There has been a sudden surge of celebrity and Michelin star restaurants in Asia recently and the top venues are of curse, Singapore and Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, we have Bo Innovation leading the list for its molecular gastronomic take on Chinese cuisine. With the opening of Marina Bay Sands, several celebrity chefs put up restaurants, such as Wolfgang Puck's Cut, Mario Batali's Osteria Mozza and Pizerria Mozza, Daniel Boulud's Bistro Moderne and Guy Savoy among others. The list goes on, in Singapore, having new Michelin starred spots such as . Perhaps one of the most celebrated chefs is Joel Robuchon, who finally opened not one, but two restaurants in Singapore's Resorts World Sentosa.
The two restaurants are actually side by side, the Joel Robuchon Restaurant and the L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon. For those who are in the dark, Joel Robuchon is the most decorated chef in the world, with a total of 26 Michelin stars for his fine dining restaurants, of which there are 22 spread in Paris, Las Vegas, New York, Tokyo, Nagoya, Hong Kong, Taipei, Macau and a number of other European cities. I have been to his Atelier in Paris and Macau, but have never been given the chance to dine.
This attempt in Singapore was actually the second one already. In this visit to Singapore, I made sure I made reservations in advance. So, I finally made it and entered the doors of the Atelier.
The Atelier had a more casual atmosphere compare to the other one, which was clearly a traditional fine dining restaurant. It was National Day, so for some reason, the restaurant was not full. I guess all the Singaporeans were in Marina Bay. We were seated on the counter facing the red and black kitchen that resembled a bento box. The way we were seated was unique, and shot up excitement levels to the maximum.
The menu was a little confusing, since it was all culinary jargon, and in French even. We just ordered 4 small plates each, totaling out count to 8 dishes. We were quickly served with a flavorful amuse bouche of a satin smooth foie gras custard in sweet red wine reduction topped with parmesan foam.
My 10-year old daughter actually ordered better than me. While I took the safe ones, she ordered more interesting dishes, like the one above - Le Crab. The appetizer is one of the most tasteful dishes on the menu, and prized as well. The creation has a sweet and sour sauce laced king crab sandwiched between 2 lucid slivers of thinly sliced turnips.
The grilled salmon on skewers was perhaps the most ordinary dish. Nothing special here, but my daughter liked it. I was then served the juicy and succulent Le Burger, two pieces of mini burgers stacked with beef, foie gras and caramelized bell peppers. The french fries on the side were also irresistible.
Lizzy was having the time of her life, so she ordered one more dish. It turned out to be one of the highly recommended on the menu as well - the La Caille, which was a beautifully caramelized foie gras stuffed quail served with Robuchon's famous buttery mashed potatoes.
Our other dishes included a Dicon Soup, a Lobster Dumpling and more foie gras.
Of course, the experience wouldn't be complete without dessert, so we each ordered one. Again, I went for the safe chocolate mousse. The chocolate was dark and very rich, but not sweet, which was perfect for me.
My daughter ordered something different La Sphere, a white chocolate concoction that contained raspberry sorbet and fresh raspberries and coulis.
We ended up ordering a total of 10 small plates including dessert. It was a right move not to order main courses, since we got to try more with the right portions. In the end, our waiter offered us to have a photo opp with the chefs inside the kitchen itself. They were so endeared with my daughter I think for being so appreciative of their food. Chef de Cusine Lorenz Hoja, who leads the team, even took a solo shot with Lizzy. Unfortunately, Monsieur Robuchon was not present.
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon gave me my most memorable dining experience so far. The restaurant does lives up to its name. There was a Filipina chef in the team so we were quite proud of her. Though the bill was also memorable, I think the experience was well worth every penny spent. This proves that passionate service, exquisite food and great ambience truly are the ingredients for a great restaurant experience.
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
8 Sentosa Gateway
Hotel Michael Level 1
Resorts World, Sentosa, Singapore