It was lunch and I was in the mood to indulge, especially so after the recent, somewhat disappointing visit to Spoon by Alain Ducasse.
A flip-through the Hong Kong Tatler Guide to Restaurants, brought me to another restaurant owned by a Michelin-starred chef in Hong Kong.
On the 4th floor of the upmarket shopping mall The Landmark, lies L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Owned by renowned French culinary supremo Joel Robuchon, it is one of his six casual dining restaurants worldwide.
While both the bar top seats facing an open kitchen and a formal dining room were available, I chose the former. Not a hard choice to make, don’t you agree? Just like how one would prefer to have his Sushi meal in front of the Itamae, being in full view of the cooks and chefs preparing one’s meal is a joy in itself!
Complimentary Bread Platter
While it was served warm, it was not nothing much to shout about, other than being a quick fill-me-up.
I liked the fact that, there was a variety of breads available and that the wait staff would explain, in detail I must add, each and every single one of them.
A tomato puree alongside a mild tasting custard, topped with small bits of truffle got the meal going.
I liked how, ‘light’, the amuse bouche tasted, without being overpowering. But as to whether it achieved the purpose of whetting one’s appetite, unfortunately, it did not.
La Saint Jacques (a la plancha, condients au kumquat et jeunes poireaux)
The pan seared scallops with baby leeks and kumquat sauce were done wonderfully! Seared perfectly, in terms of done-ness, well-cooked on the outside, pink in the centre.
The kumquat sauce, however, was a little disappointing. Personally, I do not have a heavy palate, but I felt the sauce was a tad too diluted, not in texture though.
Forgive me, if I seem to be contradicting myself, but I can understand the reasons behind the lack of flavours, if it was the Chef’s intention. The Chef could have probably wanted a light sauce to bring out the freshness and natural flavours of the scallops.
That said, I would have preferred something a tad heavier in taste.
La Courgette (une royale de thon et de foie gras)
As interesting as the dish may sound, I did not take to Zucchini on tuna and foie gras “royale”.
A thin, gelatinous layer infused with the essences of tuna and foie gras, with bits of zucchini.
Frankly, the dish came around as being flat and void of much flavours.
Having said that, I liked the ingenuity and the presentation of the dish.
Le Porc (cuit a la plancha, accompagne de coeur de sucrine)
Pork has never tasted so good before! This pig, most definitely died for a just cause.
From where I was seated at the bar, I witnessed the chef painstakingly cook the pork on a flat grill, turning it occasionally, ensuring that no side gets overdone (or burnt). Witnessing such dedication to his job at hand, I knew, there and then, that every slice was going to be excellent.
Excellent, it truly was. 6 pieces of succulent pork loin, lay before me. As I cut a small piece and slowly placed it in the interior of my mouth, I let out a soft, but long “ooohhhh”. It was tender. It was juicy. It was the best pork dish that I’ve ever tasted!
Tiramisu (Classico, au mascarpone a notre facon)
Having had the excellent pork main, I was expecting an excellent dessert to end off the meal. But, perhaps because of such heightened expectations, the classic tiramisu in L’Atelier style failed to deliver.
It was awfully sweet and it did not have any trace of alcohol or coffee in it. I am pretty sure that this is L’Atelier’s interpretation of the Tiramisu, but ;
Give me a traditional Tiramisu anytime over this rendition.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
Shop 401 The Landmark 4F,
Tel: (852) 2166 9000}