L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032
Dining date: 10/15/12

8108788941 85dd753ce7 LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon was on my list of Tokyo restaurants early on, largely because I’ve had fairly consistently good meals here, but also because I think it’s been fun to compare them across the world (I’ve been to the Las Vegas, Paris, London and now Tokyo locations). For a sort of welcome dinner for our team in Tokyo, I was tasked to find a suitable restaurant. Ultimately this was the choice, given its English-friendliness (the Roppongi area is frequented by many foreigners) and approachability to Western tastebuds.

The restaurants present Robuchon’s refined cuisine in a more casual setting, full of counter seating. I think I read somewhere that Japan’s sushi bars were the inspiration behind the counter-centric nature of L’Atelier restaurants, so it was interesting to see it come together in Tokyo. Similar to the London and Paris locations, the Tokyo restaurant shares a Michelin two-star rating.

8108787583 1b516de3af LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

8108781937 12cf923527 n LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan) 8108790981 7da3213197 n LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

A tasting menu and an a la carte are available, as well as a number of prix fixe menus with a variety of options. Most of us went with the latter; the below captures some of the other dishes but I’ll only comment on the ones I ate.

Pork Rillette on Crostini

8108794000 7e15e5ddb1 LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

We started with an amuse from the kitchen. Even though the description was in English, we still couldn’t quite capture what this was. It was sort of a pork rillette simmered with white wine. Simple yet tasty.

I’ve always enjoyed pretty strong bread service at Robuchon establishments, and this was no exception.

8108793382 0859d4e04c LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

Next up were the first courses, including this impressive presentation.

Le Saumon tasmanian salmon tartare with shiso flower buds

8108785671 7b4969fb53 LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

Le Crabe snow crab served with an avocado mousse and apple

8108785043 1880008a00 LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

I went with this dish, a light starter with sweetness of the pear and crab mellowed by an avocado mousse. The shellfish gelee was a nice touch too, providing a lot of depth.

Next were the second courses.

Le Bulbe de Lys lily bulb cream soup with vanilla accompanied with a stuffed shrimp

8108791586 1ca6aa4f1d LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

Les Ravioles foie gras ravioli in a warm chicken broth with herbs and spicy cream

8108791054 2433c03b43 LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

8108783659 72e4403106 LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

I couldn’t resist a foie gras ravioli, my first bites of the liver since the California ban. A rich chicken broth with herbal shiso accents provided the backdrop to the ravioli with its delicate chew and creamy unmistakable foie gras interior.

Next up were the main courses.

Le Boeuf sliced wagyu beef ribeye with wasabi flavored spinach and harlequin vegetables

8108782717 4d2fa8bf62 LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

Le Boeuf wagyu ribeye with truffled mashed potatoes

8108790180 0f63ec3f05 LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

Le Caille caramelized foie gras stuffed free range quail served with mashed potatoes

8108782315 9df8e48713 LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

I opted for the quail, which the waiter said was a specialty across Robuchon restaurants. I’m glad I did, as this was an outstanding dish. The quail itself was moist and succulent, complemented by a subtly sweet glaze. The breasts were separated from the bone and stuffed with a creamy foie gras filling – so luscious. Delicious. Robuchon’s trademark uber-rich potatoes came along with it, while some herbal greens brightened things up a bit.

Lastly, we had the dessert courses.

Le Raisin fresh grape covered with a red wine jelly served on a light mint cream

8108790545 fa973a57d4 LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

La Tendance Chocolat araguani chocolate ganache served with a cocoa sherbet covered with bitter biscuit powder

8108796630 4b4b1294f7 LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

I didn’t realize it when ordering, but I had something really similar to this at the London location earlier this year. My thoughts on the dessert remain unchanged; it’s a fine dessert, sure, but I found it rather one-note on the chocolate.

A plate of mignardises completed our meal, but we were too full to finish all of it.

8108789277 646cacccd7 LAtelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan)

I found this to be a very good meal, highlighted by the quail stuffed with foie gras. In fact, I enjoyed the food here more than my London experience, though Paris remains the clear standard-bearer for me. I found service’s attentiveness to be rather inconsistent during this meal, with some courses brought to the table without a description and our server seemingly changing mid-meal without notice. Service-wise, I expected something more from a two-star. Still, this was an excellent starter meal for our stay in Tokyo.


Comments

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Tokyo, Japan) — 2 Comments

Leave a Reply!