I've heard a lot about L'atelier de Joel Robuchon. How could I not? The guy has about a zillion michelin stars and unlike the other oh-so-glamorous chefs,(ahem *Gordon Ramsey*) all of Mr Robuchon's restaurants, bar 1, have Stars. Thats 26 stars between 11 restaurants. Some achievement. Mr Robuchon has more star's than any other chef on the planet and his London restaurant is the proud holder of two.
So not only did I eat a meal that boosts the name of, arguably, the best chef on the face of the Earth ,which was possibly one of the most satisfying experiences of my life, but better, it cost me £35.00. Thats the equivalent of a topshop shirt, or a manicure, or 17 one way bus tickets, or a bottle of Veuve Cliquot.
By my calculations, this makes this meal one of the cheapest I have reviewed on this blog so far, its not that I don't eat at cheaper restaurants, its that The Boyfriend's taste in wine automatically skews the cost upwards, (clearly time to start getting dinner without him), but anyway this meal was the clear winner in a price to satisfaction competition.
This was my second trip to a 2* Michelin Star restaurant after my first, disastrous experience at Le Gavroche. How is this place is superior to Le Gavroche? Let me count the ways -
Firstly, this place is cool. Its all dark, red, shiny and mirrors, low lighting. If you're trying to impress a date this is the place. Theres a bar you can watch the chefs and a wall of plants (yes, it should be tacky but its not).
Secondly, the service is not only impeccable but also charming and subtle. You hardly notice the waiters as they glide around, in fact, I think they were gliding.
Thirdly, the food is just mind blowingly good.
Fourthly, the food could pass for art.
Fifthly, it was relaxing, not stiff, stuffy or pretentious although, I should check if there is a dress code.
Sixthly, I could actually see the prices.
Anyway, back to the experience. So I headed to what I may now refer to as Heaven, on a Monday lunch time, sans The Boyfriend, but plus a friend. Suprisingly, Heaven looks more like Hell, the decor I alluded to above, is all dark and red. This is the kind of restaurant where not only the food looks good but you do too.
In order to be economical, my friend, The Moonster (childhood nickname that stuck), ordered a starter and a main course (£22.00) and I ordered a main course and a dessert (£22.00) so we could have a bite of everything.
Bread arrived first. It was pretty good (and free, gotta love that) but butter and oil- less which struck me as a bit odd. I don't know whether it was intentional or not or they just forgot it, but either way without it, the bread was a little dry.
Overall, it was a great experience that I think I will be day dreaming about for a long time.