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“Underwhelming as a 3 star experience”

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
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Ranked #818 of 24 150 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$96 - US$233
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Mayfair
Description: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester offers contemporary French cuisine in the Jouin Manku designed dining-room along with a professional, bespoke and friendly service orchestrated by Restaurant Director Enrico Baronetto and his energetic team. Executive Chef Jean-Philippe Blondet interprets Alain Ducasse's cuisine with a modern and refined approach, consistently championing and enhancing current seasonal produce. Signature dishes include "Sauté gourmand" of lobster, truffled chicken quenelles and homemade pasta; Dry aged beef, artichokes and bone marrow, and the delicate Baba like in 'Monte-Carlo'. A perfect place for a savvy lunch, the restaurant offers a 3-course set menu including wine, water and coffee. Private dining is also a must-try experience with the stunning Table Lumière where guests can create their bespoke dining experience by choosing from specially selected sets of china by Hermès; the spacious Salon Park Lane bathed in natural light and the cosy Salon Privé.
Reviewed 10 September 2021 via mobile

Before my review proper, I must state that I have read a great many of the previous reviews and the replies from Enrico, all of which state that he is sorry that the lunch/dining experience did not match the guests’ expectations and that he will pass on all comments to the chef etc. It’s clear that the chef hasn’t taken on board some of these, (evidently justifiable) comments. I lunch/dine out a great deal and I always expect value for money, wether I’m dining in a Michelin starred restaurant, or in a modest eatery, sadly, we did not have a memorable 3 Michelin starred experience on our recent visit. The majority of reviews are outstanding, but I can only comment upon our personal experience. It is true that the Dorchester is a world famous international hotel and must cater for all requests and demands from its clientele, but its cuisine must be consistently excellent and exciting.
The dining room is charming, the ambiance relaxed, the staff efficient and friendly and one anticipates the food. The lunch menu was somewhat confusing. My companion commented that there was little evidence of meat on the a la carte menu and was informed that they could offer veal or beef if she wished, so why, we wondered, weren’t these dishes listed on the menu? Canapés arrived and were singularly uninteresting as was the bland amuse bouche which was very under seasoned, although salt was provided for guests to season dishes themselves. This opened a whole health debate about salt consumption and it was quite evident that the chef takes this matter very seriously, but to an extent where nothing appears to be seasoned, (the guests take this responsibility themselves which is a cop out in my view) Our crab starter was lovely, but half way through our consumption, a complementary addition arrived, which clearly should have been served with the starter. The turbot main was perfectly cooked and delicious, but, again, unseasoned and bland. Desserts were exceptionally good and a complementary rum baba was provided because we had made a couple of criticisms. This was a welcome gesture and we were grateful, but as a 3 Michelin starred establishment, innovation, creativity and excellence are expected and we didn’t experience these today. If I compare Alain Ducasse with the 3 Michelin starred Sketch and Core and the 2 Michelin starred La Dame de Pic, Alain Ducasse doesn’t come close - great pity. The TripAdvisor grading system has to reflect the standard of cuisine and value for money, so below “average” is “poor” in this case, which many will find undoubtedly harsh, but which is perfectly fair.

Date of visit: September 2021
1  Thank tessie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2 - 6 of 1 702 reviews

Reviewed 6 September 2021 via mobile

What a lovely place to eat on an afternoon! Brilliant staff who explain the menu perfectly, lovely looking plates of food and tastes great!

Date of visit: September 2021
Thank Han6777
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlainDucasseLondon, General Manager at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2021

Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for sharing such a positive feedback following your visit.
I am very happy to read that you had a great experience with us and that you enjoyed our menu.
I do hope that we will have the chance of welcoming you on a future occasion.
Best regards,
Enrico Baronetto
Restaurant Director
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2021

One of the best meals in our life. Superb service, delightful food from the start till the end. Beautiful setting in a very comfortable environment. And on top of that fantastic value for money. Excellent! Simply excellent!

Date of visit: October 2020
Thank FabrizioFandago78
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlainDucasseLondon, General Manager at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2021

Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for sharing a review following your visit. It is a pleasure to read that your experience was enjoyable. I have gladly shared your feedback with the team.
I look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you again very soon.
Warm regards,
Enrico Baronetto
Restaurant Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2021

We were welcomed back on this return visit but service was distracted, nothing like the pampering back in June. This might have been because the restaurant had just re-opened after their summer break of several weeks (despite the forced lockdown of the entire first half of this year).

We enjoyed the superb value £70 midweek lunch set menu again: 3 courses, 2 glasses of wine, tea or coffee, breads and butters, amuse bouche and petit fours. Tastes of all the dishes were a little more interesting than our previous meal, which we had nevertheless enjoyed very much, but less uniformly excellent this time.

When asked, a waiter explained this was a new menu. When we described the food as tasting “livelier” this time, interestingly, he offered “funky”. There was a slightly too generous hand with the vinegar in both the courgette/seafood/citrus starter (vinegar drowned any citrus) and the lemon sole main, which we would not have again for that reason.

The cold tomato soup, described as a gazpacho when served, was unfortunately bland and actually not as good as Alvalle from the supermarket. Execution of all dishes nevertheless showed potential and the pork loin main was the best we’ve ever had. Both desserts - chocolate and strawberry - were stunning. Coffee was also the best we have had in a Michelin star restaurant.

Next time, we might wait a week or two for any new menu to “settle.

Date of visit: August 2021
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank exotissima1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlainDucasseLondon, General Manager at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2021

Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your comments following you experience with us at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester.
I have passed on your comments regarding the dishes mentioned to our Executive Chef.
I hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again in the near future.
Very best wishes,
Enrico Baronetto
Restaurant Director
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2021 via mobile

One of, if not THE BEST dining experiences we have ever had.
The food was magnificent with the lobster course and blackberry dessert being the stand out dishes amongst a sublime selection of culinary excellence.
A few elements tested the taste buds. The aubergine stuffed with sardine was not to everyone's liking but totally agree that you have to challenge the pallet at the level this restaurant performs at.
The food was great but the service was....perfect, simply everything it should be and more. Attentive but not suffocating with the staff engaged and entertaining but hugely respectful of their customers wishes.
Everything just happened without ever needing to ask or even contemplating asking. One of our party had specific dietary requirements which were catered for and even surpassed without any fuss or bother. Not pretentious or stuffy just very very special on every level.
Specific thank you to Enrico who clearly is at the top of his game.
I think the only way it could have been any better was if Alain Ducasse himself had served the coffee ;-)
Thank you so much.

Date of visit: August 2021
Thank 749laurencec
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlainDucasseLondon, General Manager at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2021

Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for sharing such a positive review following your visit.
I am very happy to read you had a great experience with us and that you particularly enjoyed the cuisine and service.
I look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you again very soon.
Best regards,
Enrico Baronetto
Restaurant Director
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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