Since it opened in 2006, the year we got married, I have already dreamed of dining at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon with my hubby. Joel Robuchon has more than a dozen restaurants operating in London, Paris, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong, to name a few, and with a total of 25 Michelin stars among them. He is that guy who has has the most number of Michelin stars among all chefs!
Thus, I was beyond thrilled when hubby told me that for our 10th anniversary, we’ll be flying to Hong Kong to have dinner at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. We love eating at fancy restaurants but we have never spent this much for an anniversary dinner so this experience has definitely set the bar… high! *don’t be pressured, honey!* It’s our 10th wedding anniversary, anyway, so splurge it is.
Hubby made an online reservation and he chose an 8pm dinner for us. It was a perfect time choice because we still had to take care of our son’s dinner and bring him and my parents back to the hotel before we could prepare for our appointment. From Tsim Sha Tsui, we took the MTR and just walked our way to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at The Landmark in Central.
When we reached the restaurant, the courteous staff took off our jackets and led us to our seats. Because we’re celebrating a romantic occasion, they asked if we would prefer to be seated at the dinner tables than at the bar. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon is known for its open kitchen set up where guests sit at the bar. Adjacent to it is Le Jardin de Joel Robuchon with dining tables but the staff told us that they don’t have the same menu. We agreed to be seated at Le Jardin though because I checked the menu and most dishes were identical. Besides, we wanted some privacy and it turned out to be a good call on our part.
We were first served a basket of freshly baked breads. The restaurant make their own breads and we were told that the breads are not available either in Salon De The de Joel Robuchon or Le Cafe de Joel Robuchon. The restaurants don’t have identical menus.
The bread basket was not just pretty to look at. The breads were delicious. I personally loved the rolls and croissants. They’re not out of this world delicious but they are honestly good that they are sure to make it into your personal list of top breads that you have ever tasted. I really loved the breads and wanted to take them home. The friendly staff said that he would gladly wrap up the leftover breads for us. Just perfect!
Next, we were given a heavenly combination of appetizers. I can’t remember what that golden ball is called but it’s like a bomb waiting to explode into your mouth. It has a delicate crunch on the outside and a somewhat creamy texture on the inside. It tastes like an over-the-top potato ball with Jamon Iberico bits inside.
I fell in love at first bite and I knew right then and there that the whole dinner will be swamped with many “Oomphs” and “Ahhhs.” True enough, there’s a really nice progression because each dish was divine yet they give you a feeling that the next dish will always top the one you just had.
Next to the golden ball was a small bowl that looked like a demitasse. It contained an emulsion with artichoke bits and I am not exaggerating when I say that every time I scoop a small portion of that emulsion using that tiny teaspoon, my mouth explodes with a rich, satisfyingly good taste of artichoke soup. Every scoop left me wondering where all that flavors came from. I love that lingering curiosity after each spoonful where the dish left me in awe, wanting more.
Next came my La Saint-Jacques. The dish consisted of pan seared scallops with green curry and coriander sauce and squid ink farfalle. Again, this is a heavenly dish. The wait staff told me to eat that flower in the middle because he said that it’s a special edible flower found only in Japan and that it’s going to make the dish more enjoyable. I did so as recommended and boy was he right! Without it, the dish already gives out a beautiful marriage of flavors but the flower takes it a notch higher by giving that extra delicate licorice flavor.
We also had Le Foie Gras which is pan fried duck foie gras with cherry, mango and ginger confit and crunchy almonds. This is not like any foie gras I’ve tasted. Really. This is so good. In fact, I think this is my most favorite appetizer ever. You should eat this dish with small portions of each thing you see on the plate – the foie gras, the almond brittle, the ginger, the fruity confit plus the cold mango ball. Oh em gee. Just thinking about this dish is making my mouth water.
Next came La Caille, free range quail and foie gras served with mashed potato. This dish probably was the one that brings out familiar flavors but this is not to say that it is not good. It tastes familiar but still upgraded to the next level. The quail was cooked to perfection and the flavors are insane. And can you see that generous truffle shavings on top of the mashed potato? Uhg. To. Die. For.
Our next dish was L’Agneau. It’s French lamb saddle with eggplant roll in Meditarranean flavor. Think about that steak or lamb chop that you felt like it “melted” into your mouth. This dish will rule that out and convince you in a heartbeat that all the while, you have not yet encountered what “melt in your mouth” means. This dish is the real thing. We’ve never tasted any meat as good as this yet.
We were given complimentary petit fours with financiers, madeleines, macarons, and chocolate cake slices. But, we still ordered more from their cart of heavenly desserts along with coffee.
We got a trio of raspberry mousse with Rose Champagne sauce and soursop sorbet, rhum cake, and mille-feuille. What a great way to end a lovely dinner!
I don’t think I need to give another all-out closing statement to say how great our experience was. Our dining experience at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon only proves without a doubt that food is an art. Even if I still have some moral reservation about splurging on food, I do not regret eating here because it is a one of a kind experience. It’s something that I will definitely do again.
Thank you, hubby, for bringing me to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. You know me too damn well!
You can read the menu and rates here.