[Hong Kong] L'atelier de Joel Robuchon - Opulence Over Substance

Rating: ❤❤❤

My first visit to L'atelier de Joel Robuchon was about 5 years ago when I first came back to Hong Kong and I remembered that I was impressed with the dining experience back then so when our family decided to do a CNY gathering at Robuchon, I was excited to be back because I wanted to know what I'd think of this classic 3* French restaurant now after years of eating and traveling around the world! Unfortunately it was one of those corny love story where you meet "the one who got away" years later and realized that he/she had turned into some fat middle-aged bloke. Okay it wasn't that bad but for the price, we thought that the food was not that creative in general and although we were served a lot of premium ingredients like caviar, foie gras and truffle, it just felt lazy and an excuse for them to justify the high price tags on their menu. There were also some really tacky plastic decorations on our plates that looked cheap and out of place for a 3* establishment - I mean if you want to change up your plates, either get new ones or just leave it as is. For a meal that cost HK$2,080 per person, the restaurant did not offer a dining experience that justifies the price especially when there are better options out there, but I guess it is a place that you can depend on to deliver a solid fine dining meal in HK most of the time which is why a lot of my friends come here with family because they know that it is safe and reliable. 

We actually sat in the same private dining room as last time and were served the famous bread basket with many different types of bread along with regular and salted butter. I quite liked the bread here actually and was glad that we got to take the rest away so we can finish devouring these at home. 

Our amuse bouche with black beans and chili pepper. 

I was impressed with the elaborate plating of the LE CAVIAR IMPERIAL with Sologne Imperial caviar, crab meat, lobster consomme gelee and cauliflower cream, but the dish was a bit salty as the flavors of the caviar wasn't balanced out while the crab meat could have been fresher. And then there were these 2 stickers placed on the upper left hand corner on the plate that left us puzzled as I mentioned before but these weren't the most offensive yet. 

LA TRUFFE NOIRE with soft boiled egg on golden pearl rice with black truffle and parmesan shavings.

I love foie gras but the LE FOIE GRAS with pan-fried duck foie gras with mango, coriander and crispy peanut chips was not well-executed as it felt very fatty and could have used more acidity in the dish to balance the fattiness. 

LA CHATAIGNE with smooth chestnut veloute with Jerusalem artichoke cream and black truffle. More truffle and again there was a laminated sticker with pictures of leafs stuck onto the plate beneath our bowl that looked totally tacky and completely unnecessary. 

LA CREVETTE "KURUMA" with roasted kuruma prawn served with homemade pasta and pepper jus. The prawn was a bit overcooked and guess what - truffle again! 

LE BŒUF with pan-seared Japanese A3 Wagyu and aromatic arugula salad. You have the option to upgrade to an A5 Wagyu with a supplement of $250 but the A3 was already really fatty (almost too fatty) - I'd prefer Wagyu that is a little more balanced. 

The other main course choice besides the Wagyu was the LA CAILLE with free-range quail and foie gras and served with mashed potato. I'm not even going to point out the truffle (oh wait I just did!). 

I loved the presentation of the LE RUBY though with Cassis “Dome”, red fruits coulis and pear jelly - I'd take a edible rose over a real one any day!

The final dessert LA TUILE with chestnut mousse and crispy coffee tuile with refreshing lime ice cream was surprisingly well-executed as the textures and flavors all came very well together! 

Not exactly a strong finish with these petit fours - I mean at least try a little harder and put them in a nice box or something. 

Verdict - I'm not sure if it was because my palate changed or maybe the restaurant has gotten lazy by resting on its reputation but perhaps it's best that we part ways for now - I'm just not that into you anymore. 

L'atelier de Joel Robuchon
Shop 401, 4/F, The Landmark
16 Des Voeux Road Central, Central
Tel: +852 2166 9000

Follow me on Facebook: supertastermel

Follow me on Instagram @supertastermel Instagram


  1. Hello Mel! I'm Emma, a food blogger based in Shanghai and a big fan of your blog. I am writing my own (not-so-impressed) review of Shanghai's L'Atelier de JR, and I was wondering if I could have your permission to use your photo of Le Caviar Imperial as an example of what I call "plating bordering on OCD"? I will give you appropriate credit of course. Please let me know if you're okay with that. Cheers!

    1. Sure no problem as long as there is photo attribution. Thanks!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts