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.
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