After many days of nice if not superb local food, the little darling and I opted for something a little bit classier and sophisticated. Taking on the recommendation of a popular Singaporean blogger and fellow UWA mate Glenn, we visited the L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon located in Landmark, Central. L’Atelier is one of the more casual restaurants by Robuchon who already owns a string of 3 star restaurants around the globe. At the restaurant, we were given seats at the bar counter facing the group of chefs preparing our food and to be honest, it was a splendid show we had seeing the busy kitchen coming together. Especially when the chefs kept shouting words of acknowledgement to the captain!
Staircase to great food!
The Amuse Bouche that day was a chestnut soup served warm with drizzle of truffle oil and chestnut crisps.
The Amuse Bouche was simplicity at its best and the way it was presented before us by a Frenchman with an equally French moustache! I’d have to say, it was quite a sight! The Amuse Bouche was really good. I started of with that top bit that felt somewhat ‘foam like’ followed by a warm liquid and crispy bits of chestnut. The taste was no more than saltiness with the sweetness of chestnuts but it was good!
The bread basket at L’Atelier is one of insane choices. Someone have probably mentioned it before that you would probably want to hold back on eating the bread but you know you cannot resist! Between darling and I, we shared each of every pastry. Out of the 8 or so choices, the mini croissant, sundried tomato twist and the fruit bun was the best. Each were exceptionally tasty and with the butter, it was even nicer!
For our appetizer, darling had the classic Landes Foie Gras:
Unlike the warm Foie Gras she has had so far, this one was served cold as a sort of spread on toast rather than warm with caviar. Rather unfortunate, the delicious Foie Gras did not quite turn out as delectable as it felt lacking in creaminess/richness. Its taste without a doubt was class act, but still it felt somewhat unfulfilling.
For my appetizer, I had the fresh crab meat and citrus jelly with fennel cream, crispy crab meat waffle .
The appetizer was quite a handful when it arrived. Was I supposed to go from left to right or the other way around. But being curious I had the toast first. As classy as it looks, it taste and feels like I am eating one of those classic Chinese favourites, the prawn toast but with a slightly better flavouring of course. Crab cake on the left was OK but was too little to enjoy.
The fresh crab meat and citrus jelly with fennel cream was probably one of the tastiest things that afternoon. Consisting crab meat and bits of citrus jelly, it really did not taste as weird as I expected it to. The crab meat was sweet and all that acidity from the jelly helped the crab mix with the fennel cream giving it that really distinct yet delightful taste.
Next came the soup. The soup was way better than the one we had previously at a Japanese restaurant. It did not feel overly rich from the cheese despite having lots of it. The pepper was just spot on to give you that spicy taste that makes it all taste so yummy! Even for onion haters, the onion here is cook so well to the extent that it is no longer pungent but instead is sweet.
Traditional French onion soup with Beaufort cheese gratin. On its side is a tuile which is a thin piece of wafer topped with red onion paste and crispy white onions. This again was was another good initiative putting significant attention to details.
Once we were done with our soup, the waiter promptly asked us whether we were finished before removing the plates. Out came darling’s main the pan fried Wagyu beef flap with shallots and crunchy green beans, black pepper sauce.
Done in medium, it came out a little redder than expected. Fortunately, the meat was well rested and was still moist and juicy. However, it is still a less fatty and slightly thin steak which means no bits of layers of tantalising fat as expected if you had a scotch fillet instead! Nevertheless it was still good although the little darling was a little put off by the redness of the meat! It’s condiments once again used onions which was ok but at this stage was starting to get a little boring. However, underneath those pieces of steak though is a caramelised balsamic onion which I though tasted quite special when eaten together with the beef.
My main was the deer stew. With sprinkles of parsley and truffle bits along with some cone shaped puree on a thin piece of pastry, I found my main quite ambitious and artsy. So many things for a simple dish really had me wondering what to expect.
My main was an absolute delight from the start till the end. Everything seems faultless. If there is a fault with the main that day, it was that the little darling refused to try any perhaps because eating a deer seemed too cruel ahaha.
Stew was tasty and moist without any stringy bits of meat that happens from time to time. Also, the seasoning was lovely and there was not gamey smell at all. Mash was spot on and all the taste from the herbs and truffles along with the crisp bits made this whole dish an exceptional standout that day. No wonder the waiter said “Excellent choice!” when I ordered.
Feeling a bit stuffed at this point, we were confronted with the appetizer course. One which no level of fatness/fullness will resist!
Le Paris Brest which was a praline crème mousse stuffed into pastries which resembled mini profiteroles served with poached pear and pear sorbet. Every aspect of this dish screams joy! From the well flavoured praline to the lightness of the airy profiteroles. WOW! Having every individual profiteroles with a slice of poached pear and a spoonful of pear sorbet tasted exquisite! Even little darling who had second thoughts about ordering the dessert was praising the dessert for its taste and freshness. Magic and .. gold!
Lastly we were served hot tea and ‘things’ to put our meal to rest.
Consisting of lemon macaron, fruit jubes and crusted cocoa. It was a sweet ending to both our meal and trip. Jubes were jam packed in fruitiness that words cannot describe. Darling was keen to buy a box but I am pretty sure they were not for sale. Cocoa had subtle bitterness which calmed our heightened senses for sugar. Macarons were sweet but lemon did its damage control! At the end, we were so full we literally just let the escalator carry us down. For $60 a head, it is not exactly what one would call great bargain. But in comparison with general food prices in Perth, this was a steal!
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon really lives up to its hype and world recognition. With heaps of other quality Robuchon restaurants around the world, one would not be too far from a food coma. This meal easily comes in closely behind my trip to Jackson’s on my birthday! Nevertheless, this restaurant had me leaving Hong Kong elated. A good meal to start a good (hopefully) year! Hehe ;)