Feb 11 2013

L'Atelier de Joel Robouchon


L’Atelier de Joel Robouchon together with La Petite Maison are my two favourite French restaurants in London. I always say French food is not my favourite type of Food, but having said that I could survive on meals from these two restaurants. Joël Robouchon behind this restaurant is seriously impressive and he has restaurants in London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong as well as other cities, and has a total of 25 Michelin stars among his restaurants, more than any other chef in the world, and his Paris based restaurant is the 12th best restaurant in the world according to the St Pellegrino awards. L’Atelier de Joel Robouchon used to have 1 Michelin star and they recently were awarded their second one (I think very well deserved). L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon serves French haute cuisine in a stylised environment and L'Atelier translates to "work shop" and to create this atmosphere many of the seats are arranged to overlook the meal preparation in the kitchen (I was sitting exactly like this in the London restaurant overlooking the chefs cutting and preparing the dishes with the most amazing precision).

I went to L’Atelier de Joel Robouchon on a Monday evening with my friend Rob (Mondays are the new Fridays! You can always get a table in any restaurant and eating early, which I love, is acceptable). I booked the restaurant one day in advance for Monday at 7.00 and when we arrived the restaurant was full (by the time we had finished it was half empty just proving my point that people like to eat early on a Monday). You can sit on 3 levels in the restaurant and I prefer the ground floor and out of 3 times I have been there, 2 I have sat on the ground floor, as it feels more casual which I prefer. You can either have a tasting menu called “menu decouverte” which is one of the most expensive tasting menus in London for £129 or you can order a la carte small and larger plates to share and each plate is not cheap, £15/20 on average and you will need around 3 per person to have a nice meal out of these. Rob and I both love food and our taste is quite similar so we ordered a few small dishes to share. First arrived the “‘Iberian’ ham served with toasted tomato bread”. The Iberian ham was excellent, just like the one you would get in good Spanish restaurants, but what really stood out was the perfect, just like a piece of art, tomatoe bread. Each tomatoe was the same size and they were perfectly arranged on the bread with a little basil leaf on top. Great start to a great meal. Next came the “Heart of Lettuce and tuna with marinated vegetables”, another total piece of art with so many different things perfectly aligned and placed on top of each other. When you see the dishes here you think they look so amazing you almost don’t want to eat them. Once again I can’t fault the taste at all, delicious.  Rob chose the next dish “Artichoke and foie gras salad with parmesan shaving and truffle”, everything I said before applies, perfect skill in creating it to look so good and absolutely delicious. The “Langoustine ravioli with Savoy cabbage and foie gras sauce” had incredibly soft pasta and lovely filling and the chicken broth with mushrooms had a wonderful flavoursome broth and it seemed like every leaf was perfectly placed to create another stunning dish. The attention to the tiniest detail in this restaurant is remarkable. The “Black cod with daikon and yuzu mousseline” was tender and tasty and I loved the mashed potatoes that came with the “Milk fed lamb cutlets from Pyrénées with fresh thyme”. The mashed potatoe is seriously the best Mash potatoe in London and the lamb cutlets were tender and tasty. After the meal we did not want any desert but we did order a selection of sorbets, which included a chocolate, peppermint and the most amazing parsley type of sorbet, which was strange tasting as it had flavours you would not expect in a sorbet but lovely.

Every dish is a piece of art in L’Atelier de Joel Robouchon with so much effort and skill put into it, and whilst in a lot of other restaurants whilst the presentation is good the food is not that tasty,  in L’Atelier de Joel Robouchon every dish is incredibly delicious. The food is just consistent and good and there are no surprises there, no ingredients that will make you raise our eyebrows, no strange combinations, just delicious food. So you will not go to Joel Robouchon and see something that surprises you or shocks like you can get in some other restaurants, but you will have a wonderful meal.

Date: 11/02/13
Location: Covent Garden
Price for 2 people with a few glasses of wine: £258.21

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L'Atelier de Joel Robouchon
13-15 West Street WC2H 9NE
United Kingdom
L'Atelier de Joel Robouchon Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 5