Another week, another trilogy realised: I have now eaten at all of the Dorchester Hotel’s three restaurants. China Tang was long ago now and, bar maybe the best egg-fried rice I have ever had, was rather forgettable. Widely derided Alain Ducasse was a disappointment; here, again only one dish – Filets de sole à la florentine, crevettes et champignons de Paris, sauce Château Chalon – shone (very brightly), whilst desserts I thought terrible and I did try three.
Already, automatically almost, I am inclined to favour the Grill. This is solely because it is the common casualty of some uncalled-for criticism from celebrated critic, AA Gill. Together with a favourite of mine, l’Ambassade de l’Ile, the Grill was awarded a single star (out of five) by this aforesaid assessor. Do not misunderstand – I do not mind if my judgment differs from his, but I do think that, after describing dishes as ‘utterly brilliant, deliciously flavoured’ and all the cooking as ‘craftsmanlike, considered and thoughtful,’ giving it only one star essentially because he did not like the décor, is just misrepresentative. I will describe the Grill’s design in more detail later, but for now, let us just say Mr. Gill liked it even less than l’Ambassade’s.