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Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, LONDON, W1K 1QA

4 rosettes

At first blush, the Ducasse dining room at The Dorchester looks like one of those anonymised spaces, where all the effort and expense has gone into making the place look like nowhere in particular, a feeling that seems to suit an international superchef franchise. In London, you get a room done in an almost indefinable shade of watery green, with views through one-way glass of the Park Lane traffic. Staff, on the other hand, dazzle with their sartorial precision and professionalism, even if not always with their English. They are fully conversant with the menu, and the wine team inspires sound confidence. It's fair to say that Jocelyn Herland has eased himself into the rhythm here over the past several years. There were early reports of food that was rather humdrum for haute cuisine, the lunch menus in particular strangely unambitious, but of late there are signs that the kitchen is beginning to take wing, often with some of the same dishes that appeared less than scintillating before. Main courses to write home about include the brilliant sea bass (a dish created to mark the silver anniversary of Ducasse's arrival at the Louis XV in Monte Carlo, we're told). It's a handsomely silver-suited piece of impeccable fish, with a line of crumbled olive on top, accompanied by baby artichokes and garlic croquettes, an explosion of flavours. No less astonishing is the famous Limousin veal, butter-tender and pale as Keats, sauced with a moreish rich veal stock crowded with girolles and wafer-thin slices of culatello ham, the softness of texture offset by the crunch of fresh almonds. There's daring in the simplicity of these dishes, but genuine impact too. That seems just a touch less applicable to first courses such as the bundles of seasonal veg - cooked and crudités - garnished with Taggiasca olives and light tomato syrup, or the two-way serving of fine Dorset crab, a bowl of white meat seasoned with lemon and paprika, a bowl of brown with crab jelly and a row of julienned vegetables sitting in it. The quality isn't in question, but the point is being forcefully made that not all contemporary cuisine is about technical ingenuity. Desserts are as classical as rum baba doused in your choice of six rums, or a raspberry soufflé puffed up like a Lord High Chancellor, attended by vividly colourful raspberry sorbet.

Further information

Tel: 020 7629 8866
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Open/closed

Days closed: Sun-Mon
Dates closed: 1-7 Jan, 18-21 Apr, 26-30 Dec
Days closed for lunch: Sat

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Contemporary, Modern French
Chef: Jocelyn Herland, Angelo Ercolano, Jean Philippe Blondet
Number of seats: 82
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Disabled toilets.
Vegetarian meals available.
No children under 10 yrs.
Parking available.

 

Restaurant price guide

2 Course lunch from: £65.00
3 Course lunch from: £55.00
3 Course dinner from: £90.00
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.

 
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Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch

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