What is the logical next step for a chef and restaurateur who has dominated the culinary scene in, arguably, the most culinary destination in the world? A river boat, that’s what.
Ducasse sur Seine sits on the famous Parisian river directly below the Eiffel Tower and is unlike any river boat restaurant you may have been on before. It’s powered 100% by electricity, the food, from legendary French chef Alain Ducasse, is of Michelin star quality and there’s a swanky dining room to match.
On our visit, the water is too high to take the usual down to Notre Dame and back again route. It really doesn’t matter though. Instead, we gently chug in the opposite direction taking in all the beauty Paris has to offer.
Our menu (four courses with matching wines at €250 per person) starts with chunks of cured salmon, mini baguettes with proper French butter and ‘Paris mushroom Royal’, which is a set mushroom custard; oh hello umami, you lovely thing.
‘Délicat velouté de brocoli’ is a comforting bowl of broccoli soup. But we’re in France and this is Alain Ducasse, so it’s covered in shaved black truffle. The velouté is a vibrant green with a rich depth of flavour and frothy, light texture. It’s marvellous.
The joy of this menu is it bounces from dainty: little mounds of crab meat with radish and grapefruit, to hearty: a pressée of guinea fowl and duck foie gras. The menu stays seasonal, too, with cookpot of pearl barley and vegetables with black garlic, which proves filling even without some meat.
Confit veal is a mighty fine chunk of soft, squishy meat covered in a liquid blanket of veal jus, all sweet and sticky. The quality of the veal is outstanding. Plump, sweet, seared scallops are balanced beautifully with sharp chicory and charred orange segments.
Desserts are a real treat; pineapple, coconut and green cardamom and ‘Paris chocolate delight’ with crispy praline. The latter is shaped like the boat and blends sweet and bitter chocolate so perfectly I go all warm and fuzzy inside. A glass of 2008 Sauternes slips down particularly well.
Our visit to Paris is for one night only and a trip aboard Ducasse sur Seine really makes the most of our time. To mosey along this iconic river, eating food like that while admiring the beauty Paris has in droves, is quite a special thing.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant