There is a lot going on at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, and it’s more than just the hot open kitchen action.
At the French haute cuisine “workshop”, vigilant service staff flit back and forth among the warmly lit wraparound black countertops. Twenty-eight racy red bar seats are pulled up to displays of ornamental fake conserved fruit, mostly suspended in vases of clear jelly. For a chef who has such high regard for fresh ingredients, the decor is curious though consistent – Robuchon’s nine other L’Ateliers have the same look.
Dishes offered at this more casual sibling of two Robuchon outposts in Singapore are extensive without being repetitive. The menu is predominantly French, with the stray cross-cultural offering. We tried both ends of the spectrum. L’Atelier’s forte seems to be the meats, though the meticulously cut “stick” frites and furiously whipped, incredibly smooth mash potatoes are also superb.
It helps that the L’Atelier staff are natural salespeople. Diners were invited to marvel at a slab of wagyu rib-eye and cut their intended portion for the chef to cook. The beautifully made pate en croute became an even easier sell when paraded on a platter to individuals for dramatic effect. Both classics did not disappoint. At the centre of the kitchen, a whole farm chicken encased in butter was set in the handcrafted Cuisines Design rotisserie. Extensive labour was needed to keep the La Volaille evenly crisp, golden and moist as it slowly revealed its form.
While there were some misses – like the neither Indian nor Thai green curry served with Japanese rice in Le Pomfret, and the sour buckwheat-textured chocolate cassis souffle – there is no denying this team has skill. In thisworkshop, it’s more than just technical.
L’ATELIER DE JOEL ROBUCHON
Level 1, Hotel Michael, Resorts World Sentosa, S(098269)