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Alain Ducasse

53 Park Lane, London, England, W1A 2HJ, United Kingdom

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Editor's note. In December 2015 it was announced that Jean-Philippe Blondet would take over from Jocelyn Herland as head chef here, the latter moving to Meurice in Paris.

At this meal I was able to experience the “Lumiere” table, which although in the main dining room has a feeling of privacy due to its surrounding curtain of hanging lights. We went for the seven course tasting menu on this occasion. Gougeres were very pleasant indeed, with very godo choux pastry and plenty of cheese flavour, though I would have preferred them to be warm from the oven (17/20). Barbjuans, the little fried spinach and ricotta parcels that are a speciality of sister restaurant Louis XV in Monaco, were served warm and were an excellent nibble (18/20). 

An amuse-bouche of sea urchin from Ireland was rather disappointing: compared to sea urchin in Japan, the texture was less silky and the flavour lacking (15/20). A starter of raw and cooked vegetables with olives and tomato syrup had good tomatoes, but in general the vegetables were not of sufficient quality to carry off the dish. It is one thing serving such a dish in the Mediterranean in the summer, when you have stunning vegetables in the local market, quite another in England in February (16/20).

Lobster with truffled chicken quenelles had nicely cooked shellfish and light quenelles, the seafood sauce having good flavour (18/20). Halibut with winkles, cockles and razor clams had an accurately cooked slab of fish, again with a good sauce, but the shellfish were rather uninspiring (17/20). 

Duck from Burgaud (in the midi-Pyrenees) was cooked pink and had nice flavour, served with beetroots and rounaisse sauce (a  Bordelaise sauce with pureed duck liver). On the side was a little cup with duck royale. This last element was lovely, the foie gras and duck having excellent flavour (18/20).

Exotic fruit dessert was excellent, the fruits of high quality and the syrup carefully balanced (19/20). The mignardise were also very good, such as a delicate grapefruit macaroon. Coffee had good flavour, and service was excellent throughout the meal. The tasting menu that we ate was priced at £125 a head before drinks and service.

Overall this was certainly a good meal, as well it might be at this price point, and given a wine list with aggressive mark-ups even by the demanding standards of Mayfair. However although there were some very good elements, the meal seemed to me slightly less consistent than my last couple of experiences here, and it is certainly a long way from the three stars that Michelin graces it with.

 

 

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Further reviews: 16th Feb 2019 | 25th Nov 2016 | 08th Jun 2012 | 02nd Mar 2010 | 01st Feb 2009 | 01st Nov 2007

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  • Chris Caulfield

    Agree with your last sentence about questioning its 3* status. The final courses on the menu were fantastic but the first few very average. The spring veg bordering on flavourless. It's setting is very grand, but then so is every other restaurant in the hotel so I'm not sure what sets it out above, say The Ledbury. For me its a clear 4th among the UK 3*s and not deserving of a place alongside the other three. But then I'm not an inspector.

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