★ Joël Robuchon Restaurant, Singapore

A few years ago, while in Hong Kong, I had recced the menu at L’Atelier Joel Robuchon in The Landmark. For some reason, the menu appeared slightly too exotic for our liking, including meat such as lamb and guinea fowl in the degustation menu. Therefore I ended up trying another Michelin-Starred Restaurant – Amber instead.

The same year, Chef Joel Robuchon set up 2 eateries, L’Atelier and the fine dining arm in Singapore on Sentosa island. It was only until recently that I managed to visit them.  Was abit torn as to whether to dine at the L’Atelier casual dining side or the Joël Robuchon Restaurant side… but since there are a total of 8 L’Atelier outlets worldwide, there might be chance that I would visit them one day while overseas. So we decided to try the fine dining restaurant outlet.

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I was pretty hungry by 6 plus in the evening after a day of exploring Sentosa…so we had a very early dinner and was the earliest dinner guest in the restaurant. We had the place to ourselves for a good 30 mins before other guests entered, so I managed to enjoy the exclusivity and free to snap as many photos of the lavishly decorated dining hall as possible.

Started our meal with variety of bread and butter, with the beautiful and elegant staff in cheongsam carving the unsalted butter off the butter tower. There was at least 9 types of bread to choose from and they served us a basket of them. I liked that the breads are all in very petite portions, allowing me to taste all the selection. The other restaurant that I ever visited with daunting selection of bread displayed on the trolley had to be Steirereck in Austria. From Joel Robuchon bread basket, my favorite was a bread called Escargot (the light yellow one right in the centre of the bread basket pix below). It has a slightly crisp outer layer, soft and light mutli-layers created by twirlling the dough thereby creating a rich texture along with the creamy buttery taste. Another of my favourite was the one on the right of the Escargot, not sure what its called but I think it was the Sea Salt Brioche?

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Amuse bouche was Cherry gazpacho with roasted pistachio and ricotta cheese sherbet. The chilled soup was refreshing and prepared to the perfect, smooth consistency. 

For appetizer we had the Le Caviar Imperial Imperial caviar in symphony of wild salmon tartare with shiso sprouts. The golden globe in the centre sitting on top of the generous bed of caviar was actually a runny quail egg wrapped in gold foil. Enjoyed this dish with toast served as accompaniment.

For main course we had Le Homard Poached and grilled lobster served with green peas and wasabi crisp which had an ultra chewy, succulent and meaty lobster. Although I’m don’t usually like to eat pea, the foam/froth only had subtle hints of the ‘chlorophyll’ taste, so it doesn’t overpower the taste of the fresh lobster. Paired the dish with Gruner Veltliner Esterhazy Estoras 2010 Niederosterreich, Austria. Crisp and lightly fruity.

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The other main was Le Boeuf “Kagoshima” Grilled Kagoshima beef ribeye with medley of vegetables and wasabi mustard. The dish was served along with tasty clear bouillon. Paired with Le Clementin du Chateau Pape Clement 2007 Bordeaux, France. The Chateau Pape Clement is one of the oldest wine property in Bordeaux. The Clementin is a blend of Cabernet Sauvigon and Merlot, hence was full-bodied and rich.

The beef was juicy and tender, the fried padron tempura reflected elements of Japanese cuisine influence in it. Not sure if its because the restaurant is helmed by a Executive Chef who is a Japanese. Japanese chefs are reknown for specialising in French cuisines, many of the restaurants in Tokyo that were awarded Michelin stars are French restaurants, such as Narisawa and Quintessence that I enjoyed on my previous trip.

Dessert was La Mangue Perroquet mango with caramel mousse, exotic coulis and a crispy tuile The paper-thin tuile sitting pretty on the mousse, paired with the bright yellow coluis which was rich and fragrant (I’m not sure if there’s a hint of passion fruit blended in it as well?).

Lastly the large selection of Mignardises, there are easily more than 25 sweet treats available for selection to pair with our coffee/tea. Just when we finished stuffing ourselves with the assortment of petits fours, lo and behold, I got another nice surprise when we were presented with another beautiful chocolate bar as parting gift when we were leaving the restaurant.

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For those looking for a stylish restaurant with  polished service staff, Joel Robuchon is undoubtedly the place to go for outstanding classic French cuisines.

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