Atelier Robuchon London

13-15 West Street, London, England, WC2H 9NQ, United Kingdom

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Below are notes from a meal in September 2006, by way of comparison.

The restaurant has smart décor, if rather 1980s in style, with lots of red velvet curtains and black lacquer. Unlike Atlelier Robuchon in Paris, this has some tables as well as sitting around the bar, though the same bar stools are used throughout. Space is “intimate” according to an interview with Joel Robuchon, though “tightly packed” would be another view. The menu offers either small portions or a conventional set of starters and main courses; we went for the tasting mini portions. There was just one type of bread, rather bland country bread that was just a little chewier in texture than ideal (14/20). Crab and avocado salad was two small pairs of rounds of avocado with crab sandwiched between, served with a few spots of red pepper sauce (15/20). Fried langoustine was delicate and served with a smear of pesto sauce and a little deep-fried basil as garnish (17/20). Langoustine ravioli wrapped in Savoy cabbage was less successful, topped with a little black truffle, and with a tiny amount of shellfish sauce (15/20). Mackerel tart was very good, with delicate pastry and tasty mackerel, topped with black olives (16/20). Raw tuna with a little finely chopped tomato was of good quality (15/20). Two miniature beefburgers with foie gras were good, the steak of high quality and cooked with lightly caramelised bell peppers (16/20). Two small pieces of quail on the bone were very tender, stuffed with a little foie gras and served with a little truffled mashed potato (17/20). The mashed potato was reminiscent of Robuchon’s famous version, but was nowhere near as good. 

Tarts of chocolate and passion fruit had reasonable pastry and high grade fillings, but a vanilla and cinnamon tart was less successful (16/20). The coffee glace dessert was very intensely flavoured coffee ice-cream topped with coffee mousse and a melting coffee tuile, served in a glass; at the base was a chicory jelly, which worked very well; the glass stood in a dish of silvered coffee beans (16/20). Service was friendly but a shambles. There were lots of waiters, mostly French, but they were completely unable to keep tabs on who had ordered the various dishes. Overall it was all just a little disappointing, given the high price tag, and certainly less good than Atelier Robuchon in Paris. Frederique Simonin may have got two Michelin stars at La Table de Joel Robuchon in Paris, but he has a long way to go before getting anywhere near that standard here. The service in particular seems inexcusably bad, and little details like a typo on the main menu “whitting” instead of whiting are careless.


Further reviews: 09th Jan 2013 | 01st Feb 2008

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