Time Out says
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.
13-15 West Street
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Users say (18)
Average User Rating
4.2 / 5
- 5 star:10
- 4 star:5
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:1
This was the best meal I've ever had! I eat out at restaurants several times a week and this tops them all. We went for the 8 course tasting menu with the matching wines and every single element was perfect. It's quite expensive in comparison with a lot of other restaurants but it's well worth the extra for a treat. We were on the first floor restaurant which was perfect for a romantic meal. The service was impeccable too.
It's a chain! And it feels like one. The food is cooked and served as if it were on a conveyor belt in a factory. We're a young couple for whom going to this kind of place is a treat - we went for a special romantic meal to celebrate our anniversary but the way the staff tried to chivvy us through the meal at rocket speed you'd have thought we were a couple of businessman out for lunch. They attempted to serve us the 5 course tasting menu within 2 hours keeping time with some sort of predetermined rota rather than us and had each course ready before we had even finished the last meaning they had to put it under a cover to keep it warm. This happened with the boiled egg meaning it was overcooked which I pointed out to them and was told 'This is how we do things here'. It then happened again meaning the black cod was also overcooked and lukewarm. I had to complain again before they finally, reluctantly, agreed to ease up. This bearing in mind that there were empty tables that remained empty for the entire evening - we did in the end manage to spend a good few hours there. In any case, this is not the kind of restaurant where you'd expect the new fashion of a 2 hour table turnaround to apply and this certainly wasn't stated when we booked or we'd never had chosen it for an evening that was very special to us (we ended up getting engaged earlier that day) and cost us £350+. Unpleasant, unfriendly environment, poor service and the food suffered because of it. I hear this restaurant has already lost one star, based on the other Michelin starred restaurants I've been to, I'd be surprised it is keeps this one for much longer.
A sultry, sexy interior that's not stuffy in any way (which I find can sometimes be the case in certain michelin starred venues), with impeccable service. Going for the pre or post theatre set meals gives you great value for money and sitting up at the bar area is more fun and intimate than you'd think. The food won't disappoint.
We had a great lunch. Six stars for the service: funny good natured maitre d., efficient pleasant waiter, and enthusiastic young person who took us up after the meal to a very agreeable terrace and garden room for coffee. Complimentary bread (various and very fresh), complimentary amuse gueules (oh yes!) and a very good meal. The surroundings are stylish - magically lit, glowing pools of colour - and made us forget the very grey summer outside. Our Time Out booking didn't get through, but they took us anyway, and the coffee and water push the bill up - but altogether, a real treat.
I've been coming to this place for years and they never disappoint. The staff is always lovely and charming; they do an excellent job of catering to your needs. The food is expensive, but this is Joel Robuchon - not some run-of-the-mill Cafe Rogue. It's Haute Cuisine so the flavours might cater to a more sophisticated taste. The portions are small, yes, but the food is anything but average. (And don't come here unless you're planning on spending at least £200 for two people.) This will always be one of my very favorite restaurants in all the world. The wine list is extraordinary and the cooking is flawless.
I love this place. Been coming here on a fairly regular basis for the past 2 years and apart from one mix up with the time of my reservation sometime in 2009 the service has always been outstanding. The food is gorgeous, the wine list is fantastic and the waiters are super charming and helpful. I'm surprised that people are complaining about the price - yes, it's expensive, but most luxury restaurants are. If you're not prepared to cough up the big bucks then there are plenty of good budget restaurants serving french food in nearby Soho. If it's an anniversary, birthday etc then I'd definitely recommend this restaurant: try the foie gras stuffed quail with truffeled mashed potatoes - amazing!
Incredible experience... The best food I have ever had, beautiful service, lovely ambience. I took my girlfriend and spent half my student loan haha... It was worth every penny. Like everything, it will appeal to some more than it will to others.
The atmosphere and decoration are great, but the dishes are tiny, tiny, tiny but veeeery expensive. We paid £120 (no wine - just water, 2 people) and I was very hungry when we left the restaurant. Food does not taste exceptionally well and is just not worth the money. If it's possible just go there for drinks at the bar after or before a propper dinner at a good restaurant.
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