UK- Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester- ✪✪✪

 The Dorchester Hotel Lobby

The Dorchester Hotel Lobby

LONDON, UK

SERVICE: 7.5/10

FOOD: 8.5/10

PRICE PAID: $280 PP (LIST PRICE- PRE-CHALLENGE)

VALUE/MONEY: 8.5/10

FINAL SCORE: 8.0/10

 Jocelyn Herland

Jocelyn Herland

Located in London Mayfair right near the Marble Arch in the beautiful (if a bit overdone) Hotel D0rchester is Alain Ducasse's UK flagship restaurant. Headed up by chef Jocelyn Herland, this is only one of 27 restaurants in the Ducasse empire. It has held its third star since 2010; an impressive record after opening only in 2007. 

Herland previously ran La Plaza Athénée in Paris, and was hand-picked to run Ducasse's London headquarters.  

A few quick notes about the interior- sited in the already gorgeous Dorchester hotel, the restaurant itself is full of natural, understated colors and a few design flairs. A fiber-optic-lit machination called La Table Lumière sits in the corner (I happened to be seated right next to it) for those wishing for a more secluded experience. During my meal, a toweringly obnoxious couple from California dined with their little girl who kept throwing her caviar and seafood whilst requesting chicken nuggets. At certain points, I couldn't blame her.

 

 La Table Lumière

La Table Lumière


 The Dorchester Lobby- just stunning

The Dorchester Lobby- just stunning

 First Bites: Cheese snacks, 7/10

First Bites: Cheese snacks, 7/10

Our first bites were an enormous pile of cheese snacks. Hollow spheres of breaded cheese- what an interesting start to a meal- and I'm not kidding when I say it was, like, two pounds of snacks. 7/10.

 Salted + Unsalted Butters

Salted + Unsalted Butters

 1st Course: Lobster + Asparagus, 8/10

1st Course: Lobster + Asparagus, 8/10

First course is a beautiful, thoughtful presentation of lobster with raw and cooked asparagus. Sauce is awesome. Lobster is perfectly cooked and fresh. 8/10.

 2nd Course: Foie Gras + Peach, 9/10

2nd Course: Foie Gras + Peach, 9/10

Next, we had some duck foie gras stuffed with peach. Foie is almost refreshingly light. 9/10.

 3rd Course: Langoustine + Ravioli, 10/10

3rd Course: Langoustine + Ravioli, 10/10

Thirdly, some Scottish langoustine served with squid ink ravioli. Soft and rich. The broth ties things together perfectly with flavors of green mango and lemongrass, what an exceptional and memorable dish. 10/10. 

 4th Course: Turbot + Clams, 8/10

4th Course: Turbot + Clams, 8/10

Next, a generous cube of turbot with clams and beans. The beans are a nice textural partner to both. 8/10.

 5th Course: Beef, 7/10

5th Course: Beef, 7/10

The only mild disappointment of the evening was, unfortunately, the main. This beef was overcooked and not well matched in its black olive jus. 7/10.

 6th Course: Cheese, 9/10

6th Course: Cheese, 9/10

Some excellent Comté Garde Exceptionnelle from 2012. 9/10.

 7th Course: Macarons, 9/10

7th Course: Macarons, 9/10

Ducasse must enjoy the looks on his patrons' faces when staff members come by and dump enormous quantities of baked goods on their table. These macarons and chocolate are excellent, but once again: there are a shitload of them. 9/10

 8th Course: Chocolate + Ganache, 8/10

8th Course: Chocolate + Ganache, 8/10

Surprisingly similar to Milky Way bars; the chocolate and ganache dessert is another pleasing contribution to the finish. 8/10.

 9th Course: Mignardises + Gourmandises

9th Course: Mignardises + Gourmandises