L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (侯布雄法式餐廳) is one of the best meal experiences I ever had, joining the ranks of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay @ Hospital Road in London, and Saito Sushi in Tokyo. Taiwan does not have Michelin Star ratings, but Robuchon is acclaimed by many local Taiwan reviews as one of the best French food in Taiwan and it is not hard to see why after this experience! Joël Robuchon is a French chef who operates a dozen restaurants in Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Monaco, Paris, Singapore and Tokyo, with a total of 28 Michelin Guide stars among them – the most of any chef in the world, so L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon is one of his restaurants in Taipei.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon’s décor is dark, red, modern with dim lighting. As we made a reservation pretty early on, they put us at the counter seats right in front of the open kitchen so we could see all the action. Highly recommend to ask for these counter seats if you reserve early! We tried the degustation menu which comprises the below dishes:
The Chef De Cuisine (Olivier Jean), Sommelier and servers were all very friendly. Chef Olivier had only just arrived in Taipei from France 2 months ago. He is obviously very hardworking, passionate about producing high quality, visually appealing dishes. On top of his cooking talent, Olivier was very kind to explain the cooking process of some of the dishes.
The first dish, Caviar on Salmon Tartar, with Cauliflower cream, already blew my mind in the presentation. One of the prettiest dishes I have ever eaten (though my friend with mild trypophobia has been quick to point out this dish makes her skin crawl). Nonetheless, there was caviar bursting with juicy fishy flavours with every bite, complemented by soft earthy cauliflower cream. Amazing start to the degustation menu.
Next up, Ricotta Ravioli with Mushrooms. Rich, cheesy ricotta cheese with sweet mushrooms. Perfect combi!
The most unforgettable dish for me has to be this sizeable Pan Seared Foie Gras with Japanese Mandarin Orange. Perfectly cooked tender piece of Foie Gras imported from Poland oozing fatty goodness with every bite. Goes extremely well with the citrus mandarin and cranberry sauce, and a trick we learnt from the Sommelier was to pair foie gras with sweet dessert wines like Moscato. The pairing further brought out the sweetness and rich liver flavor of the main. Wow…as the sommelier said “in France, we love eating our foie gras with sweet wine!” And the sides of sweet onion with berry and cassis sauce were a perfect complement to the foie gras and mandarin orange. Definitely one dish candidate for my “last meal in your life” conversations.
Time for N’s Lobster Bisque, made from fresh lobster essence without fishiness, and well blended with the tangy tomatoes. Another impressive, explosive flavours dish.
I wasn’t supposed to have a dish when N was having his lobster Bisque, as I ordered the degustation menu with 2 less dishes, but Chef Olivier specially made a simple dish for me to try that is not on the menu! The Gnocchi with black truffles with light creamy sauce was a real treat from Chef Olivier. The starchy gnocchi was juxtaposed with flavourful black truffle slices, yet complemented with a light creamy sauce that doesn’t overpower the natural truffle flavor and smell. Beautiful!
John Dory Fillet with ginger baby cabbage and lemongrass foam was a good combination. Love the slightly zingy foam on the fish. However, we found the smaller fish slice was slightly overcooked, so the meat was tad drier, harder and drier. The larger piece was perfectly cooked!
Free range quail with stuffed Foie Gras, served with potato puree. It is hard for anything with Foie Gras to taste plain, but the gaminess of the quail and buttery texture of foie gras brought the explosive twang to new levels!
Grilled hanger steak with seasonal vegetables – Medium rare perfection. Pure steak with salt which emphasizes the natural flavour of the beautiful piece of meat. N enjoyed this a lot!
We were stuffed but there is always a second stomach for desserts! First dessert was a Lime Mousse with Sable Breton, lemon, honey jelly and yogurt. The dessert was textured a lot like an egg, with the yolk like lime mousse softly overflowing when cut. The honey jelly managed out all the sourness and acidity in the dessert. One of the most beautiful dessert shots I managed to achieve with my camera phone.
If I had to pick a favourite dish of the night, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon truly saved the best for last – Pear Mousse in sphere sugar ball with maple syrup ice cream. Carefully airblown sugar ball, quite like the decorative balls hung on Christmas trees during Christmas, that envelopes citrus pear mousse within. Maple ice cream and collapsed sugar ball bits was sweet but in small quantities to complement the citrus pear mousse. Perfectly aesthetic dish with right levels of sweetness in its fillings.
If there was Michelin star ratings in Taipei, Robuchon is definitely 3 star level! Must Try!!
In case I haven’t convinced you of the amazing service, they packed our bread and the bag even came with instructions of how to keep the bread, and how to re-heat for optimum taste!
Full sets of posts that might be useful for your Taipei planning:
- Wu Fen Pu (五分埔) Shopping and Rao He Night Market (饒河街觀光夜市)
- Xi Men Ding (西門町)
- Shi Lin Night Market (士林夜市)
- Taipei 101, Christmas Illuminations, 大佳河濱公園 Park for 2014 Countdown
- Restaurant – L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Restaurant (侯布雄法式餐廳)
- Hotel– Hope Hotel (全家歡商務旅店 ) and Cosmos Hotel (天成大飯店)
For locations outside of Taipei:
- Taiwan: Alishan (阿里山) – Fen Qi Hu (奮起湖) and 53.1 Homestay Min Su (民宿)
- Taiwan: Alishan Main Attraction – Alishan National Scenic Area (阿里山國家風景區)
- Taiwan: Alishan 阿里山, Sun Moon Lake 日月潭 , Cing Jing 清境, Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園
- Taiwan: Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園
- Taiwan: Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園 Lodging/Hotel – Silks Place 太鲁阁晶英酒店
- Taiwan: Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園 Lodging/Hotel – Leader Village 立德布洛灣山月村
L’atelier de Joël Robuchon Taipei (侯布雄法式餐廳)
Address: 台北市信義區松仁路28號5樓, Taipei, Taiwan 11073 (In Bellavita Mall)
Phone: +886 2 8729 2628/29
Operating Hours: Mon – Sun: Lunch: 11:30 – 14:30, Dinner: 18:00 – 22:00
Seats: 68 seats (Bar: 32 seats / tables: 36 seats)
Directions: 大眾交通工具：捷運：市政府站3號出口公車：台北市消防局站（281、282、284、32、611、669、270、621、647 ~ 650、912、 915、市民小巴7路(信義線)、棕15、棕6、棕7、綠1 ~ 藍5）聯合報大樓站（204、212、232、240、259、263、270、281、299 台汽(台北-基隆、金山) ）( 市政府站（621、294、611、266副、20、288、612、284 ~ 仁愛幹線）, (259、2、77、37、46、69、537)