L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon

Restaurants, French Covent Garden
Recommended
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(16user reviews)
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Venue says Lunch - a three-course, Michelin-starred experience. Reserved and ordered entirely online, starting at £29 for a unique seasonal menu.

London arm of a high-end, global chain from prolific restaurateur Joël Robuchon.

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.

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L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon says
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, set over three floors, has two exciting restaurants, a superb bar and roof-top terrace. Our multi-award winning Michelin-starred restaurant is situated on West Street, in the heart of London's theatre land, and moments away from Covent Garden. Executive head chef Jeremy Page's seasonal dishes are deliciously uncomplicated and beautifully presented, combining classic French inspiration, contemporary imagination and the best possible ingredients delivered daily.

The stunning Japanese-inspired counter is open to the kitchen where superb modern-French classics are created before your eyes.
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By: Tristan Parker

Posted:

Venue name: L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Contact:
Address: 13-15 West Street
London
WC2H 9NE
Opening hours: Bar Open noon-2am Mon-Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun.Ground floor Lunch served noon-2.30pm, dinner served 5.30-10.30pm Mon-Sat; 5.30-10pm Sun. Main courses £15-£55. Set meal (noon-2.30pm, 5.30pm & 6.30pm) £29 2 courses, £35 3 courses, £40 4 courses.1st floor Lunch served noon-2.30pm, dinner served 6.30pm-midnight Mon-Sat
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square tube
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £220.
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Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|16
1 person listening
Shona R
Tastemaker

I was incredibly surprised the attitude of the service staff here.  Was meeting a business colleague for lunch and had made a reservation, which they refused to honour, and tried to tell us we were wrong despite showing them our email confirmation.


These types of restaurants you pay for the atmosphere and service.  I walked out without eating and will not be going back.

Lise M
tastemaker

Had a wonderful Birthday lunch at L' Atelier de Joel Robuchon! Great food, tasty wine and an amazing friend. The best ingredients to spend a lovely time. 

The atmosphere is smart but also relax with an open kitchen where you can see the Chef and his team in action. It's very impressive as everything is very well coordinated and it's a real team effort to deliver the best dishes. The service is also friendly, professional and extremely attentive. They take time to go through their menus and suggest dishes and wines according to your taste. 

My friend and I didn't order 'A la carte' but we had their lunch menu which is very good value for a Michelin-starred restaurant. You need to pre-order in advance from their online set menu between 2 starters, 3 mains and 2 desserts. The month of our visit, we had as starters: squash soup with croutons garnished with goat cheese, the herrings in layers of al dente green beans and whole grains mustard; as mains: the red mullet and the beef; and as desserts: ile flottante and mango tart. Each dish was divine, sophisticated as well  as sufficiently portioned. The menu changes every month according to seasonal ingredients. So no routine! I highly recommend it as it's a great opportunity to enjoy a prestigious cuisine without being ruined.

Audrey Williart
tastemaker

Eating great French cuisine in London during lunch time, especially in a Michelin-starred restaurant, it's expensive, it takes time and it is not very fulfilling. L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, one of the nine restaurants owned by the starred chef, located in the heart of the London's theatre district, breaks the clichés. It tries a real bet by offering a lunch menu for only 29 pounds! For this price, what can we expect? I tested for you. When booking, you must make your choice between two starters, two mains and two desserts. This enables to keep prices low and to deliver a quick service between noon and two, ideal for workers. The day of my visit I tried poached eggs on a red wine sauce, ravioli of girolles, an éclair with coconut as well as the famous mashed potatoes, melting in the mouth. The menu changes each month. If you are coming on a Saturday or you are not in a hurry, I recommend the menu at 39 pounds. In addition, you get a glass of wine, water and coffee. What about the vibe? The service is very prestigious and will take you away from your daily life. The decoration of the Atelier on the ground floor is elegant and original with a large vegetalized wall and vases filled with slices of cucumbers or oranges. Why not taking a sit at the central bar, Japanese-inspired, to admire the chefs in action? I then had coffee in the bar on the third floor. In winter, you can warm up by the fire and, if the weather is good, you can enjoy the terrace. You may be tempted like me by one of the tasty cocktails to stay a bit longer. And to end this glamorous parenthesis, you should know that sometimes celebrities pass by just like you and me. Last time I saw Owen Wilson, but shush!

Aude
tastemaker

I went to L’atelier for the lunch, as their lunch menu is extremely good value for the standing of the place.


The lunch menu is changing every month and cost 29£ for three courses or 39 is you add a glass of wine and a hot drink at the end of the meal. You have the choise between 2 starters, 3 mains and 2 desserts; French desserts of course!


I like being seated around the bar and watching the cooks; in the kitchen, they speak French and answer all together “Oui Chef!”.


When I went there 10 days ago, most of the clients were French, and it means a lot! As a French living in London, I sometime miss good French cuisine, so I couldn’t have been happier to find this lunch set!


The staffs are extremely nice, and proposed us to enjoy our tea in the small salon upstairs. It was extremely cosy and I like it a lot! I’ll definitely go back! The January menu looks excellent but I already booked my table for February, so I will wait till there.

Milena C
tastemaker

Just perfect, beautiful meal, beautiful setting and all of that for a great price with a lunch-time offer at £39 for a 3-course meal and a glass of wine. We had to pre-choose the dishes and the starter and main dish came at the same time as it was some kind of quick lunch offer (available on Saturdays as well). I fell in love with their "parmentier de canard" and the delicate presentation of dishes. Went there with my boyfriend for a special occasion and couldn't recommend it more!

Carmen
Staff Writer

I have been to L'Atelier Joel Robuchon several times for drinks (never tried the restaurant). This venue is located in the heart of buzzy London's West End, and somehow the atmosphere is very relaxing as soon as you walk in! There is  a wine bar with a terrace bar for drinks which is very relaxing and cosy. There is also live music every thursday, friday and Saturdays. Although the drinks are expensive, this is a great place to chill and enjoy a nice glass of wine (start price @ £9 for 125ml glass) before the weekend or after work during the week. Very nice location for a special occasion as well. I totally recommend this bar, its a little gem in the hear of  London.

Babs - Working Girl London
Tastemaker

I haven't been for food here but did go to the terrace bar for drinks. For somewhere so central, it was actually quite quiet and relaxed, a nice change from most cocktail bars! The decor is beautiful, the staff were friendly and the cocktails were on point. It's a great date spot, especially as you won't find yourself shouting over loud music to be heard, but equally could be nice with family and friends. It's quite small so not the best place for a huge group. The drinks are not cheap, but they are what you'd expect from a nice, central cocktail bar. I would 100% recommend this for a chilled drink or two, or if you're trying to impress a special someone ;)

Nigel C

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. 

Megan E

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.

Simon C
Staff Writer

Wow, stumbled into L'Atelier to meet friends for drinks one afternoon, what a fantastic little rooftop bar. The staff were very welcoming, they showed us to the unusually dark lift and and sent us to the rooftop where we were met with a smile by the bar staff. We elected to sit outside on the quaint little rooftop terrace area, sipping pleasant cocktails and refreshing Meantime beers. Complimentary bar snacks of olives and nut selection were an added bonus. A gem of a discovery, discreetly tucked away in a central location and feeling of exclusivity. Will definitely recommend to my friends. Let's hope the summer weather continues and I'll be back soon. 

Rebecca

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.

Francis and Mel

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.

Me

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.

Many

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!

Dan

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.

Sarah

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.