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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|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
When one reads that Joel Robuchon has 26 Michelin stars to his name, expectations are raised VERY high. So when colleagues suggested lunch there, salivation started immediately.
We dined in the ground-floor space – a curious mélange of red roses, black laqueur and trailing greenery which says upscale Chinese to me rather than upscale French, but then I've never been entirely convinced by our Gallic friends' taste in interior design. (If you sit at the counter, you're confronted by a glass cabinet than runs round the back of the bar and is filled with seaside bits and bobs – most odd and curiously reminiscent of a fish-and-chippery with pretension.)
The menu offered a selection of small plates – very à la mode, à la carte, and a set lunch. We opted for the latter and went for the version with a couple of glasses of wine thrown in (£32 for two courses with a couple of decent wines).
The style of cooking is modern with a fusion twist: the cucumber soup had an undertone of curry and coconut (but done with great finesse and tact). The main of a lamb leg steak with tempura-ed vegetables was good but hardly set the pulse racing. My colleagues opted for fish and veal – both came with lashings of foam. A starter of mushrooms with a lightly poached egg – again adorned with foam – was, I hope, better to eat than it looked… Pudding was a tasting plate of five tiny slices of tart and each one was a delight.
The wait-staff was charming, keen to help and advise, and – in that typically French way – was determined that no nuance of the cooking should pass you by as they delivered their litany as the plates were delivered.
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon is one of those places that demands a re-visit pretty swiftly – is this style over substance, or something altogether classier? I'm not sure…