Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

Gold Award

Alain Ducasse’s “sublime” three-Michelin-starred powerhouse is as close as London gets to a temple to gastronomy. Set deep inside The Dorchester, the dining room’s cascading string curtains, stone-grey monolithic room dividers and unobtrusive chill-out beats all create a pleasingly Zen-like space that isn’t nearly as hushed as you might expect.

Executive chef Jean-Philippe Blondet has a blank cheque to recreate his mentor’s sophisticated take on haute cuisine – witness an appetiser involving a sweet Scottish langoustine, served raw and topped with caviar alongside a deep, umami-laden shot of langoustine broth (paired with Ducasse’s own-selection Champagne, of course).

What follows is a roll call of world-class ingredients and flawless cooking: perhaps pan-fried foie gras with crunchy fried rye-bread alongside the sweet-sour hit of grapes cooked in vinegar and the subtle, popping tang of fried yeast, or (our personal favourite) a signature dish of lobster tail with creamy truffle quenelles, circles of perfect pasta and mushrooms – a stunning blend of sweet, earthy and rich tones.

For dessert, the cherry puff pastry tart sprinkled with dinky cubes of espelette pepper is a thing of simple wonder, although the kitchen’s sweet repertoire spans everything from a baba ‘like in Monte Carlo’ to hazelnut soufflé or baked apple with crème fraîche and saffron.

Of course, prices are frightening, but the weekday ‘lunch hour’ menu offers a (slightly) less painful way in: £70 currently buys you three courses, plus two glasses of wine, coffee or tea and a half-bottle of water.

The wine list packs in some serious A-list labels, with three tiers of pairings for the tasting menu. But it was the “fabulous” service that really bowled us over – we left feeling like VIPs, with a bag of petit fours under our arms. As one reader noted, this is “perfection”.  

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Fine dining, Glamorous, Luxury, Quiet conversation, Traditional, Widely spaced tables
Other Awards
Three Michelin stars
Food Occasions
Special Features
Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
Special occasions

About Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

For special occasion dining, it doesn’t get much better than the peerless three Michelin-starred temple of gastronomy that is Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. Any conversation about the world's most decorated chefs must include Ducasse, who holds three Michelin stars in a number of countries. Indeed, he is the second most decorated chef of all time, only being pipped to the post by the late, great Joël Robuchon.

Ducasse’s London restaurant finds its home in the classic, opulent surrounds of The Dorchester. Interiors are suitably elegant with a stunning floor-to-ceiling sculptural chandelier feature taking centre stage. Surrounding this you’ll find a mix of banquette seating and classic dining tables with white tablecloths, which are spaced widely enough for private conversations without losing the convivial buzz of the space.

Guests at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester are offered three menus to choose from - an a la carte menu, a full tasting spread, or a menu jardin, which showcases seven courses of seasonal vegetarian cooking. The a la carte gives diners the choice of three courses for £150, whilst the tasting menu is a selection of seven great Ducasse's dishes, including at the time of writing dishes such as lobster medallion, chicken quenelles, Périgord truffle and homemade semolina pasta, farmhouse veal fillet, green pea and mint condiment, and pineapple, galanga sorbet and kombu condiment. The tasting menu costs £210 and runs through hot and cold starters, a fish and main course, as well as an assortment of French cheeses and an elegant dessert.

World-class wines have been carefully chosen by in-house sommelier Vincenzo Arnese to complement the flavours on the menu and the helpful team are ever-present to make suggestions and pairing recommendations. Indeed, there’s the option to add a wine flight to your meal should you wish to take the element of chance out of things.

As you might expect the service here is top-class, with the team trained to the highest standards which results in personable but professional care throughout your time in the restaurant.


Does Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester have Michelin stars?

Yes, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester has three Michelin stars, an accolade the restaurant has held since 2010.

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What’s the menu like at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester?

In line with Ducasse’s signature style, the menu at The Dorchester has a staunchly French style. There’s the choice of both a la carte options and the house tasting menu. The latter is a seven-course exploration of the kitchen’s best dishes and costs £170.

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Can you book Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester?

Yes, booking is strongly advised as the restaurant is a popular spot to book for celebrations which keeps it busy most evenings. For last minute bookings there are often tables available for lunch, which can give you the opportunity of a table without having to wait so long on an opening in the schedule.

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Who is Alain Ducasse?

Alain Ducasse is one of the world’s most decorated chefs, holding an incredible 20 Michelin stars across his global restaurant empire. The French chef started off his career at just sixteen, when he undertook an appreciation at the Pavillon Landais restaurant in Soustons. From there he honed his craft and developed a signature Provencal style, later going on to work at the infamous Hôtel de Paris in Monte Carlo. Now years later with his own collection of top-class restaurants, Ducasse’s CV includes cookery schools, cookbooks, consultation projects and even being chosen as the chef for royal events like the wedding of Prince Albert to Charlene Wittstock.

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What is the dress code at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester?

As you might expect there is a dress code at Alain Ducasse. In line with the elegant surrounds, guests are encouraged to wear smart-casual attire. This translates as jackets and collared shirts for men as well as long trousers. It is noted on the website that appropriate footwear is also required.

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This venue also offers

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Private Group Dining

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester


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

020 7629 8866


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue 18:00-21:30
Wed 18:00-21:30
Thu 18:00-21:30
Fri 18:00-21:30
Sat 18:00-21:30
Sun Closed


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27 Reviews 


26 September 2021   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Stunning experience

Simply the best meal we have ever had. Celebrating our silver wedding anniversary and the food was superb -we had the tasting menu. Had the accompanying wine selection and everything matched perfectly. Service was outstanding and this beats other 3 star Michelin restaurants we have visited!

Lloyd S

17 October 2019  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Amazing Autumn Menu

This was not only our first visit to Alain Ducasse but also to the hotel itself and I must say that after yesterday's visit it's definitely one that we would like to do again very soon. We decided to go to Alain Ducasse as part of our annual lunch with our good friends and we also like to choose somewhere where neither of us have been to before. As you enter the hotel you find a nice spacious reception area. Then as you look straight ahead you will see a long foyer area where you can relax and enjoy afternoon tea. Halfway down on the left is the entrance to the restaurant where we were met by three young ladies who were very polite and friendly. They took our coats before one of the ladies escorted us into the restaurant itself. Our table was in the middle of the fabulous looking dining room giving us all a great view of the entire restaurant. As soon as we were settled the sommelier arrived to pour us all a complimentary glass of champagne which was a delightful way to begin. This was followed by a large plate of gougeres placed in the centre of the table for us all to share. I have to say that they were little balls of heaven. It was then time for the head waiter to introduce himself and explain to us the four menu's they offer at lunchtime. These were a lunch menu , A la Carte and two Tasting Menus one being the classic and the other was the seasonal Autumn Menu. The tasting menus both consisted of seven courses so therefore we didn't all have to choose the same menu. This was perfect as we were split on deciding which Tasting Menu to choose. In the end two of us chose the classic and the other two chose the Autumn Menu. What you'll now find below is the Autumn Menu which was the menu I chose.

The first course on the menu was a Wild Boar broth with Mushrooms & Sweetscented Marigold which was simply a taste sensation. This was followed by an amazing seared Duck Foie Gras with Celeriac & Juniper Berry. These two dishes were quite rich but a fantastic way to begin and leaving me eagerly waiting for what was to follow. Next to arrive were two excellent fish courses with the first being Hand Dived Sea Scallop with Fermented Cabbage & Black Garlic. The second was a Fillet of Turbot with Leek & Grapefruit. These dishes were a great way to lighten your palate after a hearty but delicious beginning. It was now time for the main course a stunning Dry Aged Beef with Pumpkin , Bone Marrow & Parsley and certainly a dish worthy of being the highlight of the menu. Next to come was the cheese course a Comte Garde Exceptionelle. To accompany this was a plate of complimentary Stilton Blue Cheese. Before we moved onto dessert we were asked if we'd like to have a tour of the kitchen which was an opportunity we couldn't refuse. The kitchen was quite large but when we were told how many chefs are in the kitchen you could see why. While my friends were chatting to the head chef I had the chance to finally meet have a chat to my friend and pastry chef Thibault. We then headed back to the table and while we were waiting for our desserts they brought out an abundance of Petit Fours. Now for dessert and a fabulous creation from Pastry Chef Thibault. It was a delightful Fig from Provence with Walnut & Borniambuc Cream. This was matched with a sweet wine from Austria a Kracher Beerenauslese 2015 with flavours of peach & honey and a mandarin finish made this wine an absolute delight. My friend exhanged this dish so that he could have the Rum Baba where you also get to pick your own choice of Rum. We then finished with tea & coffee or so we thought because suddenly a dessert spoon appeared and we wondered what was happening until they wheeled out on the trolley an Apple Tarte Tatin as a final delightful surprise of our lunch. This was a fabulous way to finish our amazing dining experience. This really was a truly memorable lunch where the food was amazing the sommelier was very good and the service from a very friendly and engaging team was excellent. This is definitely a place I would highly recommend and one in which I look forward to returning to sooner rather than later


06 September 2019   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 5
Such a lovely experience

This was my second visit to this restaurant. Luckily, this time I was accompanied by my daughter. I cannot fimd fault with anything from the kind gentleman at the small bar, to the waiting staff and their superb service. Of course, it is a three Michelin starred restaurant and it did not dissapoint. There are SO many restaurants in the UK that charge similar prices and they have NO IDEA of what the word 'standards' mean. I can't wait for my next visit!

Penny M

28 June 2019  
Amazing food and service, spectacular setting, perfect for an occasion.

Ivy M

15 June 2017  
Rather disappointing for a 3 star michelin restaurant. We were not overly impressed and one member of our party was quite unwell (mushrooms not cooked properly) and had a reaction. The management although rightly concerned and went as far as making sure other diners were not affected did not offer any real compensation. Quite disappointing overall .

Alex G

13 January 2017  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 2.5
An experience, not just a meal
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.

Paul A

17 November 2016  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 5
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 4
Judgment reserved
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.

Paul A

19 December 2015  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 4.5
Just fabulous
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.

Paul A

13 April 2015  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Perfection guaranteed
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.

Paul A

13 November 2014  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Superlative dining experience
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.
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