l'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

26 November 2014

For me, food isn't just fuel. Sharing a meal, experiencing new cuisines, sitting around a table together to eat - it's simply a wonderful and natural way to connect and spend time together with friends and family. When the preparation and cooking goes beyond a certain level, it becomes an art. Not that casual dining or cooking isn't, but fine dining like the one I'm talking about today is undeniably something quite special.

I am incredibly lucky to have been brought up in a family of food lovers and appreciators, and my parents took me and my sister out to some amazing restaurants growing up. Having said that, eating out wasn't taken for granted - it always felt like an occasion, and I loved that. 

E and I are so well matched in this regard. We are passionate about food, about talking about food, about appreciating and enjoying a €2 souvlaki (like the one we had in Santorini!) with the same enthusiasm as we do eating in Michelin starred restaurants. We don't like places that are pretentious for the sake of it, nor do we like street food vendors who don't care about what they do. Basically, we are big fans of any place that does their thing well. As with anything, really!

On my birthday, my husband took me out for one of the best meals I've had in London, and anywhere else for that matter. 

For fellow foodies, the name Joel Robuchon is no stranger - only one of the best chefs ever. And so, when we were searching options for where to go and saw that l'Atelier de Joel Robuchon offer great lunch menu options, we knew we'd found a winner. 

Their lunch menus are honestly fantastic value for money, considering eating a la carte would cost an arm and a leg. You can choose from 2, 3 or 4 courses, and each comes with the option of including matching wines with every dish. 4 courses without wine is £41, which I consider a very reasonable price at a restaurant of such calibre. 

As we were celebrating, we took the menus with the matching wines - which at £64 with the generous amount of wine you are given (really, very generous), is a very good deal. I don't like to go on about money and such, but I think it's important to know your options when you want to go somewhere special - it's your hard earned cash!

We were sat at the counter facing the open kitchen, to which E exclaimed, "Perfect for you! You can take lots of great photos!" - he has definitely become used to being the partner of a blogger. It really was great though, seeing the chefs and the staff work so calmly and efficiently and with such precision. 

We started off with some delicious bread and the complimentary amuse bouche, which was a foie gras, sweet wine and parmesan froth. Amazing. 

For my two entrées, I chose the game pâté with caramelised pear and the soft boiled egg with watercress purée and parmesan. E had the egg and the kipper (can't remember the exact description for any of these, so I'm doing my best!).

The pâté came with crisp pieces of toast, and it was delicious - the sweetness of the pear was perfectly matched. The egg dish was even better, and the purée was completely different to anything I had tasted before. Before E started on his egg, he said, "Don't you want to take an action shot?" I swear, I don't pay him to say this stuff.

For my main course, I went for the slow-braised beef cheek with parmesan crisp and E had the lamb with samosas - a Moroccan inspired dish. I wish they had the menu online so I could tell you more details about them, but I can tell you that my beef was outstanding. I literally stabbed my fork into the meat too hard because I wasn't expecting it to be so completely tender! The flavour was perfect, and E's dish was superb too.

As a bonus, they gave us a serving of Robuchon's infamous potato purée, about which E has talked my ear off about and was hoping it was on the menu. This is so completely, utterly not your typical mashed potato. It tastes like potato and butter got married and had the most beautiful babies. I know, a bit weird, but I don't know how else to describe it!

And then came dessert.

E chose the tarte au citron, and I went for the white chocolate and strawberry cheesecake. Stunning. I was pretty full by this point, but you couldn't have paid me to not finish every crumb. E's lemon tart was so pretty and tasted as good as it looked - I have to say, they were both pretty big portions too. The dessert wine we were given (we were given different ones, the one pictured below was mine) were excellent.

They had 3 choices for dessert - the other one was a macaron which also looked delightful - but if you're more of a cheese person, they have that option too.

But it wasn't over! I was given a beautiful plate of Happy Birthday petit fours. Turning 27 might not be as exciting as turning 7, but adult birthdays sure do have their perks!

Aside from the food, the service was impeccable. They were friendly, clear, attentive but not obtrusive - not an easy feat. I really had the best time and I loved every minute and mouthful!

Thank you E for spoiling me, you're la crème de la crème. Sorry, I had to.


  1. Sounds amazing! When I was in Paris in August another branch was right next door to the hotel I stayed in yet I failed to visit! Poor form on my part! xx

  2. Your photos are totally gorgeous and I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! I've been there twice and I was actually a little disappointed as I found the service let them down, both times I think we had to wait around 45 mins for our table and then when we sat down it was ages before our food came.

    I think that's why they lost one of their stars. I'm keen to go again from the feedback of other bloggers it looks like they've upped their game!
    Lots of love,
    SilverSpoon London

  3. What a fabulous way to celebrate a birthday (many happy returns!). That food looks delicious, and the menus are a great price, especially for a special meal. That pate looks amazing!!

  4. Oh that looks truly incredible! And those birthday petit fours how cool.

  5. Happy (belated?) birthday Miho!!
    Me being a foodie, I feel the same way like you!
    I love homey foods, street foods and fine dining
    food! I love it all!
    The food at this restaurants sounds and looks
    delicious. Especially the mashed potato ha :P
    Also glad to hear the service was wonderful as
    well! Xx

  6. Now that is one amazing way to celebrate your birthday! It looks incredible!! xx

  7. This looks so divine! What a lovely birthday celebration :] And that note for E at the end was really cute hehe. I agree with what you said that food isn't just food, it's its own experience, and I think splurging for a big day like this is more than fancy, it's a real delight. Happy birthday again my dear! And also that egg so beyond amazing I need it in my life.

  8. That egg is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen on a plate. Like, actually. And it's only an egg! Incredible. What a lovely treat for your birthday :)

  9. Everything was so artistic and beautiful! I love love the shot of the egg being split open! Oh yes, I love my eggs like that! Sous vide to perfection! We have an outlet of his restaurant here and it's also an L'atelier...I should consider checking it out for a special occasion! Btw, do feel free to join my beauty giveaway! :)

  10. Happy belated birthday. Your photography is beautiful. You chose many foods that I would have picked the desserts look exceptional and delicious Lucy x

  11. Oh my gosh. That egg and dessert look SO heavenly. Tal and I love going out to eat - we agree it's all about the intimacy and experience!

  12. I'm almost crying looking at these photos, Miho! Especially that one of you breaking the egg open...sweet Jesus, give it to me now. Your pictures are seriously fantastic - going to chalk that up to your photo skills as well as the fact it's Michelin-star dining :) These are the kinds of plates that I wanted to label as art and write my dissertation on, but my director of studies was too stuffy to accept the proposal! Big fan of the look and sound of the potato-butter love child. Is it acceptable to eat a whole bowl of that stuff with absolutely nothing else? Hope you had a wonderful birthday with the dinner as the cherry on top - it's my birthday tomorrow and I'm trying to relax myself about it! :) x


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