This restaurant, slap bang in the centre of theatreland is a striking venue set over three floors in the West End. The style is contemporary, seasonal and achingly French, reflected in everything from the design, the service, menus and of course, the Montpelier born Head Chef, Xavier Boyer.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon is part of the largest luxury restaurant group in the world, with the Chef at the very top having received more than 23 Michelin stars, more than any other chef on record.
We were invited to lunch and chose the kitchen counter on the ground floor where we overlooked a fleet of Chefs freshly preparing our dishes before our eyes.
We tried the four course tasting menu with matching wines (£41/ £64 with wines) but a two or three course option is also available at lunchtime and for pre-theatre dining.
The staff elegantly serve dishes direct to your counter spot, and there is a real sense of occasion presented with each. The menu is elegant and clever and incorporates some of Robuchon’s iconic dishes.
The quality of the ingredients was superb and we seamlessly breezed through crab, langoustine and salmon courses – each served with a sauce or veloute that was more exquisite than the last.
If sauces are the test of proper restaurant cooking, this is a very proper restaurant.
The undeniable star of the show was the duck dish – the lightest of touches and the most tender duck cuts imaginable, and served alongside the famous mashed potato.
Allegedly only including four ingredients – potatoes, butter, salt and milk, this dish manages to be a perfect example of simplicity and expertise. The rumours were right, this is the best potato dish in the world.
The First Floor also offers views of an open kitchen, but is a slightly more ‘classical’ and traditional restaurant, while the third floor is an elegant and sexy bar with a lovely terrace.
The design of the restaurant is sumptuous with red and black tones throughout, and a mysterious use of apples – strewn and arranged ornately at every opportunity in the restaurant.
Frances dined as a guest of the restaurant – read our editorial policy here.