Sugared & Spiced

paris, pâtissière in training

[TAIPEI] L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

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L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

Address: 5/F Bella Vita, 28 Song Ren Rd, Hsin Yi District, Taipei / 台北市信義區松仁路28號Bella Vita 5樓
Tel: (02) 8729 2628
Hours: 11:30am~2:30pm, 6:00pm~10:00pm
Website: www.joel-robuchon.net
Price: [lunch] 1,280~2,880 NTD/set, [dinner] 3,000~6,000 NTD/person
Visited on: 2012-01-26

The dramatic black and red decor, with a sleek dining bar surrounding a central open kitchen. Yes, you are at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Like the rest of the workshops around the world, L’Atelier in Taipei fosters an interactive atmosphere between diners and the kitchen, separated merely by a counter. A vibrant and convivial vibe permeates the air as chefs experiment and create while diners witness the preparation of dishes right before them. Everyone is part of the action.

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon 

Bar seats

Open kitchen 

Table setting

If you have groups of 3 or more you can also choose regular tables for easier conversations, but that’s not nearly as fun as sitting at the bar.

Table seats

Good bread, good butter.

Bread basket 

Butter, olive oil with balsamic vinegar

Lunch sets at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon are priced at 1,280~2,880 NTD depending on your permutation of dishes. I chose the middle option, priced at 2,080 NTD, which includes une entree ou une soup (appetizer or soup), un plat au choix (main course), un dessert (dessert), et café ou thé (coffee or tea). It started subtly with a corn custard with Parmesan foam, an absolutely brilliant amuse bouche.

Amuse bouche 

That black dot is a sugar coated pepper. It was tiny but intense, leaving a resonance on the palate long after its gone.

Amuse bouche

The red layer above the custard is Port wine sauce.

Amuse bouche 

The amuse bouche was followed by La Chataigne en Fin Bouillon au Fumet de Céleri et Lard Fumé, chestnut soup with smoked bacon. Sweet was the dominating flavor, but there were layers behind this frontier, all fortified by a lovely celery aroma. The soup was garnished with whipped cream, a few dots of olive oil, and a sprinkle of pepper. Hearty, yet sophisticated. After scooping up every last bit of this concoction, all I wanted was to have another bowl.

La Chataigne en Fin Bouillon au Fumet de Céleri et Lard Fumé

La Chataigne en Fin Bouillon au Fumet de Céleri et Lard Fumé

Chestnut 

Smoked bacon

Next came Mushroom Risotto with Seared Foie Gras, not part of the lunch set and not on the menu, but a courtesy of the chef. Thank you!

Mushroom Risotto with Seared Foie Gras

Mushroom Risotto with Seared Foie Gras

Mushroom Risotto with Seared Foie Gras

For my main course, I was tempted to order Le Black Cod, apparently a very popular choice at the restaurant, but in the end I went for Le Filet D’agneau Grillé au Teppanyaki, avec une Compotée D’aubergine aux Citron Confits. The lamb was slow cooked to a pink, tender perfection, but overall it wasn’t as impressive as the preceding dishes.

Le Filet D’agneau Grillé au Teppanyaki, avec une Compotée D’aubergine aux Citron Confits 

Le Filet D’agneau Grillé au Teppanyaki, avec une Compotée D’aubergine aux Citron Confits 

Le Filet D’agneau Grillé au Teppanyaki, avec une Compotée D’aubergine aux Citron Confits 

All lunch sets come with mashed potatoes, made with equal parts butter and potato, whipped until they become one. The texture is more solid than most mashed potatoes I’ve tasted, it’s almost a bit sticky. Luxuriously rich and addicting.

Whipped potatoes

Pre-desserts: Beer flower jelly, cherries (fresh and steamed), almond ice-cream, Brandy whipped cream. Slightly intoxicating and thoroughly refreshing.

Pre-Dessert

At the waitress’ recommendation, I chose Dessert du Jour, which happened to be apple tart for the day. The plate looked nothing like what I expected – all the components are presented separately: a brick of puff pastry, a block of apple puree, a spoonful of vanilla ice-cream, a mound of whipped cream, a spear of vanilla and caramel sauce, and a sprinkle of pistachio and caramelized almond slices.

Dessert du Jour: Apple Tart

The key is to have a bit of everything in one bite, and a blissful bite it is! Contrasting flavors and textures harmonize beautifully together, yet each component was able to hold its own.

Dessert du Jour: Apple Tart

Vanilla ice-cream

Dessert du Jour: Apple Tart

Lastly, a cup of Mariage Frères Wedding Impérial, served in a sturdy (read: heavy) Staub tea pot. I love the creamy aroma of Wedding Impérial – it’s like Christmas in a cup! Unfortunately it was a bit over-steeped, resulting in a slightly astringent taste.

Mariage Frères Wedding Impérial 

Staub

With the tea came a caramel macaron, a lovely finish – Robuchon’s macarons are by far my favorites in Taipei.

But we are not done here. Let’s take a look at what my lunch date had for her a la carte orders, starting with La Mais en Fin Veloute Oncteux, Gelée de Boeuf, Trembiotante au Caviar (1,380 NTD).

La Mais en Fin Veloute Oncteux, Gelée de Boeuf, Trembiotante au Caviar 

La Mais en Fin Veloute Oncteux, Gelée de Boeuf, Trembiotante au Caviar 

La Mais en Fin Veloute Oncteux, Gelée de Boeuf, Trembiotante au Caviar 

For the main course, L’onglet en Tartare et une Couronne de Jeunes Pousse (1,480 NTD).

L’onglet en Tartare et une Couronne de Jeunes Pousse 

Under the gold leaf is a quail egg. The veil of black? Truffles.

L’onglet en Tartare et une Couronne de Jeunes Pousse 

L’onglet en Tartare et une Couronne de Jeunes Pousse 

For dessert, Le Sucre en Sphére Gamie d’une Créme Légere au Cafe Arabica et son Granité (580 NTD).

Le Sucre en Sphére Gamie d’une Créme Légere au Cafe Arabica et son Granité 

Le Sucre en Sphére Gamie d’une Créme Légere au Cafe Arabica et son Granité 

Finish with a cup of latte and a macaron.

Latte

Head chef Angelo was on leave the day I visited, and apparently there was a discernible difference in quality. My lunch date, a frequent patron of the restaurant, insisted that I must try it again when Angelo is in the kitchen. Irregardless, I was very happy with lunch at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Taipei, and will happily come back again next time I’m in Taipei. It is by far the most satisfying fine dining restaurant I have been to in this city.

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Written by sugarednspiced

January 29th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

3 Responses to '[TAIPEI] L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon'

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  1. oh my my, these pictures are surely satisfying to the eye already, can’t imagine how heavenly they must’ve tasted in your mouth! haha

    thanks for the post!

    Mason

    31 Jan 12 at 11:05 PM

  2. never wanted to go to taiwan before, but after seeing this i really wanted to go there! just for trying this resto and that dessert! any more cafe & resto suggestion in taipei?

    monique

    26 Mar 12 at 9:20 PM

  3. of course, you can find a whole section of taipei restaurant and cafe recommendation under my “archive by city.” i also have a taipei cafe guide which you can find on the right side column :)

    sugarednspiced

    26 Mar 12 at 9:33 PM

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