Saturday, November 20, 2010

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Covent Garden

A last minute decision to head out for dinner and an early one at that led me and dinner companion to book the early dinner at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon.

Consistently in the world’s 50 best restaurant award, Joel Robuchon has fine tuned his creations to be a marriage of French and Japanese cuisine which has earned him many Michelin stars, with this one a holder of two.

Nestled down a dark and quiet street, the interior mimicks that of the street that it is situated in. We were seated on high stools that overlooks the theatre kitchen, with a background of red and black minimalism style.

We both went for the 2 course Menu Du Jour @ £22 and opted for desserts separately as I wasn’t too keen on what was offered as part of the 3 course.

We didn’t have long to wait and our first courses arrived.

L’Ceuf – Egg cocotte topped with light wild mushrooms cream

This is WON.DER.FUL! A hidden gem of flavoursome intensity in a martini! Half cooked egg cocooned in an umami-rich mushroom cream. The smoothness, the taste, the texture, the complexity, I am in heaven (eye closed, mind wandering to sunny meadows!).

L’Endive – Chicory salad with Fuji apple and stilton emulsion

Another wonderful creation. The richness of the Stilton encapsulates and swirls to provide a wonderful background with the tartness of the Fuji apples slicing through to create a lighter and harmonious duet. The chicory and saltiness of the toast rounding off the dish nicely.

Fully impressed, I couldn’t wait for more.

La Truite – Sea trout cooked a la plancha, fondue leeks, almond and vermouth foam

The sea trout was cooked to perfection. A well executed dish but did not leave a deep impression.

Le Chocolat Tendance - Manjari chocolate, white chocolate ice cream and Oreo cookie crumbs £10

This is actually a very heavy dessert as it is layer of chocolate upon chocolate. However the ice cream was made to a consistency of a silky mousse such that it lightens the whole dessert to eliminate that heavy feeling. A combination of textures from the chocolate, silky mousse ice cream and oreo cookie crumbs to tantalise your senses. Truly a chocolate lover’s delight!

La Boule Surprise – Pistachio cream, caramelised spiced pear, vanilla ice cream from Tahiti £10

For something less sweeter or those not too keen on sweet desserts, the La Boule Surprise is a good option. The savoury goodies are hidden in a white chocolate ball casing which starts to break open to unveil its jewels when warm pear juice is poured over it. Pear essence intensified in the tiny cubes combined with a hint of bitterness coming from the spices used (cinnamon?) gives the dessert an added richness and depth.

The starters were the winners for me, a showcase of the talent, brilliance and creativity of Joel Robuchon! How would I describe his food? Three words springs to my mind - simple, sophisticated, complex!

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, 15 West St, Charing Cross, WC2H 9NE

L'Atelier on Urbanspoon


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