L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon | Hong Kong


This is a review long overdue for one of the finest French restaurants in HK! I was here with some family friends and we were seated in a private room. The decor was opulent and the ambiance was dark with limited lighting. As I had just come back from NYC, I was excited to compare the food at Robuchon to the 3 star Michelin restaurants in NYC. We all had the discovery menu with about 10 courses, starting with:

L'amuse-bouche (3.5/5) - Warm truffle soup served in a shooter glass with a potato fry on top. The smell of truffle was aromatic and the taste was flavorful enough as a starter to wet our appetite. I wasn't sure about the 'french fry' though as it didn't seem to go with the soup. 

Le Caviar Oscietre (4.5/5) - Love the presentation of the caviar here as it was also served with a shell spoon! The caviar itself was slightly salty and as I dig deeper with my spoon, I uncovered a layer of pinkish hue jelly underneath the caviar. The jelly was sweet and offsets the saltiness of the caviar, enabling me to finish it all. One of the best caviar I've had so far. 
Le Crabe (3/5) - Tomato mille-feuille layered with crab meat, avocado, and green apple. This was a cold dish that I wasn't so hot on. The layers just didn't work for me as there were too many ingredients and not a single flavor stood out. 

Le Foie Gras (4.5/5) - Duck foie gras with cherries and fresh almonds. The foie gras was simply garnished with some sauce drizzled on top. It was cooked perfectly as it was slightly crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside. The sauce had a hint of vinegar to offset the fattiness of the liver. One of those dishes where you just close your eyes in delight to savor it. 
L'oursin (4/5) - Sea urchin royale with fennel emulsion. It's foam! Drinking foam is like inhaling air as it was very light. While I enjoyed the texture, I couldn't really taste the sea urchin in this dish. 
Le Black Cod (5/5) - Cod fish fillet with smooth daikon cream and virgin olive oil. One of my favorite dishes of the night! The cod looked like it was seared perfectly as it was golden brown on the surface. The fish was flaky and cooked perfectly while the taste was fresh and sweet. The pairing of the daikon cream with the cod went well together.
La Piece de Boeuf (5/5) - Pan seared Wagyu beef with aromatics. The Wagyu beef was another dish well done! The beef was soft and tender as it melts in your mouth like butter. One of those dishes where it doesn't need a whole lot of garnish or sauce as the ingredient itself was flavorful enough. 

L'agneau (4/5) - Lamb cutlets with fresh thyme. The lambs were small and easy to eat. While it was cooked just right, the flavor and texture were not memorable, and not impressive compared to the other dishes. 

Moving on to desserts (there's 3!): 
La Fraise (4.5/5) - Strawberry and mascarpone cream in spiced syrup with verbena jelly. The presentation was delightful to look at, and the texture was foam-like. The strawberry was appetizing and light enough to cleanse our palate after all the savory food. 

Le Chocolat Tentation (5/5) - Smooth caramel mousse on apple compote with Tahiti ice cream. The dessert arrived looking normal enough in the shape of chocolate ball. As the waiter pours the warm caramel onto the chocolate, the chocolate opens up to reveal the ice cream within! Love food where one can have fun with the experience and anticipation. The taste was amazing as the ice cream was well balanced with the caramel sauce and the chocolate shell so it wasn't too sweet. 

Chocolate cake with Coffee (4/5)  - Finally the last course of our meal to finish off with some coffee. I ordered a latte and it arrived looking perfect with a heart shaped latte art. The coffee was great but I thought the chocolate cake with raspberry sauce was a bit heavy. While I love my sweets, three desserts in one night was a bit too much - even for me. 
Verdict - the dining experience here was superb and I especially love the presentation of the food. I was very impressed with all of their plating as you can tell they have put a lot of thought into how best to present their dishes - not only with the food ingredients itself, but the variety of plates and colors used were carefully thought out. The food pairings worked well in general and the flavors were exquisite. If I have to compare to NYC, I'd have to admit that I was more impressed in NYC as the restaurants there can manage to package an explosion of flavor in a single bite of food, but Robuchon is one of the best dining experiences I've had in HK. The price was not cheap at $1980 per person but you have to judge for yourself whether or not it's worth it. 

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
Shop 401, 4/F, The Landmark, 16 Des Voeux Road Central, Central 
2166 9000


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