L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon is the name of seven French gourmet restaurants located in Toyko, Paris, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Singapore, and most recently, Taipei. It is owned by world-renowned chef and restauranteur Joël Robuchon. His establishments share a total of 28 Michelin stars, the most of any chef in the world. L'Atelier which translates to "workshop," features an open kitchen, inviting guests to observe the preparation of dishes.
The contemporary red and black backdrop is uniform throughout Robuchon's establishments.
Lunch prixe fixes are set A for 980NT, set B for 2080NT, and set C for 2880NT. My dining companion and I both opted for set B which includes an amuse bouche, an appetizer, two entrees, a dessert, and coffee or tea with mignardises.
We began with breads from Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon.
Amuse bouche. Duck foie gras with red porto wine and parmesan foam. A soft harmony of warm, umami flavors.
Le Homard du Maine, supplemented for 600NT. Maine lobster with guacamole and seasonal vegetables. The refreshing pairing of sweet, juicy lobster meat and crisp veggies were nicely tempured by the soft avocado. The ring of spice added a nice heat.
La Chataigne, chestnut soup with celery broth and chicken wing. Warming and invigorating.
La Napoleon, napoleon fish. The tender whitefish was served pan-seared in beurre blanc and over creamy mashed potatoes...
... with green celery foam and a delicate potato chip for texture. Simple and delicious.
Le Vivaneu. Steamed red snapper in a tomato broth...
... with garlic croutons and rouille. Rouille, made from olive oil, garlic, saffron, and chili peppers, is a common garnish to fish and fish stew. It added a much needed kick to the otherwise monotone dish.
Le Pot au Feu, a classic French stew. Braised beef with carrots, turnips, and spices in its own broth. The ingredients were high quality, but the dish itself tasted ordinary.
La Broche du Jour, rotisserie of the day. The fire-roasted pork was incredibly juicy, tender, and flavorful with a sweet caramelized rind. It was paired with parmesan foam and savory unskinned potato wedges. Miniature smoked bacon and other teasing pork bits hid themselves throught the dish. It was accompanied with...
... mashed potatoes whipped from equal parts butter and potato. This was luxuriously rich, fragrant and velvety, and stickily solid. La Broche du Jour took a traditional cooking methods to an outstanding new level.
La Poire. A harmony of pear confit infused in red wine, vanilla panna cotta, and blackcurrent sorbet. This was a beautiful symphony of flavors and textures. Soft honeyed pear, fluffy vanilla pudding, tart cassis sorbet, brittle fruit candy, nutty caramel, tangy blackcurrent sauce, and buttery vanilla cream. Exquisite, delicate, and irresistable. Possibly one of the best desserts I have tasted!
Close up. A scoop of blackcurrent sorbet, grapey wine-infused pear confit, a delicate fruit crisp, thick blackcurrent syrup, and nuts on rich vanilla cream.
A globe of smooth vanilla panna cotta coated in caramel and topped with edible gold leaf.
Les Fruits Frais, pineapple sorbet in lemongrass nectar with fresh fruits. This was as refreshing as it sounds, and pleasantly sweet rather than tart.
To conclude the meal, we had a rich latte...
... and a cup of tea...
... paired with a duet of caneles from the Salon. It had a thick caramelized crust and soft custard center, showcasing fragrant vanilla and rum flavors. Absolutely delightful!
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Bellavita Department Store 5F, 28 Songren Rd., Xinyi District, Taipei
Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, 6:00pm-10:00pm