Believe it or not, being a fan of chef Alain Ducasse, Louis XV is the only reason that brought me to Monaco. I appreciate his respect for the ingredient’s original flavour, and also his ability to maintain a reasonably high standard for the many restaurants he runs around the world. To a certain extent he feels more like a successful entrepreneur – at least he made it to the top 100 most influential people in the world ranked by Forbes.
Even before that, Ducasse was already a miracle in the Michelin red book. Louis XV earned him his first three Michelin star rating, and he was only 33.
I have always wanted to know how Ducasse achieved his legendary status through Louis XV, so I had very high expectations as I walked into the restaurant. Previously I have visited Ducasse’s restaurants in London, Japan and Hong Kong – and now in Monaco, I was hoping for an experience that would blow me away.
I had the 25h Anniversary menu. The food was absolutely great, prepared in Ducasse’s signature style. His garden-fresh vegetables is of course one of the highlight. The quality came somehow within my high expectations, but not too many surprises. But no doubt it is still the best Ducasse restaurant that I have been to.
The trip to France is mainly meant for me to better understand how a three star restaurant in Hong Kong would differ from similarly rated ones in France, and also to gauge for myself the difference between the often criticised Hong Kong Michelin standard which is said to be incomparable to the ‘French standards’.
And here’s part of the answer – the proximity to the local food source could make all the difference. Louis XV sourced their food from small villages in Italy, just some kilometers away from the restaurant. Alain Ducasse is very strict in getting local ingredients for his restaurants. ‘Local, local, local only,’ I still vividly remembered how Ducasse stressed the importance of using locally grown food when I last met him. Unfortunately, it’s too unlikely to find decent local ingredients in Hong Kong – almost everything is imported. There is diversity, but perhaps not the best in terms of quality.
Address: Hôtel de Paris, Place du Casino, 9800 Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Tel: +377 98 06 88 64
Opening: 12:15 – 1:45pm, 8 – 9:45pm, Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday
Visited on:9 August, 2012
Price: €280 for 25th Anniversary Menu
Great selection for old vintage wines, marked up 3 times above prevailing market price
Wine by glass: Champagne €18-34, Blanc €20(Bourgogne Blanc)-300(Pape Clement Blanc 1999), Rouge €25(Bordeaux red)-1800(Petrus 1993)