Joël Robuchon is the most Michelin starred chef in history. His flagship Joël Robuchon are the mostly 3-starred, and the L’Ateliers are mostly 2-starred. Taipei does not have its own Michelin list, but if it did, this L’Atelier would have got its well-deserved 2-stars.
At the heart of Tapei metropolis, l’Atelier de Joël Robuchon opened in 2009. The 7th Workshop in the world has taken all of his big brothers, the pared-down red and black decoration, a 32 seats counter around a central kitchen, ‘La Carte’ proposing classic or tasting portions signed by Joël Robuchon combined with the experience of the executive chef Angelo Agliano brilliantly realizes Joël Robuchon’s recipes. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Taipei is no exception to the rule. The interactive atmosphere between the kitchen and the dining room expresses all the conviviality of Joël Robuchon’s Ateliers always seeking for simplicity.
Menu Découverte – Discovery Menu
L’Amuse Bouche– foie gras mousse, port wine gelee and parmasean foam. Served warm, the sweet and savory flavors mingle together to start the meal.
Le Caviar Imperial servi en surprise dans une fine gelée cardinaisée – Oscietre caviar with crab and jelly. The signature dish in every JB – the finest caviar on consommé gelée topped with savoury swimmer crab meat.
L’Œuf de Poule Miroir au plat sur un riz nacré doré, copeaux de truffe noire – Soft-boiled egg on golden pearl rice and shavings of back truffle. The main ingredient was truffle, but the soft-boiled egg stole the show.
Le Foie Gras de Canard poêlé, mandarine épicé au Grand Marnier – Pan-fried duck foie gras, mandarin orange spiced with Grand Marnier. Yum yum.
Le Homard Ravigote de Poivre Noir de Malabar aux herbes en civet et épinards petites feuilles – Lobster Ravigote of Malabar, black pepper with herbs in stew and spinach leaves. Not much Ravigote (sauce), more foam that wetted the lobster claws, infused with truffle.
L’Amadai dans un fin bouillon de coquillages parfumé au yuzu – Tilefish in a fine broth of shellfish flavoured with yuzu. The fish skin with scales attached was fried to a crisp, making the scales edible. The fish was very fresh and the amount of work done to the skin was simply atrocious.
Le Porc Ibérique “la plume” caramélisée, polenta moelleuse et chicon aux croustilles dorées – Iberian Pork “the feather” caramelized, polenta mash and chicon with golden chips. Not really my favourite meat, pork that is, but this one was almost like beef. Still I don’t like it. Plus polenta, don’t like that too.
Le Pamplemousse en déclinaison, frais et glacé accompagné d’une gelée au citron vent – Grapefruit sorbet with fresh lemon and lemon jelly. A palate cleanser that had been served as a dessert. Could have been better before the pork.
La Fleur de Caramel bavarois à la poire Williams, cœur coulant au chocolat Alpaco – Bavarian caramel flower with Williams pear stuffing and Alpaco chocolate.
And the dinner ended with coffee, tea and macarons.
Les Entrees – Appetisers
Le Homard du Maine et son avocat en guacamole, fine tuile au poivre – Maine lobster with Avocado and Guacamole on Pepper tile. What a way to describe cold boiled lobster on a bed of guacamole and sprinkled with pepper. What could every go wrong with lobster and avocado?
La Châtaigne et les ailerons de volaille en fin bouillon au fumet de céleri – Chestnut soup in celery broth and chicken wing was delicious, even though it looked so simple.
Les Plats – Main Courses
Les Spaghetti à notre façon, œuf mollet et aux langues d’oursin – Spaghetti L’Atelier-style, soft-boiled egg and sea urchin.
Le Bœuf la joue sautée au vin du Minervois, polenta moelleuse au formage et olive Taggiasche – Beef cheek sauteed with Minervois wine, soft polenta with cheese and olive Taggiasche. The red wine braised beef cheek was very tender and matched perfectly with the creamy polenta. But again I am not a big fan of polenta.
For the main dishes they were accompanied by mashed potato, a very buttery and fine concoction that melted in the mouth. For me, I am a simpler folk that would love a sauce over it.
The service was impeccable and the food superb – one of the best French restaurant in Taipei. However, I would always love to see a local chef rises to the ranks of these L’ateliers.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Bellavita Mall, 5/F, No. 28 Song Ren Road
110 Hsin Yi District, Taipei, Taiwan
Tel: +886 2 8729 2628
Date visited: Dec 2012