It bothered me quite a bit when L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Hong Kong was crowned with a three star rating. My first visit to the restaurant was in 2010. The food was great but I wasn’t astonished by its lunch menu.
Upon my second visit, I was seated at the Le Jardin de Joel Robuchon instead of the open kitchen bar table. The menu at the Le Jardin is basically the same as L’Atelier. Yet, the Le Jardin offered a sense of privacy. I am most happy with the roof top garden where you could chill with your friends after the dinner.
I had the 8-course signature menu: MENU DÉCOUVERTE, HKD$1880 per head. I particularly enjoyed the lamb cutlets. It was properly cooked in small portions. One of the highlights in the restaurant is the smashed potatoes. They are amazingly smooth and creamy. There’s no secret to tasty smashed potatoes. They inevitably come with a good dose of cream and butter. So even they were remarkably delicious, I surrendered half way through.
Dishes are nicely portioned and the meal ended perfectly with something citrus – Strawberry mousse with “madame” cream and strawberry sorbet. I always like to end a heavy meal with something light and refreshing.
One has to bear in mind that Hong Kong has a rather relaxed Michelin standards when compared to the ratings in Europe, especially in France. So does L’Atelier deserves its three stars in Hong Kong? Yes, maybe. But definitely a no, when it is compared to other three stars restaurants in Europe or even Robuchon’s Chateau Restaurant in Tokyo which is just four hours away. Service is one big element that Hong Kong restaurants need to put more effort in.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
Address: Shop 315 & 401, The Landmark, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2166 9000