08 May, 2009

Oishii Japan Series Part 6 - L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon @ Roppongi

London has 50. Paris has 98. But Tokyo has an astonishing 191 stars – Michelin Stars that is when the guide was launched in the capital of Japan in 2008 – and it has since revised to 227 stars in the 2009 edition. But the real winner was Frenchman Joël Robuchon, who suddenly finds himself the proud owner of six more Michelin Stars, and overtook Alain Ducasse as the most decorated chef in the world. So besides paying Tsukiji Fish Market a visit, time was also set aside for a meal at one of Joël Robuchon’s decorated restaurant in Roppongi.

The concept of L’Atelier, crowned two Michelin Stars by the guide, is that of an open kitchen enclosed by a 38-seat eating bar that allows customers to follow the service, watch the succession of dishes, and embrace the warm and casual ambience, fronted by attentive service and impeccable cuisine.

The distinctive low-lit classic black and red colour scheme also gives it a hint of stylish mood although – coincidentally, Joël Robuchon insists – makes it look like a Giant Bento Box!

HFB enjoyed the fact that there were good selections of wine by glass and the captain was helpful in suggesting the 2006 Espagne, Bierzo “Petalos”. HFB took a sip and truly enjoyed the wine – it was round and packed in the mouth, with a building sense of sweetness with acidity driving the finish.

The chef set in motion with the Amuse-bouche of Pulled-pork on Toast. Using a low-heat, long-cook method, the meat is very tender, and the toast crisp. It was a good start.

At the same time, the complimentary bread was served and HFB was impressed by the assortments of bread. Visually wise it enthralled him, and taste-wise it was definitely one of the better ones he had.

The Menu de Jour (JPY5,400 ~ SGD85.00) got going with the serving of Veal with Rocket Salad and Shaved Parmesan in Lemon Vinaigrette. It was an appetising dish that really invigorated one’s palate. HFB liked the fact that the harmonisation of ingredients was unfussy.

What’s there not to love about THE scallop dish – undeniably fresh and lightly seared, the sweetness from the natural juices just seek to engulf the person consuming it. The dish was also melodically balanced with chopped tomatoes and green peppers topping. And if having one is perfect, two is simply DIVINE!

There was a choice of Fish or Pork Cheek for the mains, and the latter was chosen. Rest above a bed of mash in company with a selection of assorted vegetables, the meat was splendidly executed – it was awfully tender and intensely flavoured. The mash potato was every bit as good if not better than any HFB had sampled – it was the smoothest pot of gold ever!

And if you are feeling generous, topped the set lunch with additional JPY1,680 ~ SGD25.00, and one will have the option of the Parmesan Cheese Risotto with Foie Gras. And trust HFB when he said that’s probably the best-valued $25 he will ever spent in his life. The goose liver was huge and all good. No words could describe how breathtaking the dish was! This dish alone made the trip all worthwhile!

Dessert was Panna Cotta coated with Caramel Cream and Coffee Biscuit. Once again, what stood out was the accord of different taste and texture within the dessert. The dessert was slightly too sweet for HFB liking though but that’s only because one could really taste the goodness of the caramel in it.

Food: 5/5 (The Foie Gras itself is worth the accolades)
Service: 4.5/5 (Staffs speaks decent English and are attentive)
Ambience: 4.5/5 (Modern, nice display of colours, casual, unpretentious)
Price: 4.5/5 (Worth it!)
Total: 18.5/20
2F Roppongi Hills Hillside
6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku

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Steve said...

You Foie Gras addict, you!

So we can assume that you like this restaurant then... great post mate.

(but think of those poor ducks wandering around wondering what happened to their livers!)

His Food Blog said...

It's a Michelin Starred restaurant - what's there not to love about the restaurant, Heh!

Service, ambience, food - everything was top notch - truly a wonderful dining experience!

Anonymous said...


Nice post! I will probably be in Tokyo the coming autumn. Is there a need to book in advance for this restaurant?


Scenes in Singapore life said...

Nice review...Lunch is always a good deal at Michelin restaurants, and Tokyo is no different.

Another place to try, 1 star only is Tateru Yoshino...http://shiokhochiak.blogspot.com/2008/05/tateru-yoshino-tokyo-japan.html

anon...as with all Michelin restaurants, reservations are highly recommended.

His Food Blog said...

Hi Anon 06:03 & P. Chong,

Surprisingly, L' Atelier do not have a reservation policy for their lunch - its purely walk-in. The restaurant opens at 11.30am and being Singaporean, I was the 1st in line. However crowd will stream in after 12pm, so you might want to be there early.

Diet Plan said...

Great Informations.

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