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Image 1: Anyone who has been named "Chef of the Century" by the Gault Millau guide, retired early, then returned to build an empire bigger than ever, needs no introduction from me. I’m talking, of course, about Joël Robuchon, current holder of the most Michelin stars. And this place is where his post-retirement project started, a small restaurant in the Hotel Pont Royal.
Image 2: With his new enterprise, Robuchon decided to move away from his trademark fine dining style in favour of something different. With a love of the Japanese dining style, he opted for an approach based on an open kitchen counter concept, which he named L'Atelier (meaning ‘workshop’). A very unusual concept at that time, but it was an immediate success, and now there are branches around the world, winning Michelin star after Michelin star!
Image 3: There’s already enough written about this restaurant, so I’ll keep this review brief. Just as it did at L’Atelier London, the quality of the food at this Paris flagship was as good! Our meal began with a basket of warm baguettes.
Image 4: A refreshing tomato gazpacho with croutons as an amuse bouche.
Image 5: Thinly-sliced fresh lobster tail, dusted with spices and garnished with chervil, caraway, and bay leaf.
Image 6: A complex and carefully stacked salad, consisting of sardine, red pepper, baby leaves, tomato and parmesan.
Image 7: An elegant salad of king crab meat, sandwiched between two thin slices of daikon. Rich in spices and I was still able to taste the crab. Excellent!
Image 8: Pan-fried foie gras with a touch of black pepper, accompanied by fresh almonds and cherries. The foie gras and cherry were brilliantly paired – and the touch of acidity from the fruity syrup brightened the dish even further. You won’t go wrong with any foie gras dishes from Robuchon!
Image 9: This tequila glass contains a runny egg yolk floating on parsley and mushroom cream, then topped with wild mushroom and sun-dried tomato. It’s finished off with mushroom foam and a touch of parsley flakes. This was one of my favourite courses in L’Atelier London, and this one was as good!
Image 10: Diced grapefruit and tomato on a wonderful fillet of John Dory fried in basil oil. The fish and grapefruit is a slightly unusual pairing, but it certainly worked – they blended perfectly on the palate!
Image 11: One choice of main course was a confit of duck thigh with potato, while the other was…
Image 12: … grilled lamb chops with thyme, accompanied by a simply fabulous cheesy mashed potato!
Image 13: For dessert, this Multivitamin dessert consisted of chocolate with red fruit. Surprisingly, the fruitiness of the syrup worked well with the bitter-sweetness of the chocolate. This is what why I love Robuchon’s food so much - every component could somehow merged together beautifully!
Image 14: Presumably, this dish is called Chartreuse because the word means a colour somewhere between yellow and green. It consisted of herb sorbet resting in a sweet sabayon, and topped with a fresh raspberry. Again, another perfect mix of flavours!
Image 15: And that was it! It was, as we expected, excellent - after all, Robuchon is Robuchon! We’ve been to six other L'Atelier venues around the world, and they’ve all delivered consistently high quality - delicious food, good service. The only slight downside is that - because of the restaurant’s success - the price has gone up significantly in recent years, and is now at a fine dining level of price.