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L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (CLOSED)

Restaurants, French Covent Garden

Time Out says

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

Please note, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon has now closed. Time Out Food editors, April 2019. 

I hadn’t expected to be feverishly scooping up pea soup and spoonfuls of mash at a Michelin-starred restaurant, but this French venue from celebrated chef Joël Robuchon delights in doing things differently. In a good way.

As you’d expect it’s a stylish spot, but not in the least bit clinical or stuffy. Sure, you can go full-on fancy by ordering one of the wallet-melting tasting menus, but there’s also a £45 set lunch/pre-theatre menu. Okay, that’d buy you a lot of tacos, freakshakes and sourdough pizzas – but for cooking of this standard in central London, it’s pretty damn good.

And pretty damn good covers everything here. A starter of beetroot-cured salmon with pickled vegetables and avocado mousseline was hugely enjoyable, but it was blown away by a headliner of smoked confit cod with sorrel cream and pea velouté. The fish was cooked perfectly, with just the right amount of bite, while the velouté (essentially a smooth soup) was rich and velvety, balanced by the occasional note of refreshing sourness from the sorrel. It demanded to be mopped up with that buttery mashed potato – a complimentary ‘signature of the restaurant’. Michelin-star mash? Why the hell not.

On to dessert, and the second-best thing about L’Atelier’s rum baba is that you get to pour the rum on the cake yourself. The best thing? The obscene ooze of booze from the sponge. It’s a punchy hit, but vanilla ice cream cools the flames.

It’s these light touches that make L’Atelier so enjoyable and free of the hoity-toity air that put many off Michelin-starred venues. So, skip the zeitgeisty street food for a month and treat yourself to some very fine dining – minus the panic attack when the bill arrives.

By: Time Out London Food & Drink



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