The Most Délicieux Dinner Yet @ L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

I’ve never really been much of a ‘foodie’, and certainly never seen the point of splurging at fancy restaurants spending hundreds per meal on what seemed to me to be overly expensive for tiny slices of meat and ridiculously overpriced wine. Given I probably can’t tell the difference between a $3 beef bee-hoon from a $300 Le Beef, it’s usually a waste of money going to any fine-dining restaurants that also required me to dress up in anymore than my usual wardrobe collection involving daggy pants and thongs. Not to mention, when I saw the ads for the supposedly most awarded ‘Michelin’ stars chef in the world mentioned, that I thought, “What’s a tire company doing awarding stars to chefs?’

My wife, on the other hand, always seemed to smile that little bit sweeter and a little snappier on her feet, when I took her out to anys fancy restaurants. Feeling like I need to ‘do my thing’, and given I saw this ad for the supposed ‘Most awarded Michelin stars Chef’ in the world who happen to have a restaurant right next to our hotel at Sentosa, I thought I may as well orgnise a ‘date’ to keep her happy.

The restaurant is called L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, and even until now, I still have no idea how it is pronounced. You would think they would use a catchier and perhaps an easier to remember name, but obviously the restaurant is so successful, they have no need to worry about that. The restaurant exterior exudes, ‘Don’t come near me, unless you’re loaded’ sort of ‘poshy’-ness to it. And unless you are well versed in French, the menu is as good as waste paper to us. Nevertheless, no one would have had any trouble understanding the price tags on each item on the menu. It certainly raised my heart beats a few notches looking at the ‘Degustation’ option that cost $540++. Thankfully, there is the ‘workshop’ arm of the restaurant (Which is what the word L’Atelier mean, apparently), which had the more ‘affordable’ option at $260++, and meant that we get to sit at the bar, watching our food prepared right in front of us.

Once settled in, I began to appreciate just how ‘fine’ this restaurant is, from interior of the restaurant, to the quality of the waiters, to the presentation of the food, and of course the taste of the food. We went with a single Set B Menu, along with an A La Carte menu, picking a variety of items that we think will allow us to enjoy a wide range of offerings from the restaurant. And you know what? From appetizers, to mains, to the dessert, everything looked and tasted beyond my expectations, to the extent that every single dish deserved a photo of its own. Here’s just some that we tasted last night…

Le Carpaccio de Dorade- Carpaccio of Sea Bream

LE FOIE GRAS de canard chaud aux coings acidulés – Duck liver

LA NOISETTE en dacquoise, praliné croustillant et son sorbet exotique

Every dish that came out either wowed me, or my wife.  We were probably a bit embarrassing to other patrons of the restaurant with our curious look and constant snapping away with our cameras of the food. We were just happy customers awed by every dish that was presented in front of us. For one complimentary dish, I thought the waiter was kidding when he told us that people come to this restaurant just for the best potato mash in the world, until I tried it myself.

If he didn’t tell me it was potato mash, I probably would have thought it looked more like fine sorbet. Having tasted it, I have to agree that it is the finest potato mash money can buy!

The bill came back at the end just over $300 for both us, which is probably at the lower end of what most customers spend here (I think). It’s certainly way more than what I would normally spend! But, by the end of the whole experience, both myself and Wai Kuan left, vowing to come back again, and THAT is exactly why this restaurant is worth every cent that we paid for it.

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