L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Saint-German

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I’m one of those guys that loves to plan a trip. Forums, blogs, websites, guidebooks, i’ll read them all and absorb as much info as possible before launching into an itinerary for a trip. Paris, of course, was no different and hence our visit to L’atelier de Joel Rubuchon eventuated. A morning visit to Musee D’Orsay was followed by a 2:30 booking at this branch of his restaurants.

What followed was an interesting 2 and a bit hour meal, that had its fair share of both highlights and lowlights. Interestingly, we had perhaps our worst service thus far at this fancy restaurant.

Admittedly we had high hopes for a restaurant listed in the world’s top 50 , and from our experience the previous night at Frenchie

The menu was removed after ordering and pre photo opportunity. i have copied it from the website website

L’AMUSE-BOUCHE

LE CRABE ROYAL
aux fines lamelles de «Daïkon» épicées
LA TOMATE
en gaspacho, croutons dorés sous un sorbet moutarde à l’ancienne
LE CAVIAR
chaud-froid d’œuf à l’érable, saumon «Gravelax» aux agrumes et à la Vodka
LA LANGOUSTINE
grillée sur une rave végétale au basilic «Thaï» coraillé
LE FOIE GRAS
de canard chaud, cerises et amandes fraiches dans un jus acidulé à l’hibiscus
LE GYOZA
à la plancha, farcie de volaille, dans son bouillon au parfum d’Asie
LE ROUGET
de roche, girolles printanières et pois nouveaux à la racine de curcuma jaune

L’AGNEAU DE LAIT
en côtelettes à la fleur de thym
ou
LA CAILLE
farcie de foie gras et caramélisée avec une pomme purée truffée
ou
LE BLACK ANGUS
à la plancha, échalotes confites sous un jus à la cardamone noire et à l’estragon

LE PARFUM DES ILES
crème aux fruits de la passion et à la banane, granité au rhum, légèreté à la noix de coco
LE CHOCOLAT TENTATION
ganache onctueuse au chocolat Araguani, glace au grué de cacao, biscuit Oréo

After visiting Veuve Cliquot the previous day , we decided to order a glass of champagne as an aperitif from the menu, and settle in for what we hoped would be a great meal.
Now i’m not exactly sure how the menu was supposed to operate, and the english of the waitstaff was generally a little weak, which i was surprised about given the international status of Rubuchon and his restaurants across the globe.

in any case, there was no amuse bouche was received.

so we moved straight onto the crab
great presentation, on a very fancy plate.

For me, the flavour of the Alaskan king crab was overwhelmed by sweetness of the sauce

I believe our reservation at 230pm was a poor choice on my behalf, made with the consideration of being able to spend a full morning at Musee D’Orsay. However most of the diners were onto dessert or coffees when we were arrived, and the feeling of being rushed through a service was prevalent from the outset.

On more than a couple of occasions the next course was brought out and placed below the counter to be served whilst Leslie was only halfway through her previous course, resulting in them taking it back to the kitchen to sit (presumably under heatlamps) until we were ready. Surely the waitstaff could’ve communicated better with the chefs to ensure a more seamless dining experience.

The tomato gazpacho was probably my favourite dish of the entire meal, jampacked full of flavour with a mustard sorbet, tiny basil leaves and crunchy croutons.
Another yummy taster followed.

The gravlax of salmon with citrus vodka gel, and an egg with pate topped with a potato crisp and caviar.

Leslie followed the recommendation of mixing the caviar into the egg, and then dunking portions of the salmon into the mixture, whilst i preferred the flavours on their own.

the prawn dish was a little different.

a well cooked prawn sat on top of a little ravioli filled with “aromatics”, with a lobster foam/sauce surrounding both. The flavours didn’t work for me, with the aromatics completely overwhelming the delicate prawn. This was in stark contrast to the amazing langoustine from Frenchie

This will be sacrilege for some people, but i’m not a fan of foie gras. Serve me some pate or terrine, and i’ll tuck right in, but the texture of foie gras just weirds me out. I took a couple bites of this, the last combining some of the other ingredients together but knew Leslie would appreciate the dish alot more than I ever would.
gyoza were very ordinary, or perhaps we are blessed in Sydney to have a great range of Asian cuisines who all offer some form of gyoza. Here the pastry was bland and the filling too finely minced to enjoy. Similarly to the earlier crab, the broth was too sweet for my palate.

Thankfully the red mullet was another of the dishes I thoroughly enjoyed. The pureed peas worked perfectly with the richness of the fish whilst the girolles provided some texture.

quail
steak
choc dessert (+ cleanser)
little cakes
Thoughts: Don’t eat at 230pm!

Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed the food that was served here, and i can definitely imagine it having a great ambience. but but but…

Perhaps it was due to it being the back end of service, perhaps it was our poor grasp of english but the experience just wasnt what I would’ve expected from a 2 star michelin restaurant.

The service we received was at times surly which was disappointing given one of the waiters appeared to be a senior waiter (had his name on his outfit). To our left appeared to be a regular couple as they received much attention, and had the head chef cht to them for at least 15 minutes, whilst to our right was a demanding foreign party of 4.

We both would recommend Frenchie before this restaurant.

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