So... I am lucky enough to have eaten in the three three star restaurants in the country, albeit for lunch, prior to this year and thought it best I 'tick off' the newest addition to the prestigious list.
Six of us arrived at the Dorchester with varying degrees of hope based on the mixed reviews the restaurant had received; but our mind was open and our hunger helped by some rather good coffees at Tapped and Packed (Rathbone Place) before arrival.
First thoughts: it was difficult to get past the money that this place has, a Murcielago and a 595 parked outside set the scene, and the half term oriented Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea in the central dining room!
Having straightened my tie and asked the mad hatter to kindly let me pass we made our way into the Ducasse eating area. The room is spacious and allowed us plenty of room to enjoy our oncoming lunch.
It all started with a tall tower of good, but not great gouje, could have been a little warmer and cheesier for my liking, but not a bad way to start and a very nice Riesling (£45).
Choosing to continue our theme of three star eating we ate off the set lunch, with it offering wine, water and coffee as part of its deal (a la Gavroche).
The amuse bouche of broccoli mousse with raw veg was nice but a little lacking, good veg flavour but missing a dimension, accompanying bread was good, but a little cooler than I personally like my restaurant bread to be served, butter was good mind.
Starter of quail egg and brandade was nice, others of crab and coral were also pleasant however lacked any zing.
A main of chicken with foie gras was tasty but feel i have tasted better chiken at home and although the breast was moist the skin was soft and a 'flappy', accompanying potatoes still had skin on and were not better for it, the jus however was excellent. Others mains of fish with a nut crust was tasty and left me a little jealous I didn't go down that route.
Desserts were chosen and prior to their arrival the petits fours delivered, something I found a little strange, I would rather they accompanied my coffee post dessert. That aside desserts were again nice but nothing special, the petits fours however were excellent, very good salt caramel and nougat, servings were generous to a tee.
The wine was good, the bourgogne particularly nice, however the not remembering of who was drinking what and the failure to deliver our water until the mains were almost finished was a little vexing.
All in all the meal was solid, probably a 7/10 based on GFG scoring system, however the lack of real 'wow' in any course and the relatively lacking service did make me wonder the starring sytem in this country.
Bargains aside this was by no means a three star feed, two at a push and certainly left us all a little underwhelmed.