Restaurant visited 02/01/2011 / Updated 25/02/2013
of 26 Michelin Guide stars – the most of any chef in the world-
including 3 stars for his outlet in Hong Kong and making
it his highest rated restaurant in the world-
Robuchon has been titled “Chef
of the Century”. One of his newest restaurants, L'Atelier (and the
“Jardin de Joël Robuchon”), stands on the 4th floor of a luxurious
shopping mall, in Honk Kong Central. One step from the five star
hotel. The location could have been more romantic; but not more
In a posh, well deserved business and shopping area, close to the
and government headquarter, it attracts the cream of the crop. Ranked
5 out of more than 2900 Hong Kong restaurants by Tripadvisor,
this is the place to see and to be seen. This is also the leading
restaurant downtown, where we had a well worth the trip lunch in
L'Atelier between 12am and 3pm will feel like in Paris, London or New
with a fine mix of Western and dressed to kill Asian guests the day of
our visit, it made no difference at all with the gourmet society salon
atmosphere we recently experienced in L'Atelier at Manhattan 57th
After being led by a beautiful hostess (the rumor says that Robuchon
a former Miss Hong Kong...) through the windowed cellar with
of precious vintage bottles of wine, we sat at the large counter
the sparkling open-kitchen. The show provided by the “brigade” is
exciting. The cooks and waiters operate a well orchestrated ballet.
Robuchon inspects the restaurant at least four times per year; letting
his Executive Chef, the brilliant Michel Del Burgo, managing the
with his legendary kindness and hidden authority. Two stars at La
(Carcassonne, France), Michel has treated the Gotha, statesmen and
stars at Hotel Le
Paris, where he received his third Michelin Star. Between 2007 and
he developped some restaurants in Moscow (including the famous Café
Pushkine), before joining his friend Robuchon for a brilliant Asian
He is one of the few chefs allowed to revisit the traditional Joël
Robuchon's dishes; and, though the menu is more than 90% Robuchon, we
felt the pleasant Mediterranean, cheerful Del Burgo influence.
a glass of Champagne Bruno Paillard, Vintage 1999 (HK$ 325 / EUR 32),
list. Well chilled, displaying a deep color and a steady
pin-prick bubbles across the glass, this is Robuchon's favorite
It has plenty of savory, much depth and quite a good
length. It was fine with our signature starter: a refreshing “Sea
in a Lobster Jelly, Topped with a Cauliflower Cream” (HK$250 / EUR 25).
Robuchon draws his inspiration from the simplicity of the Asian (and
Japanese) cuisine, with a careful eye to tradition. Leding
way in creating a delicate style, respectful of natural food
This dish comes as a perfect illustration of his technique; even more
by our “Cod Fish Fillet, Marinated in Sake and Mirin with Miso
(HK$190 / EUR 19). Another signature speciality, very much Japanese
the generous piece of black cod came wrapped into an aromatic Kuba
the French sommelier, has been original enough to suggest something
than Sake to match this delicacy; we got it with a glass of Californian
Chardonnay “Kistler Vine Hill Vineyard, Sonoma County, Russian River
2001” (HK$ 400 / EUR 40). Bright, with pure aromas of lemon, flowers,
toasted grain, iodine and nutmeg, it was an dreamed pairing.
The meat was excellent. We ordered the “Warm duck foie gras with season’s fruits” (HK$ $380 / EUR 38). The cooking time had been ideally mastered, and our liver came perfect in flavor and texture: with fine spices developing a pleasant gingerbread aroma. The roasted pears, figs and plums accompanying the foie gras brought that dish to a supreme perfection. The chef showed the same good sense of produce, and a feel for the right taste, with the “Free-range Quail and Foie Gras”, served with mashed potato (HK$ 400 / EUR 40), which was our favorite dish. Exquisite with a glass of Pauillac “Château Grand-Puy Lacoste, 2000, grand cru classé, Société du Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste” (HK$ 400 / EUR 40). Its initial earthy aroma, gave way to dark fruit with a slight tobacco note. Great wine, indeed.
meals are available. We would recommend the “Braised artichoke in
style with carrot, avocado and tomato» (HK$ 240 / EUR 24): refreshing,
this light Mediterranean dish is one of Del Burgo's signatures. Superb
with a glass of “Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 1er Cru 2001” (HK$ 260 / EUR
26), aged in barrels for 24 months.
not least, we have been spoiled by decadent, exquisite
Tadashi Nakamura, the hottest pastry chef in town, distinguishes
by a tireless obsession for perfection. An artist: he sculpts his
like unique masterpieces of art. An alchemist: he scrupulously
original taste of very traditional specialities. Like the
(HK$150 / EUR 15) which we would like to warmly recommend. Much more
and refined than in Angelina, Paris! The peak came with the “Boule
(HK$150 / EUR 15): a classic by Robuchon, filled with fresh fruits,
cream and caramelized spiced pear. So sweet, so good!
on the daily offer, some of the described dishes can be found in the
at your own composition” menu, starting from HK$ 398 (EUR 40)
HK$638 (EUR 64). With French wine starting from HK$ 180 (EUR 18) by the
glass. 10% service charge applies.
The pickiest eater will like that wonderful restaurant, where everything comes faultless. Robuchon operates a dozen restaurants in Paris, Monaco, London, New York City, Las Vegas, Macau (in Hotel Lisboa), Taipei, and Tokyo; Hong Kong remains one the finest versions of L'Atelier in the world, and would secure one more Michelin star, indeed.
NOTE: We visited this restaurant in December 2010. Del Burgo operates since December 2012 his own restaurant in Carcassonne Hotel 111 (France), and received one Michelin star in February 2013; Christian Ham is now the executive chef at D'Sens Bangkok.
WELCOME TO THE NEW LAS VEGAS