Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester

Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester 10/25/12

Ever since I read Elizabeth Taylor’s biography I have been longing to go to the Dorchester. I had a rather high expectation from Alain Ducasse. Dorchester is a beautiful and classy place to look at. Inside the Alain Ducasse, it was really fancy. In the middle of the dining room, there is cylinder shape of private room. The edge of the room is made of white shining drapes of crystal pieces, with an opening to allow guests go in and out.

I ordered from a la carte menu because I was not in a mood to have the items on the prix fixed lunch menu. The general director is a French and he highly recommended a lobster dish which has been on the menu since the 1st day of this restaurant opened for business. I took his advice and ordered this dish for appetizer.

To start with, I was served with a plate of cheese puffs. They were delicious; I kept munching half of a plate before I realized that I have forgotten to take photo. There were two types of butter served, one is the cow butter and the other is the goat butter. Goat butter is mild flavored. I liked it. Bread is nothing spectacular.
Appetizer - Upon the general director’s recommendation, I ordered "'Sauté' Gaurmand of Lobster with truffled chicken quenelles and home made pasta." It was a picture perfect dish. Things were neatly displayed on the plate. When I started to eat, lobster tasted like rubber without much taste and overcooked. On the contrary, pasta was undercooked. It also did not have much taste. Even though I saw “truffled chicken quenelles” on the menu, there was hardly any truffle taste. I was truly disappointed. I choose Alain Ducasse because it is a Michelin 3-star restaurant. The taste and quality of this dish is worse than a 1-star restaurant’s dish. I was hungry so I grudgingly ate them while I was waiting for any waiter passing by. It took a good ten-minutes of waiting before I could get hold of a waiter. I explained to the waiter about the situation and the waiter called the general director. He was not happy about my comments, but agreed to serve me with a replacement dish. So, I ordered “Dorset CRAB two ways”. This dish came with two styles of preparation, one is salad and the other is foaming broth. I ate salad first before I remembered to take the photo. The taste and quality were good, but nothing outstanding.

Main Course - “Rib and saddle of VENISON Grand –Veneur, pumpkin, beetroot, quince.” Venison was excellent, both rib and saddle were juicy and not with overwhelming gamy taste. Somehow, I felt the taste of venison in Europe is better than what I get from US. This is probably the best dish that I have had at Alain Ducasse. After the main course, I was served with petit four including chocolate covered nuts, 3-flavored macaroon, chocolate truffles and salted caramel candies with passion fruit pulp. The petit fours were good, but nothing spectacular. Nothing has surpassed any of the 3-star restaurants that I have visited in the past.
When I got the bill, I could not believe that they charged me for the replacement dish. I have never been charged with any replacement dish whenever I returned an unsatisfied dish back to the kitchen in a Michelin starred restaurant. I just couldn’t believe they are so petty to charge me half price for a replacement dish. This restaurant definitely has failed to live up to the standard of a Michelin 3-star restaurant.

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