Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, London

As of 2015, there were 2 restaurants in London awarded with 3 Michelin Stars. One of them is Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, which is infamous for being extremely hard to book. The other is Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, which I perceived to allow more flexibility for those with tight schedule like me. I was so lucky to be able to secure a table with only one-week advance booking.

Alain Ducasse is one of the most influential chefs in the modern-day haute cuisine. In 2005, he was the first one who owned 3 restaurants with 3 Michelin Stars in 3 cities: Monte Carlo, Paris, and New York (which was closed in 2006). Following the closure of his New York restaurant, he opened this restaurant in London and subsequently owned 3 restaurants with 3 Michelin Stars in 3 cities once again.

As you walk into the restaurant, you will be treated with dignified service. I was a bit surprised I was not the only one dining alone. There were also a few people who came to relish the food on their own.

There were a couple set menus to choose from, or you can also order a-la-carte. I decided to go for the classic 7-course tasting menu.

img_1810
The famous fibre-optic room, which allows guests sitting inside to see outside, but hiding them from outsiders’ eye
  1. Dorset CRAB, avocado and caviar
  2. Preserved DUCK FOIE GRAS, white and black grapes
  3. ‘Sauté gourmand’ of LOBSTER and truffled chicken quenelles
  4. Hand-dived SEA SCALLOP, pumpkin and hazelnut
  5. Saddle of VENISON Grand Veneur, celeriac
  6. Assortment of four FRENCH CHEESES
  7. EXOTIC FRUIT complementary vacherin

Everything sounds so tempting and decadent, doesn’t it? But I can reassure you that the actual stuff is way better than it sounds!

img_1794.jpgI was welcomed with this cornucopia of parmesan choux pastries which totally blew me away with its flavour, aroma, and, above all, ethereal texture. I could hardly control myself and devoured them all, which would later proved to be an unwise act!

Then six kinds of bread were served at the table. I aimed to try them all. The bread came with 2 types of butters: the traditional one and the one whipped with cream cheese. (Please don’t get me wrong. I didn’t have all these 6 pieces of bread altogether at the same time!)

The Jewel of the Crown of this meal is the ‘sauté gourmand’ of lobster and truffled chicken quenelles. The sauce burst in my mouth with complexity of flavours. Often when we taste something delicious, it only tasted good at first and became less exciting. However, I still have a crystal-clear memory of the feeling when I tasted this. I felt that I didn’t want to finish this item as it was so good.

After the savoury courses, I almost got full and only expected a small plate of cheese and dessert. But look at what I got…

img_1817I didn’t manage to finish all the cheeses, not only because the blue cheese was too pungent for me, but also because I was literally stuffed. And what’s more… between cheese and dessert, chocolates and macarons were also served.

Luckily, the vacherin was citrusy and refreshing. Real disaster took place when a lovely lady came to my table with a trolley full of mignardises, all of which looked ruthlessly fantastic. I truly had a hard time making up my mind. Eventually, I chose an orange zest financier, a chocolate religieuse, and a canelé. No doubt all of them were divine. What a shame I couldn’t finish them. At the end of the meal, I was given a bag of small candies.

This is one of the biggest meal I’ve ever had, both in terms of quantity and quality. All of the foods were truly exceptional, not to mention the friendly and impeccable service. I got home, feeling as if I were an overflow balloon. The fabulous parmesan choux pastries at the beginning of the meal were obviously the culprit!

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