Friday, July 20, 2007

Hong Kong: L'atelier de Joel Robuchon

(July 19, 2007)

This is a second outing to L'Atelier; the first time it was in Las Vegas.

Well, this ain't the same L'Atelier... Vegas was exponentially better.

The amuse-bouche did not amuse our bouches at all; it was bland.

"Les Legumes" was one of the highlights for me; slow roasted veggies layered with Buffalone mozzerella and a basil couli. Very nice and fresh.

"Le Thon rouge". Red tuna tartare with red peppers and bergamot. We thought it was OK but that's it. No special attention to flavour layering (I did not taste the bergamot at all). May told me she prefers my salmon tartare. It also smelled like fish. Now, come-on, we're in Hong Kong! Having more than half day old fish is inexcusable here.

"Le pied de cochon", an overly salted concoction of pork meat on a french baguette with parmesan and sliced black truffles. So salty in fact that there was no other discernible tastes to this dish.

"Le cabillaud"; pan-seared cod with a lemongrass foam. Nicely cooked (some juiciness to it). The lemongrass foam was a nice complement which added some layers to an otherwise plain rendition.

"Le Boeuf"; steak tartare with fries. Way too spicy for May. Tolerable for me. However, I did not understand why the dish needed to be so spicy. Seemed like the chef did not sample the dish before serving it, or did not care. Also, I thought that tartare was supposed to be served with a raw-egg on top? Nowhere to be found here...

"Le Saumon fume"; potato waffle. Decent.

"L'entrecote"; Wagyu beef. Oooohhh, that was good! Japanese beef is possibly the best beef in the world (Canadian Alberta beef being a close second).

The souffle was a bit undercooked to my taste.

My Mont-Blanc was fine.

With water, a Kir Royal, 1/2 bottle of red, a cup of tea and 10% gratuities, our bill ended up at HKD $4,115.10 (about $550 CDN)

Overall, very disappointing. Not only was L'Atelier Hong Kong was not impressive from a food point of view but it was also more expensive than its Vegas counterpart.

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