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Ducasse to open at the Dorchester


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Had lunch here today - total disapointment, the menu faineld on pretty much every level.  I will write more later once I have my thoughts together.  The one upshot was that the Maitre d' was so embarassed that he insisted on comp'ing everything and commented that he agreed with pretty much all the negative comments we had.

Has anyone here been yet?

Or is everyone bailing out on the basis of the reviews?

Thanks, Andy, I think I missed that.

I am going on Thursday...

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Good call Matthew - I really think it will improve in time (it will have to!), but on the basis of my meal the other week and subsequent reviews it is clearly missing the mark by some distance!

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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Won't some brave soldier go in there and take one for the team?

Or is this some version of the Asch conformity tests?

I read the Doug Psaltis book and am surprised the standards are supposed to be so bad

or is it me just feeling guilty about cancelling on them

who cares, think i'll bail next week

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bit stupid everyone cancelling on the nebulous say so of others.

surely the point is to see for yourself, after all how much consensus is there on other high end places? other than Mark Palmer = special :raz::laugh:

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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i think that one of the great advantages of this website is that you can benefit from the experience of others. Thias would be one of the most expensive meals in london and across the board the evidence suggests that it isn't quite up to the mark. if i had a table booked i certainly would have cancelled but then i wasn't that interested after my far from perfect meal in monaco.

Matt Christmas.

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Let's talk tax. How usual is it for a restaurant in the UK not to include VAT on their menu prices? I'm reasonably sure that 9 times out of ten (or more), I only ever pay service on top of the menu prices. Anyway, at Ducasse, you pay tax too. So, in real money, £75 for 3 courses is actually £88. That is pretty pricey...

Putting that aside, I don’t think Ducasse has received such a panning because the food is rubbish, it’s simply a bit disappointing against the background of all the hype. I have little to add to all the current opinion in the public domain, except to say that technically the cooking was good. I had the chestnut veloute, then the pigeon then the coco caramel. They were all tasty and well-executed, but it was the standard I’d expect in a one star restaurant, not one with a multi 3 star heritage.

So, there were no disasters. Service was good and the food was fine. But I’m not convinced that all the people that have cancelled their bookings will have an altogether different experience a few months down the line...

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Let's talk tax. How usual is it for a restaurant in the UK not to include VAT on their menu prices? I'm reasonably sure that 9 times out of ten (or more), I only ever pay service on top of the menu prices. Anyway, at Ducasse, you pay tax too. So, in real money, £75 for 3 courses is actually £88. That is pretty pricey...

That just takes the piss. I don't know of anywhere else that doesn't include tax with the menu prices.

So glad I cancelled.

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I went last night with a few fellow food-obsessives.

The food is quite traditional; the plating is good, but conventional: nothing had a wow factor (but I don't care about that). A couple of service errors that were handled well (to be expected I guess in a new restaurant).

We ate a la carte; I had

langoustines with a truffled parmentier jus. Good quality langoustine, cooked all the way through, not just seized. Good truffle flavour.

Scallops with ponzu sauce; misconceived overly fruity sauce, nothing to do with ponzu; 3 large, high quality scallops, good crust on the top, again cooked properly. Disappointing.

Chicken breast with Albufera sauce plus some stellar white truffles over the top. Mine was good; the other two people at my table having this dish sent it back as it was slightly overcooked. Some better replacements came back rapidly. Some poached vegetables and little quenelles; the sauce had a very good foie gras flavour, but the chicken was a bit overpowered. It was basically just there for the sauce to rest on. Really good truffles, but a mean portion (they are v expensive this year).

Baba with rhum; delicious, great presentation. But it would be better if it had time to soak in the rum rather than having it poured over at the last minute.

A good, overpriced French wine list; we had some good wines, though we weren't massively impressed with the sommelier's expertise.

So probably 1.5-star food with 3-star trimmings; I had a great time, but from a pure food point of view it needs some work.

Definitely don't go if you value innovation and snazzy presentation very highly, or if you are very budget conscious as it is overpriced, I felt, relative to other fancy French places in London.

But there aren't that many places serving this sort of more traditional haute cuisine with very complex sauces in London, so I will probably go back; but not very soon.

I agree with Mr Monkey above; I don't think the food is going to change much. They should ditch the scallop dish or change the sauce; maybe use a Bresse chicken in the Albufera sauce dish.

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Let's talk tax. How usual is it for a restaurant in the UK not to include VAT on their menu prices? I'm reasonably sure that 9 times out of ten (or more), I only ever pay service on top of the menu prices. Anyway, at Ducasse, you pay tax too. So, in real money, £75 for 3 courses is actually £88. That is pretty pricey...

That just takes the piss. I don't know of anywhere else that doesn't include tax with the menu prices.

So glad I cancelled.

You are legally obliged to quote prices with VAT on in restaurants.

"2.2.7 All price indications you give to private consumers, by whatever means, should include VAT."

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i have never heard of any restaurant quoting prices ex-vat, the only industry i can think of that routinely does this is the service departments in the motor trade.

definitely taking the piss, though i have some sympathy as when when punters are complaining about prices, as they invariably do, very few realise that nearly 20% isn't heading into the pockets of the restaurant it is heading to the taxman.

you don't win friends with salad

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Brilliant!!!

Sod the sauce, bugger the albufera, stuff your coco - lets dob the upstart French buggers in to the Revenue

:) :) :)

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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Timeout have just reviewed it:

http://www.timeout.com/london/restaurants/reviews/11766.html

They didn't seem particularly impressed with the food, but what caught my eye was a £24 glass of champagne that was offered on arrival, and they presumed was free. Perhaps a bit naive to assume it was totally complimentary, but £24 for house champagne is, again, a piss-take. Even the stuff served at Claridges isn't much over £10.

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they hit us with the champagne in monaco the wife had a glass of pink 87 euros 4 years ago. she was almost an ex wife.

Happened to me at Ducasse Paris 10 years ago!!

Could only afford a half bottle of white to go with our lunch- MY GOD they were the smallest sips of wine I've ever taken stretched over 3 1/2 hours!!!! :biggrin:

Edited to say: Forgot to say I had the Rum Baba 10 years ago- fantastic, especially as they wheeled over a trolley of vintage Rums to choose from!!!!! :wacko:

Edited by erica graham (log)

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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