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L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon


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I was here a couple of weeks ago. Still need to post a review. But between 3 of us, we had 20 plates, I think, and we were comped a selection of tarts each on top. Ended up paying about £110 each for the food. Which is pretty expensive.

Yes, I ate a little more than I needed to, as I wanted to try a lot of the menu. But I certainly wasn't stuffed. I think the best value option by far is to do the tasting menu, which is 7(?) courses for £55, and ask for substitutes of similar priced plates from the carte if something doesn't take your fancy. Kick up a fuss if they say no.

If you think about it, most starred places in the city have at least one amuse, a pre dessert and a butt load of petits fours. You don't get those at l'atelier. So 6 little plates is an easy approximation to a 3 course meal at other places, with trimmings on top.

So I do think it is very expensive. But I had a good time, and I would go back.

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and we were comped a selection of tarts each on top.

I understand Gary provides a similar service for some of his more lucrative clients :wink:

But what's this I read? You actually ordered bottled water Gary? I thought that was a complete anathema?

And, eventhough I have a reverted to being a country bumpkin in the North, away from the bright lights of London; isn't £9 for a single Calva a bit naughty?

Bit more detail on the Caille and what was in the £15 ravioli please?

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I've had the demi of quail from the tapas menu. Its one leg and one breast with a smear of mash on the side topped with large (but thin) slices of summer truffle.

Perfectly well cooked but little sign of the advertised foie gras stuffing (maybe it melted away)

My overall take on Atelier is lovely food, but you're never going to get remotely well fed unless you have far more money than sense

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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glass champagne 9

jambon 9

oeuf cocotte 9

ravioli 15

pied de cochon 11

calamar 10

agneau+ extra pommes (gratis) 14

caille 16

chocolate sensation 9

pinot noir crittenden  33 (£20 cheaper than my original choice out of stock santenay, well done to the somellier for that one!)

calvados 9

water 3.50

service 18.88

£169.88

i was stuffed, i thought i'd get through some cheese as well and i even turned down the offer of some crinkle cut chips  :shock:

It's easy to run up a bill for one like that - if you have five starters, two main courses, a £33 bottle fine, aperitif and digestif.

My price estimate is based on a (reasonably sized) meal for two, plus a bottle from the lower reaches of the list and a bottle of water. Take off Gary's champagne and calvados, drop the price of the wine and you are well within my £150 top out.

All of which means I think Matthew's six to ten plates each is completely excessive. And I don't think I coudl ever be accused of having a bird like appetitie.

Sorry Jay, I meant to say 6 - 10 small plates, not mains. Some of those small plates are pretty light, 6 plates of Langoustines (12 Langoustines in total) would be easy to manage and you would already have spent £120 :biggrin:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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and we were comped a selection of tarts each on top.

And, eventhough I have a reverted to being a country bumpkin in the North, away from the bright lights of London; isn't £9 for a single Calva a bit naughty?

which ever way you slice it, it's not a cheap restaurant, it suits the single diner very well due to the bar style seating and as i was by myself and in no particular rush i did indulge, the wine list is not as good as the paris branch where you can drink very nice wines by the glass so that was a small disappointment but the somellier pointing me towards a cheaper bottle of wine meant i could have another course!

the ravioli was actually quite disappointing, i was quite suprised to see it was £15 when i got the bill, to be honest i just dived in and ordered what i fancied and worried about the bill when it came, hence the calva, by the time the bill came i really wasn't bothered :laugh:

you don't win friends with salad

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And does he use the Potato Ricer aka the Giant Garlic Press? I just bought one and it's great, some chemistry happens when you beat potatoes that makes them gluey. The ricer removes this problem and is rather fun too!

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By ricer I assume we mean big chunk thing with a lever you pull ("giant garlic press") rather than a vegetable mill where you turn the thing round and round (which I use - its good)

Reblochon (being le grand fromage) would almost certainly the a sieve/tamis. Theres chat about it in Tom Aikens new book. Someone posted details but I can't remember for the life of me which of the multiple atelier threads on multiple foodie internet chat sites it went on!

ta

J

Edited by Jon Tseng (log)
More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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  • 1 year later...

Robuchon on Saturday night, excellent cocktails upstairs to start and then the counter for the main event.

The most disappointing dish was the Ravioli of langoustine in Savoy cabbage. Off the top of my head they were £15 for two small parcels, a French haute tapas, topped with chopped black truffle this could have been an excellent dish if the Langoustine had been up to scratch, unfortunately it exhibited that woolly texture that Langoustines get when they aren’t as fresh as they can or indeed should be.

Far more successful was an excellent Black truffle Ravioli (£25) exhibiting a good depth of flavour and perfectly al dente rice topped with shaved truffle.

A tiger Prawn cooked on the plancha was a far better example of shellfish, meaty and flavoursome it was almost worth its £15 price tag, that’s right, £15 for one tiger prawn cooked on the grill.

John Dory was served with Aubergine, leeks and vierge sauce, the fish itself nothing to right home about but the accompaniments were very good, 4 x 1cm squares of aubergine, and a bright sauce lit the dish up but nothing could disguise the dull fish.

Lamb chops with thyme, were exactly that, 3 of them. A touch of salt could have elevated them beyond your everyday lamb chops but obviously they rely on the pomme puree to do that, in this instance approximately a tablespoon of the stuff. Beef and Foie Gras burger with lightly caramelized bell peppers was excellent, the peppers slightly sweet and sour acting as a foil to the foie. Great crinkle cut chips as well.

Desserts were far more successful. A selection of tarts for dessert which were excellent, Caramel (which was probably too heavy for the delicate pastry enclosing it, a beautiful lemon tart, cinnamon tart was superb, apple and bitter chocolate tarts finished the selection. Another dessert of waffles came with excellent chocolate sauce, Chantilly cream and Vanilla ice cream.

I was left in two minds about this meal, I hate to gripe about price and aam loathe to complain about small portion sizes but here I can’t myself. It’s not that the food is bad (although it fails to hit too many highs), its just that it is so flipping expensive for what it is. Before we started I was planning on 5 small plates each, in the event the (excellent) waitress advised us that three was enough. It wasn’t but I wasn’t enthused enough by the food to order anymore, good job as well as the bill was around £250 (I should add that £50 of that was on cocktails) including a Barabera D’alba at £37 and those rip off 500ml bottle of water that they use. My other half commented afterwards that we probably would have felt a lot better about the meal if had cost £50 - £60 less and she is probably right. Unfortunately an average of £12 - £15 for haute tapas is taking the piss unless the ingredients and cooking step up another level.

Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I was left in two minds about this meal, I hate to gripe about price and aam loathe to complain about small portion sizes but here I can’t myself. It’s not that the food is bad (although it fails to hit too many highs), its just that it is so flipping expensive for what it is. Before we started I was planning on 5 small plates each, in the event the (excellent) waitress advised us that three was enough. It wasn’t but I wasn’t enthused enough by the food to order anymore, good job as well as the bill was around £250 (I should add that £50 of that was on cocktails) including a Barabera D’alba at £37 and those rip off 500ml bottle of water that they use. My other half commented afterwards that we probably would have felt a lot better about the meal if had cost £50 - £60 less and she is probably right. Unfortunately an average of £12 - £15 for haute tapas is taking the piss unless the ingredients and cooking step up another level.

An excellent point Matthew. I have often had comments on the low scores I have given top-end restaurants on my blog, often because the huge price rarely justifies the often admittedly quite nice food. If you're paying over £100 a head for a meal I think you have the right to expect 2*/3* cooking on every level. The worst offenders are generally in Mayfair - Sketch being a prime example of somewhere ludicrously expensive and pretty blah in terms of the food served.

If you can get a delicious meal for £10 at Tayyabs, there's no excuse for anywhere charging above the odds for mediocrity.

Oh and by the way, always always just order tap water. The revolution starts here! :D

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Oh and by the way, always always just order tap water. The revolution starts here! :D

apart from in le gavroche where it's complimentary, as i later found out after insisting on tap. :laugh:

I would hope tap water is always complimentary - unless you mean they bring it without you asking for it?

Actually I've just understood what you meant. Sorry, I have a cold.

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The set menu was £105 - for me that doesn't scream great value for what amounts to (I think) 8 courses. An average of a little over £13 a course, I'd be curious to see what sort of saving that is over ordering the dishes individually. The tasting menu on Saturday contained 3 dishes with Foie Gras - not exactly balanced either. :hmmm:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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The set menu was £105 - for me that doesn't scream great value for what amounts to (I think) 8 courses. An average of a little over £13 a course, I'd be curious to see what sort of saving that is over ordering the dishes individually. The tasting menu on Saturday contained 3 dishes with Foie Gras - not exactly balanced either. :hmmm:

I think she meant the £48 lunch menu, including half a bottle of good wine, half a bottle of water, coffee and petits fours per head. It is v good value, even if the food is slightly less than the grand opera of dinner...

j

Jay

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It is very much a "second menu" - last time i went we had a hazelnut and bacon soup which was delicious, followed by the mackerel "tarte fine" which is great - slivers of mackerel on a teeny thin piece of pastry with tapenade, olives and a little parmesan and whiting to follow. The whiting was bread crumbed and fried whole and was served with a gribiche sauce and salad - obviously very simple (and cheap produce)but beautifully done and bloody tasty! dessert was pot au chocolat - one vanilla and one chocolate. So all very simple indredients and definitely not as flashy as the ALC but a good meal all the same.

Edited by nikkib (log)

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ate here on the 27th, we were early (5:30pm) as having a meal between theatres but had worked out that we would have enough time to fit in the tasting menu. However when the day arrived my companion had a cold so we decided to skip.

Firstly service, excellent as my companion had a cold he just went for the lamb chops and these were very tender - but could not report on taste due to the cold. But immediately a small bowl of tissues was on the table and the staff took it in their stride and were very understanding.

Me I had:-

Tuna tartar that was presented as a tower with layers of roasted red peppers and was exemplary.

Pigs trotter on parmesan toast. Rich full of flavour with the unlisted addition of three or four slices of black truffle on each piece of toast.

Scallops with black truffle. Three perfectly cooked scallops each topped with one or two slices of black truffle. Served on a bed of creamed leaks with a sauce containing finely chopped black truffle. The only thing that jarred here was the leaks, perhaps slightly undercooked so the slight stringiness seemed to jar with the texture of the scallop and the excellent sauce.

Sweet was a hot red berry puree with Yuzzu ice cream - presented under a golden dome that melted when the puree was added. A great semi sweet but tart and sharp way to end the meal.

Wine - can't remember as the bottle that we ordered was not available but a good red (£20 cheaper) was offered and worked well with the food.

The above + vodka and coke, campari and orange came to £154 which was expensive for what we had I plan to go back again to sample the full tasting menu.

To be honest I probably would have ordered one or two other items but with my companions snuffling not being able to taste anything I didn't have the heart to do so.

Overall a great place to go for a treat, but not for a for romantic meal.

Edited by ermintrude (log)

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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  • 1 year later...

Anyone tried this, when I was walking past looking for a place to dine, from the menu there was a pre theatre option as well. I was up to try but my companion was not what was on the menu (I did try to explain deep fried egg was probably not deep fried egg as they knew but it wasn't happening so had to go elsewhere) and they were intimidated as it looked "posh".

I've eaten there before at full price and was impressed (but overpriced) . For pre theatre Arbutus has always been a staple for great food but is it worth giving Joel a go ?

Edited by ermintrude (log)

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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I went for lunch in the autumn and was not very impressed. Deep fried egg dish is good on paper (runny yolk, salty nuts, sweet raisins), but very hard to eat as presented. The high spot was definitely dessert: a tasting of 6 different tarts which were all well made, but then I felt one might have bought that from a bakery.

I suppose I am comparing the London atelier to the excellent lunch deal at la table in Paris, which is perhaps unfair.

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  • 1 month later...

Well as I'm taking a close friend to the theatre for her birthday, this Friday so I thought it would be a great time to try the £20 meal here. So booked a table at 5:30pm for the Pre Theatre Menu. I'll report back........after the weekend with our comments.

PRE THEATRE MENU

Available from 17:30- 19 :15 (last order)

***

L’OIGNON DOUX

En soupe légère “ façon Andreï’’ et ses croûtons gourmands

Sweet onion soup “Andreï style″, crunchy croutons

OR

L’ŒUF

Cuit mollet aux céleris braisés, vinaigrette noisette à la betterave

Soft poached egg with braised celery, hazelnut and beetroot vinaigrette

***

LA LOTTE

Sauce coraline, carottes et céleris fondants

Monkfish coral sauce, carrot and celery fondant

OR

LE BOEUF

La hampe servi à l’échalote et son gratin dauphinois

Hanger steak served with dauphinoise potatoes a red wine and shallots sauce

***

LE DESSERT DU JOUR

Dessert of the day

OR

LE FROMAGE DU JOUR

Cheese of the day

Edited by ermintrude (log)

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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Anyone tried this, when I was walking past looking for a place to dine, from the menu there was a pre theatre option as well. I was up to try but my companion was not what was on the menu (I did try to explain deep fried egg was probably not deep fried egg as they knew but it wasn't happening so had to go elsewhere) and they were intimidated as it looked "posh".

I've eaten there before at full price and was impressed (but overpriced) . For pre theatre Arbutus has always been a staple for great food but is it worth giving Joel a go ?

I visited in January and tried both the Lunch menu as well as the ALC. In general, I felt the lunch menu was nothing more than gastro pub food. In addition service was awful. You can read my full experience here.

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