L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon @ West St, London

Taking off from where I left off , from Kidrobot at 7 Dials, I legged it over to West Street (extremely nearby) as I was supposed to meet some friends at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon for lunch and I was already late.

With renowned restaurants in Paris, Tokyo and Las Vegas, I was psyched to eat at the restaurant of the legendary chef Joël Robuchon. Read more about Chef Robuchon  here.

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon is situated just down the road from the famous IVY. If you have trouble with the name just remember to ask for direction to well, the Ivy;)

L’Atelier is black. You cannot miss it. Everything from the facade, to the interior’s walls and shiny black counters , to the way the staff is dressed, it’s all rather dark.

Even though we had made a reservation, we were told that there was not place downstairs at the Japanese inspired, open kitchen concept bar where  sitting by the counter actually enables the guests to partake in some kitchen action .. (we were gutted). Apparently here, one should opt for small dishes where one can see first hand, as the chef prepares it.  Unfortunately we were relegated upstairs to an  European-style menu format, i.e. lunch at the first-floor dining room, La Cuisine (a brighter, more traditional-looking area).

Chicken Terrine

Earlier, my friends had told me that Chef Robuchon,  says his inspiration for L’Atelier comes from the tapas bars of Spain, where he has a house. As such, sliced Iberico ham is always on the menu.. unfortunately when we asked for it, they said that they were out. What a shame. So no seat at the counter, no Iberian ham – off to a bad start. Then we waited for half an hour to be served the bread. The waiter of non-English descent told us in a really rude manner – “So this or this?” – pointing sharply with his hand (As in white or brown bread). Maybe it was the English barrier but they really should train their staff to be more polite.

Anyway after 40 minutes, our 1st starter finally appeared – the chicken terrine which was bland and uninspiring.

Grilled Chicken on bed of rice with cream mushroom sauce.

The grilled chicken was served rather uniquely (well, to a Malaysian at least) because it came with one section of thigh meat and the other being a section from the whiter breast. Normally in Malaysia you either get thigh or breast and that’s it.  Whilst the presentation was unique, unfortunately, the meal in itself, was forgettable. The chicken had a  strange smell to it, was hard and the sauce was just too heavy. Not my cup of tea.

Pan fried hake parsley roots purée, crunchy hazelnuts.

Hake is hake. This dish was delicious. The hazelnuts texturized each mouthful and went superbly well the the fish.

Finally dessert – apricot cake and coffee ice-cream.

Overall, we were unimpressed, for what we paid. The service was bad and the food was average. I don’t judge a restaurant on how many Michelin stars they have, but food is food and service is service. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon needs to get its act together and improve in the service, for sure.

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
Category: French
Neighbourhood: Covent Garden
13-15 West St
London WC2H 9NE
020 7010 8600

for more info go here


  • Fatboybakes’ cakes rocks hor? Now u know why we love Ah Pa.

  • Pretty much a reflection on my meal in January. I don’t know what Michelin were thinking awarding this a second star. Mind you, you got off lucky being sat at La Cuisine, since the seats downstairs at L’atelier are beyond uncomfortable.
    To sum L’atelier up – cheap ingredients, uninspiring dishes, terrible service (I quote you: “Sir would you like to order somemore wine?” “err… what happened to the half bottle I still have left?”)

  • wahlau eh..crap.. u sure had alot of michelin stars eventhough food is just food hor..

  • aiyo..i feel your pain. I would be fuming smokes outta my head!

  • Su says:

    they did a really impressive job for me @Joel Robuchon Las Vegas though. It was midblowing! *sigh* sad to hear they aren’t consistent throughout the world hehe. I’ll make sure to give Londons a miss. >.<

  • worldwindows says:

    Barring the taste and the service, the food at least looks good and well presented.

  • sc says:

    dang, i was hoping you had a good meal there since the presentation was pretty nice. such a waste- average food and bad service..

  • Julian Si says:

    FBB number one lar, even London and posh celeb chefs can’t beat the bro! 🙂

  • su – they use frozen fish in Robuchon las vegas… thats not 3* cooking however u look at it.

  • fatboybakes says:

    gosh, i dunno who to hate more, you or thamby. all you jetsetters….i spent my birthday in felda hotsprings i’ll have you know. cis. okay, time to london redux. i miss the damn place.
    i had a michellin piece of meat recently. it was 3 tyre rating.

  • cumi&ciki says:

    munkey, Jules:
    ahpa will be happy to read that !

    LOL, if i ever open a restaurant, u come review it.. if pass you, then should pass the litmus test:P no need to talk about Michelin 😛

    nipples: TNG:
    yar, too bad about that..

    LV ! shopped in LA but never made it to LV.. must do so soon..

    WW, SC:

    LOL… Michelin 3 tyre! you’re funny..

  • Oh no… that’s a pity. 🙁
    And the cake looks so pretty+yummy too (which proves that looks can be deceiving!)

  • eiling says:

    I’ll be disappointed too. But the presentation looks good to pass off… haha

  • paranoidandroid says:

    Darn, the person who suggested Robuchon should be shot. Next trip, try Ramsay’s Maze, which is Asian Inspired Gallic and is currently the restaurant du jour and the food comes in decent sized tasting portions. Other notables are Le Gavroche by Roux, the beautiful art deco Bibendum at Brompton Court (old Michelin Tyre HQ, I think, but serves good but stodgy food) and Tom Aikens who worked under Robuchon, but has set up his own Michelin starred placed in Chelsea.

    My sister lives in Westminster and gave the servers at L’Atelier a taste of tart British sarcasm plus the Malaysian Tai Tai killer stare at the end of the meal, which was just average but deplorable service to say the least. She was THAT sure she won’t be going there again. Being a hopeless coward I could only fidget and smirk.

    Seems that you had a good time in London, and that is all that matters. Welcome back.

  • Ming says:

    OK will strike tht off my list then!! Friends in London also suggested Maze so we are (fingers crossed) going to try that when we are there in Dec…

  • cumi&ciki says:

    J, Eiling:
    totally deceiving

    NOW you say.. chis:P

    Ooo maze! i wanted to go.. but didn’t get to the reservation.. lucky u!

  • Su says:

    kian : its time for u to get back to malaysia so i can whoop your sacrastic arse.. and no.. i didn’t eat seafood other than anchovies. BLERGH 3* style 😉

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