L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (CLOSED)
Time Out says
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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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