Whoever thinks five-course meals can only be enjoyed in the evening needs to go for lunch at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Ignore the fact that you will doubtlessly fall into a deep food coma post-lunch because dining at this three Michelin-starred French resto is more than worth it.
The restaurant is split into three sections: L’Atelier, where diners eat around an open kitchen; Le Jardin, a beautiful dining room; and The Terrace, which is exactly what it says on the tin. Jaime and I ate in L’Atelier, a gorgeous space decorated with red velvet and dark wood, giving it an elegant and chic look. From wherever you’re seated, you can watch the skilled chefs, led by executive chef Olivier Elzer, prepare your meal with utter passion and precision.
At Robuchon, they have thought of every little detail – even the bread basket seriously impressed me! Provided you ask them in advance, they can also make some incredible gluten-free bread. I was almost full from the delicious bread and lobster amuse bouche before the real meal started!
Moving onto the starters, the Maine lobster salad was just perfect. Each morsel of lobster was wonderfully meaty, complemented by the variety of other textures at play – creamy avocado coulis, soft tofu, crisp lettuce and buttery fresh avocado. I was in lobster heaven.
The foie gras was equally divine and so amazingly smooth. Paired with lemon foam and lemon marmalade, one bite of this made you want to close your eyes and revel in the moment.
We decided against the cauliflower soup and instead tried the chicken broth. I would not necessarily call this a broth, as it was thick and creamy, but I would most definitely call it delicious. Not only was there an amazing Parmesan crisp topped with black truffle above the soup, but even more black truffle surprises lay in the depths of the broth too.
Moving on to the seafood course, the grilled sea bass with Parmesan cheese foam, artichoke puree and Wagyu beef crisps was heavenly. I’m not normally impressed with ‘foam’ in dishes, but this really wowed us and truly brought out the delicate flavours of the fish.
Even better, however, were the pan-seared scallops with ginger and fregola pasta. The scallops were cooked to bouncy perfection, contrasting wonderfully with the nutty, almost couscous-esque fregola pasta.
Turkey is something I usually reserve for Christmas; it’s not the most exciting of meats and can often be dry. However, this turkey stuffed with foie gras, served with chestnuts, pancetta and black truffle was far from dull!
The winning dish for me was the rack of lamb – perfectly tender and pink with a delicious herb crust and of course, more black truffle. Both dishes were served with a bowl of the creamiest, most incredible mashed potato you ever will taste. Mix in the black truffle and you will want for nothing more.
There was somehow still space for dessert, both of which we gobbled up within seconds, ignoring how full we were! La Citronelle, a beautiful medley of lemongrass ice cream with citrus fruits, lemon cream and cassis coulis was refreshing and light, the perfect end to a super rich meal.
Le Chocolat Tentation was the opposite of light… but I’m not complaining! Chocolate cream, topped with chocolate cookies, chocolate ice cream and dark chocolate – this is any chocolate lover’s dream.
A five-course meal at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon will set you back $688. Granted it’s not a cheap lunch, but for an excellent three Michelin-starred world-famous restaurant with superior service and quality food, I actually don’t think it’s too unreasonable. There are also three-course and four-course options, but trust me, you’ll want to eat as much of the menu as you can possibly manage. Just make sure you save a tiny corner of stomach space for the petits fours!
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Shop 401, 4/F, The Landmark, 16 Des Voeux Road Central Central
2166 9000 www.robuchon.hk
Check out more from Ale on her fab blog, The Dim Sum Diaries!