Michelin-starred French fare in London's luxurious Dorchester
Where? The Dorchester, Park Lane, London, W1K 1QA (0207 629 8866, www.alainducasse-dorchester.com)
Sounds posh? Absolutely. This is special-occasion dining. But is it snobby? Absolutely not. The staff lend a warm welcome, and focus here is on top-notch, seasonal food, not intimidation. It’s French fare at its finest, and didn’t pick up a ‘two Michelin stars – rising three’ this year for no good reason.
Our mouths are watering. So, what’s to start? While I tucked into a generous serving of Artisanal pasta with green asparagus, peas and black truffle (delicious), my boyfriend oohed and aahed over roasted chicken and lobster with sweetbread and creamy juice. Quite honestly, our favourite culinary kick-off to date.
And the main event? The tantalisingly tasty treats just kept coming. Whether you opt for meaty (the fillet of beef and seared foie gras rossini was dubbed ‘awesome’ by my companion – a top accolade in ‘Kiwi’), or for fish, you’d find it hard to be disappointed. My fillet of turbot ‘Matelote’ and potato gnocchi was light in texture and heavy in flavour – perfect.
And to drink, madame? Of course, this was the first question we received when we arrived, and a glass of Champers was the reply. In fact, we stuck to bubbly all evening, sipping on a £95 bottle of Francois Hémart rosé. But if you’re really in the mood to splash the cash – this is the place to do it. A magnum of Cristal for £2000, anyone?
What about the vin? The list is extensive – and cherry-picked. The choicest wines from all corners of France dominate, while a smaller list from across the globe is also available.
The best way to finish this culinary delight? A praliné-chocolate biscuit wih milk/salt flower ice-cream and a coco-caramel delight. Preceded by a magnificent cheese board. Each. And followed by a frenzied-fingered pick from the after-dinner sweet trolley. Yes, we did manage to eat all of that – and we defy you not to when you’re sitting in the same seat.
Extra specials? A mixture of neutral tones, plush carpet and contemporary wall art create a luxurious but comfy atmosphere and, as you enter, you may be treated to the delightful evening’s entertainment in the Dorchester’s sumptuous lobby. This is a tour de force not to be missed.