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“Disappointing... Such a shame.”

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Ranked #304 of 23,718 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $94 - $335
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Neighborhood: Mayfair
Description: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester offers contemporary French cuisine in the sleek Jouin Manku designed dining-room along with a professional, bespoke and friendly service orchestrated by Restaurant Director Damien Pepin 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, much of which is sourced from British and French suppliers. Signature dishes include "Saute 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 Lumiere where guests can create their bespoke dining experience by choosing from specially selected sets of china by Hermes; the spacious Salon Park Lane bathed in natural light and the cosy Salon Prive.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

Was rather disappointed overall with my first visit here today (23/1/14). We were seated over by the windows at the far side in a raised section through some pillars, away from the main body of the restaurant. This section contained six tables, all set along the wall with the window just at forehead height and passengers on the top deck of busses outside peering in at you. The tables in this section were all rather too close for comfort, so we weren't really a part of it all and felt somewhat cramped and awkward in there. Frankly we could have been anywhere, this section was so characterless and you couldn't even see into the main area. Waiters standing with their backs to you, watching the main area instead of us and we felt very secondary in this section. Read my other reviews, I have dined in some of the finest restaurants in the world and this is not what I'm used to in any restaurant, let alone a three Michelin star one!

Being stuck over there, we missed out on the atmosphere and overall ambiance of the beautiful main restaurant with the fabulous shimmering lights curtain etc and I have to be honest, I was truly very upset indeed because I'd been so looking forward to going and I feel that we were denied the full experience. Such a shame.

I would definitely visit again because I don't feel that we have actually experienced the restaurant properly, but next time I will request to be seated in the main body of the restaurant and not over by the windows. This is a tip I hope you remember when you, reading this review, book to go yourself. If not, like us, you will feel out of it and not really involved if you get placed in that section.

Our waiter however couldn't have been more attentive, bread was constantly offered and the charming Sommelier was animated and thoroughly enthusiastic talking about the wines he would recommend with each course. We took his advice, it's always wise to and then you get to try some wines you wouldn't have even thought of! I do love Sommeliers!

Regarding the food, perhaps I chose badly or perhaps I was just so upset at being excluded from the main body of the restaurant, but I found the Turbot and the Veal dishes quite bland, lacking imagination and nothing special. My husband wasn't overly enamoured with his chicken either saying that it was a bit plain and un exciting. The Foie Gras with the chestnuts however was spectacular, as was the Rum Baba. It's worth returning just to have that Rum Baba again! They present you with a silver tray carrying 5 Rums to choose from. When you have selected, they pour a very generous shot (looked like a double!) into a jug for you to pour on as much or as little as you like onto your lavishly presented baba! Fabulous!!

Upon leaving, our lovely waiter presented me with two little bags of sweets/chocolates to take home with us which was a nice touch.

Overall I'd pay a return visit, but I'd be very specific about where they were putting me. If I arrived and they ushered me to that raised section away from the main body of the restaurant again, I'm sorry, I'd turn on my heel and leave. You're just not a part of it all over there and unless you enjoy looking at people on the top deck of a Bus, it's not worth it.

1  Thank JYPayne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 22, 2014

Our first visit was back in 2012 for my 40th. We booked the Chefs Table and words couldn't describe how fantastic the evening was. 15 months and we visited again, this time for lunch in the restaurant.

From start to finish the 10 courses, plus perfectly matched wines were to die for. Service was professional but not overly fussy. We've eaten in many michelin starred restaurants and still can't believe this one. It's worth a visit!

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Thank Peter m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2014

My wife and I dined here 17/01/14. Other than the service, the rest of the experience was very disappointing. No ambiance in the dining room. From amuse bouche until dessert the food was bland, both in presentation and taste - I must add the sauce that came with the sea bass was the worst thing I have had served to me in a restaurant .Dessert ok, but nothing special. Certainly the food was of a much lower standard than I have encountered on the continent when visiting "starred" restaurants. Try The Greenhouse around the corner in Hay's Mews, food and atmosphere superior, only two stars, but will leave you feeling far more satisfied than Ducasse. Sorry Alain.

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1  Thank Robert D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2014

We went there in December, my wife and I.
The room is very nice and is very quiet compared to the big corridor / bar of thr Dorchester with was very busy. The table we had was nice. Great setting.
We had the tasting menu and i find weird that i don't remember anything 1 month later.
The reason - I think - is that altough the exection is great, there is nothing slightly original. It's great cuisine with nice ingredients but there is nothing new and nothing exceptionnal neither.
I don't need the courses to be orinal per se, however i expect a couple to have a "waouh" factor that my wife and I could not find there.
Clearly the most disappointing three star michelin restaurant so far and I would rank the restaurant behind the Ledbury, Darroze or Tom Aikens in London.

Thank leunamme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

We came here for our daughter's 18th birthday. My husband and I had previously dined at the Alain Ducasse restaurant in Paris (in the Plaza Athenee) and had been blown away by the entire experience, both the food and the theatricality of the presentation. We were therefore deeply disappointed by almost every element of the dinner here in London. Staff, I must emphasise, were absolutely fantastic, and we cannot fault them. The cooking however, for a 3-star Michelin, was lacklustre. We sat down at just after 8pm, and did not have our starter until 9.30. In between time, we were served only amuse-bouches which consisted entirely of a mound of mini cheese 'gougeres' (little puff pastries), followed, eventually, by an OK little pre-entree mini dish. Unexciting bread basket (one sees as good in endless numbers of restaurants) and no offers to replenish plate when the roll was finished. Main course: my sea bass portion was tiny! Other mains were fine. Service was so slow. Desserts arrived at 11.30. No pre-dessert (which is the absolute norm in many lesser-ranked restaurants). Desserts utterly forgettable (2 balls of sorbet, a small amount of fruit salad and some microscopic meringues for what was grandly termed a variation on a 'vacherin' - I really could do as well myself). Petits-fours were fine, but not very plentiful. We're not gluttons (we're slim people, actually!) but I'm sorry, for £1,000 for 4 people (with sensible wines, me not drinking), I expect to come out feeling I've really eaten a lot (ie got my money's worth) and extremely lavishly and well, with all sorts of stunning flavours, beautiful plate-fuls of original dishes, awesome breads, mouthwatering petits-fours. I want fireworks. The comparison with the Parisian Ducasse (and with l'Epicure, at the Bristol Hotel in Paris, this Xmas, as well as with other 3-star Michelins, not to mention 2-stars such as Le Manoir) was truly shocking. It felt like barely 1-star Michelin, as if they couldn't be bothered, because most of the clientele was either foreign, or on business, or too British to complain. We would advise people to give this restaurant a wide berth, because we felt fleeced. The only highlight was the absolutely delicious chocolate cake that they made for my daughter, and which we took away. And fortunately, both our children enjoyed the experience, so did not feel let-down. But we will not be recommending this to anyone. Has Ducasse decided to rip-off Les Rosbifs?

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5  Thank Debbie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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