Mar 5 2013

L'Atelier de Joel Robouchon


I have already reviewed the London L’Atelier de Joel Robouchon which just like the Paris one has 2 Michelin stars and is owned by the same man, Mr Joel Robouchon, so to get more information about his restaurants “L’Atelier de Joel Robouchon” you should the London review. I think the food is extremely good and almost the same in both restaurants (if you like a dish in 1 L’Atelier you are almost certain to find this dish in another one), but out of both experiences, I prefer the London one, which I gave 5Ms and the Paris one 4.5Ms. There are 2 “L’Atelier de Joel Robouchon” restaurants in Paris, one closer to the L’Etoile or the Arc de Triomphe, and the other one south of the river (or the left side of Seine as the locals say) in the 7th district, and this is the flagship restaurant of Joel Robouchon and the one that is listed as the 24th best restaurant in the world in the San Pellegrino restaurant awards. I think they selected this Joel Robouchon to be in the top 100 list because this is the flagship one, even though as I said the food is almost the same as in the London restaurant and I actually preferred the London one and think it should score higher.

The London L’Atelier you can book a table for any time you want, but in the Paris one you could only book for a 6.30 seating and then if you want to have a table later you can just show up and do a walk in and hope to be lucky and get a table. When we left after our dinner at around 9 there were people arriving just like this for a walk in and they managed to get a table and I did not really see a big queue outside, so based on that I think it is quite easy to get a table without booking if you come later. The interior is exactly the same as in the London restaurant with their signature high red chairs overlooking the kitchen. However here again I almost prefer the London restaurant as in London you also have some tables that are not by the bar in case you want to be a bit more separate and some of the seats in the Paris restaurant, like the one where we were seated at are actually quite far away from the action so I could not see any cooking. My dinner buddy was slightly late and during this time I managed to finish a Bloody Mary and it definitely was not as nice as the London one, as the London one was very pale in colour and you could tell they had not used the skin of the tomato to create a better Bloody Mary, and the Paris one was just a regular Bloody Mary. The thing that I noticed at this point and which my dinner buddy also later commented on was the awful cheap pop music in the background which really did not suit this type of restaurant, and which I found very strange.

When I was ready to order the other thing that I found very strange was that the waiters did not listen to me and were chatting among themselves and I actually had to wait for them to stop talking to each other and start paying attention to me. I expected great serving in this type of restaurant and this was a bit strange. The waiter in general was extremely chatty and a bit unprofessional trying to say words that he knew in Russian to me all the time. When he finally brought us the bread basket it had exactly the same bread (which I very much liked) as the London restaurant. Just like last time at L’Atelier, my dinner buddy and I chose to order small plates and then just share them among ourselves and not go for the tasting menu, which was EUR199 in Paris, so almost £40 more expensive than the London one (at £129) if you adjust for the current £/EUR exchange rate. When we were given the menu the waiter also told us the specials for the evening, which included sea bream carpaccio, asparagus (they said the season started 10 days ago so they had fresh asparagus), fois gras in a beef consume as well as spaghetti with black truffle. We wanted to order all these specials but when they told me the spaghetti cost EUR100 I quickly told the waiter I thought that was too much so we decided to leave this dish out and have all the other specials they had. I even thought the asparagus at EUR55 was quit a lot for a vegetable but in the end we did order this. We also chose some other dishes gyoza in a broth, St Jacques scallops on a bed of black truffle pasta as well as lobster ravioli with truffle steamed kale. All the food was superb and there is nothing at all to fault in the food and if I was only judging the food on my table this restaurant would have scored 5Ms. The sea bream carpaccio was incredible, very think and flavoursome. The gyoza was also delicious and the broth it was in was very tasty. My dinner buddy really liked the scallops (I thought they were good but not my favourite dish here). The fois gras was super soft and I thought it was a bit strange in the broth, so this is my least favourite dish in L’Atelier, but still very good. The expensive asparagus that were served with melted butter were incredible, I am still very puzzled how they made something so simple taste so wonderful. The quality was obvious and it tasted delicious. The lobster ravioli, that I also ate in the London L’Atelier de Joel Robouchon, were superb as well, I loved this dish in London and I loved it in Paris as well. We finished our meal with a lovely and tasty plate of cheese and toasted bread with raisins.

The food is the same but superb, top class, 5M, each dish is an absolute piece of art in both Paris and London restaurants but my overall experience was much more pleasant in the London restaurant, hence it gets a slightly higher ranking, but still if you want amazing food and to impress somebody (I personally this place is great for a date if it is within your budget) do go to the Paris L’Atelier, but don’t expect the flagship restaurant to be better than the other ones. 

Date: 05/03/13
Price for 2 people with a bottle of wine and 2 more drinks: EUR395
Location: Paris

Maija rated: 



L'Atelier de Joel Robouchon
5 Rue Montalembert, 75007
L'Atelier de Joel Robouchon Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4.5