The months seem to be flying by this year and the arrival of October has somehow taken me by surprise. I’m not sure if I’m ready for the continuous drop in temperature in this second month of autumn, but one of the things that I do look forward to in October is the annual London Restaurant Festival – a great opportunity to experience amazing dining experiences and exclusive menus across the capital for less.
Having passed by this restaurant numerous times on my frequent jaunts around the West End and Covent Garden, I finally took this opportunity to one of London’s favoured Michelin-starred restaurants, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon that serves simple yet exquisite French cuisine, courtesy of multi-award-winning celebrity chef Joël Robuchon.
Unlike most French restaurants that I’ve frequented, the interior and decor of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is much more modern and contemporary, the layout influenced by Japanese restaurants that encourages an engaging dining experience. The counter that surrounds the open kitchen on the ground floor offers a prime spot to watch the chefs in action. A more conventional restaurant setting can be found in La Cuisine on the first floor, where the experience is similar to dining in the kitchen itself.
We were welcomed with complimentary glasses of Veuve Cliquot champagne and some warm sourdough bread with butter to start.
To whet our appetites, we were served an amuse bouche of delicate foie gras royale, topped with a layer of Vintage Port reduction and a foamy parmesan emulsion.
My choice of starter was the sautéed squid that was tender and had been thinly sliced with roasted baby artichokes and small cubes of chorizo that added flavour to the dish. I had a taste of Emma’s duo of beetroot that was really light and refreshing, mixed with green apple, avocado, and a green mustard sorbet.
I really enjoyed my main of caramelised free range quail stuffed with foie gras, which came served with a heavenly side of truffle mashed potatoes. Emma’s pollack was delicate and beautifully seared, accompanied by coco beans, lovage and a flavoursome shellfish jus.
Prior to dessert, we were served a palate cleanser of Earl Grey sorbet, pineapple and citrus confit with fresh verbena.
To finish, I indulged in the rich and smooth Brazilian chocolate with a crunchy centre that added texture, topped with praline ice cream. I’d recommend the pear savarin which was also really good, with granola and pear sorbet. Complimentary coffee/tea was also served at the end of our meal, with some petit fours.
Overall we had a very satisfying lunch, with very prompt and efficient service throughout our experience. The food was all well-presented and each one was clearly explained by our servers.
Located within a short walking distance of Covent Garden and Leicester Square underground stations, this internationally acclaimed restaurant is ideal for a pre or post-theatre meal in the West End of London.
The London Restaurant Festival menu at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon which is priced at £45 per person is available from 1-31 October 2018 – you can book via Bookatable via this link. There are also plenty of other venues offering equally great-valued menus which you can view on the Bookatable website.