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|Address:||13-15 West Street, London WC2H 9NE|
|Tel:||020 7010 8600|
|Price: £81.00||Wine: £32.00||Champagne: £79.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2.30pm 5.30-10.30pm|
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I don’t get out so much these days, so was quite excited to visit L’atelier as it has been on my must do list for a while. While it was mostly delight there was also a little disappointment too.
The food was very good, we had the tasting menu, fois and parmesan foam, caviar & crab, butter nut squash soup, some big old prawns, quail and truffle potatoes, some more fois a cheese course and an ice cream lollipop and an ice cream chocolate crunchy thing for desert. All the dishes were absolutely superb; none disappointed and all the tastes and textures were wonderfully combined. The portion sizes were spot on too, as at the end you were left pleasantly stuffed, rather than with some tasting menus where you are afraid to have the ‘wafer thin mint’ at the end!
The service was good, although we did have to ask twice for water, but not so keen on waiters stretching over the counter to put plates down. I even got told off once when I tried to help, which is a little funny as later they were handing me hot plates, as they couldn’t reach past the large bowl full of faux ice cubes.
The ambience and décor were lovely, some nice albeit a little loud mood music in the background and the dark woods and dim lights provided a very convivial atmosphere.
But the real disappointment for me was the whole counter concept, it is almost like the whole restaurant has been turned into a chef’s table, where you sit around the kitchen and watch the chefs prepare food, which was all very professional and besides a few ‘yes Chef’ shouts you can almost forget they were there, no Ramsey tantrums here!.
The tall stools cramped together in a line wasn’t for me though, I am built more for comfort than style these days. To get out of your chair you had to shuffle it backwards to avoid hitting into the person next to you. The stools while well upholstered were comfy to a point, but far from letting you sit back and relax.
As we were just two the sitting in a row was no problem, but for larger groups the counter simply doesn’t work although I noticed they tended to put groups on the corners.
All in all it very good, if I was dating this would be the ideal place but for me next time I think I’ll go to the La Cuisine.