummate artist.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Paul A. platinum reviewer 13 November 2014

As we had read recently that there were doubters concerning Alain Ducasse's 3-star status we decided to put these doubts to the test and take advantage of the bargain lunch menu. We were seated at a table with a good view across the generous dining room and confirmed that we wanted the set menu. The canapés were goujons, light, delicately cheesy and piled high, and we reasoned that to accompany these 3-star goodies top-class fizz was called for, so we asked for what we thought was the best on the champagne trolley, a nice Krug grande cuvée. There was a choice of excellent home-made bread and we pounced on the Fontainebleau to go with it. The gorgeous lobster rounds with Roman salad served as the amuse-bouche came with a fashionable, and beautifully balanced, ginger and coriander soup enhanced with specks of carrot, and was enough to convince us that all was still well in the Ducasse kitchen. We both chose the wild boar ravioli to start, the pasta artisanal but delicate and the boar celebrating its difference from pork, and the mushroom consommé a perfect example how to employ the right seasoning to bring out the individual taste of each ingredient, in this case girolles, eringy and Paris. Scottish venison was our main, deliciously compressed and shredded shoulder made very special by the sensational sauce, a venison reduction that history is made of. The amount of time and care it must take to achieve this is an indication of the skill and dedication required to achieve and maintain 3-star status. The apparently simple accompaniment was celeriac, done three ways, shavings, chips and purée, which was a terrific complement to the rich meat. There was no choice for chocoholics but to have the mouth-watering chocolate fondant for dessert with a tuile for texture and a lovely yogurt ice cream, on the sour side to contrast with the richness of the fondant. It didn't stop there, as the petits fours had even more chocolate, made in the Alain Ducasse chocolaterie in Paris, in the form of ganache squares, and with coconut, and on roasted almonds, as well as strawberry and mint macarons, and nougat. The coffee was good, too. After this, all we can say is that the experience and expectations of the doubters must be rather different from ours. Every member of the front of house staff is happy and proud to be a part of the team that, just like the kitchen staff, has been put together and nurtured and melded into the finely tuned and expert equipe that makes the restaurant a success. The last time we ate here we were singing the chef's praises and we found to our delight that we had been right to do so. Far from resting on his laurels, Jocelyn Herland is consistently looking at ways to develop and improve, and is always in the kitchen when there is a service, unlike some other starred chefs who sometimes seem to be in the public eye or on family business more often than at the pass. This is truly a 3-star establishment.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Monikasays gold reviewer 30 October 2014

'Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester' , just saying this with a french accent gets me excited! I was lucky enough to receive a hefty contribution from Squaremeal (thank you) for this 3 michelin starred temple of gourmet cuisine. At £500 for the total bill, including a moderate amount of alcohol, this place is for those who have a swiss bank account or want to splash out on a v. special occasion. One enters through the glamorous foyer of the Dorchester, flanked by Aston Martins and Bentleys to enter a world of serious spondolees and the International well-heeled. It has taken me forever to book this restaurant partly due to the cost and partly due to the ever-increasing new, alluring eateries in London. Everything has been perfected here, from the immaculate friendly staff to the pristine decor and gourmet flavours. Negatives include an awful lot of beige, a slightly sterile atmosphere, and underwhelming mains. So, back to the meal, I starved all day for this feast. The obligatory amuse bouches came all fluffy and light tantalising the tastebuds. The starters and mains include all your gourmet favourites, a bit of duck, a bit of fois gras, a velvety lobster sublime starter, tournedos of beef, scallops etc etc. For me, the stand out dish was the 'sauté gourmand' of lobster and chicken quenelles with soft pasta which in itself is now historic. The main beef dish was over cooked and did not even vaguely compete against my local place 'Chapters' in Blackheath with their josper-grilled delicate fillet. Desserts were also a little blah, no wizardry or taste sensations, which for a 3 michelin starred restaurant should be commonplace. All in all, we had a super slap-up meal and as an event I will always treasure this place and its meaning. PS remember to ask for a doggy bag for the petit fours and sweet little macaroons, which my 6 year old devoured next day.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Brett L. 14 July 2014

As we know, London is somewhat Michelin obsessed – every where we turn we seem to be spoilt with an array of top Michelin starred establishments. I recently was lucky enough to visit Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, a triple starred Michelin starred restaurant in the capital… Triple I hear you cry! Yes. Now, for over eye watering £150 a head, the question is, was it really worth it? It is, for one thing, an incredible dining room, with a modern touch which you perhaps wouldn't expect in The Dorchester. The service is definitely far less suffocating than it might be, but still fabulously attentive. A charming young Aussie waiter served us, very personable indeed… he quickly & correctly rectified his gender mistake by calling my dinner companion a Sir instead of Madame…!! the sommelier recommended affordable wines from a list seemingly targeted at about 2% of the London population that is willing to pay £60 for a glass of Chateau Neuf de Pape. As for the food, the excellence there lay mostly with the aesthetics. The dishes were genuinely beautiful to the eye, but less ­memorable to the tastebud than that triple-star rating might suggest. My chosen main of baked sea bass came with ­razor clams and parsley shellfish jus, absolutely lovely, just really quite forgettable. The same went for beef fillet with seared foie gras and a chunk of ­endive; when I say chunk, what I really want to say is half the plate worth – it really was a huge portion over the small beef fillet. The roasted rib of venison with chestnut and quince was the winner, the ruby-red meat wonderfully tender and with a delayed, peppery detonation on the tongue that made up for the marginal ­over-reduction of the gamey sauce. For an evening of over indulgence, where service and setting are key factors (and money is no object) and food being the secondary, then I would not hesitate to recommend Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. However I do feel for the extortionate cost, I can think of far far better places to spend an evening experiencing such delight in our culinary Capital.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Cheeky silver reviewer 21 April 2014

As a regular at The Dorchester (that's not me largeing it – it just happens to be my business partner's preferred meeting place), I must have walked past Alain Ducasse many times without giving it a second thought until a client mentioned that it was one of only two London restaurants to have 3 Michelin stars. Thus, I took my wife there for her birthday and what a treat it was. My aforementioned business partner organised the ‘private’ table which is slightly to one side of the room but encircled by heavily beaded curtains. A good way to have a private room but still enjoy the restaurant's atmosphere…and there is the biggest let down. Perhaps this sort of high end restaurant serving excellent food lends itself to near silence or maybe the clientele are too scared to speak in anything louder than a whisper, daunted by its 3 stars, but it does mean that the atmosphere is somewhat lacking, something that Le Gavroche for example has managed to overcome. The food and service cannot be faulted as long as you're prepared for some eye watering prices, especially if you choose some wine to accompany your meal. In summary, I can see why it has 3 Michelin stars but I would be very choosy as to whom I recommended it and that would not include anyone who's looking for a fun night out.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

London Gourmet platinum reviewer 26 January 2013

Always a bit torn in two about this place. When first there (soon after opening) I felt it was a complete disaster and never wanted to return. Following their rise through the michelin stars I went back (at the time they had received 2 stars) and was blown away by the fantastic top-notch french haute cuisine offered. On my last visit (now they have 3 stars) I thought that while the quality of the food couldn't be faulted it lacked originality and was just “very good food” but not exceptional – and for the high price you pay you somewhat expect that

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 4.0

Tony L. 19 December 2012

Great food, excellent service poor atmosphere. If you love food GO! If you love service GO! If you love wine GO! The best aspect of the evening is they did not want myself and my wife to leave. They kept on serving us wonderful treats. A top restaurant making you feel wanted! Brilliant. Worth every single penny! Well most of the pennies anyway. Will we GO back – well of course ! Oh would love to share with you the best table number but I'll keep that for myself … Sorry.