Joël Robuchon operates 18 restaurants in the world, as impressive as that may be; even more impressive is that all his restaurants are top rated. His knowledge, experience and innovation have enriched the gourmet dining world globally.
The L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon concept started 2003 in Paris. It was a concept in tune with the times; casual haute cusine where you can see the artisans at work. In 2006 L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in London was opened. It is situated on a back street in the centre of London. The area is the vibrant West End which is packed with theatres, restaurants and shops.
The buzz from the area is felt in the restaurant; this is no country style dining but au contraire, funky city dining at its best. At the ground floor in the L’Atelier you want to sit and dine at the u-shaped bar that centres on an open kitchen. There you have a great view of the chefs at work. The interior is designed by the famous French architect Pierre-Yves Rochon; he is the wizard of all Robuchon restaurant identities. It is a dynamic black and red interior with an energetic wall of green ivy on the side and food ingredients as décor.
The London establishment also has more to offer compared to the other L’Ateliers. Upstairs is La Cuisine, it is a bit more traditional with its table seating. The layout is reverse of the L’Atelier. Here the diners are sitting in the centre and the open kitchen is all the way round the outskirts of the room. But it is the same thinking of creating a direct contact between the kitchen and the guests. This is both for the chef to understand if there is a problem, but also to be able to receive feedback and see pleasure from the faces of the customers. La Cuisine is designed to resemble a kitchen with black and white tiles, pots and pans throughout. On the top floor there is a wonderful bar and terrace where you can relax and enjoy pre or after dinner drinks.
The Executive Head Chef Xavier Boyer and his team create modern French classics. You can interact with the kitchen and staff and enjoy not only eating your food, but also see it created in front of you. The dishes are often in more tapas-like portions making it possible to discover several dishes. You can either order from the à la carte or go for the menu découvert. The food is modern French with focus on seasonal high quality produce. Xavier follows and cherishes the ethos of Mister Robuchon who is building long term relations with suppliers, where the majority of them are small family businesses. Chef Xavier believes that as long as you have fantastic products to work with, all you have to do is to season it well and let it shine.
The food is intensely flavoured and the menu can be matched with either a French or European wine menu. The Head Sommelier Ivo Stoyanov who has twice been semi-finalist at European Sommelier Awards has a dynamic selection of unique wines. Gladly there are around 40 wines to be enjoyed by the glass so there is always a good and interesting match to be found. The menu has a mix of Robuchon classics such as his wonderful mashed potatoes and quail stuffed with foie gras and unique dishes for London that change according to season.
It is incredible how this fleet of restaurants around the globe delivers wonderful food daily, and the London restaurant is there at the top.
Written by Joakim