Upon arrival, I was surprised by how dark it was. It was very much a black and red colour theme, and once I'd managed to hop rather ungracefully up onto the (red) bar stool I was also surprised to find that there was a definite theme of apples - a big bowl of apples sitting on fake ice cubes graced the bar, and a gigantic red apple sat just behind it. I wish I'd asked why. The bar was the best place to be sitting; a mere 2 or 3 metres away, the chefs were busy at work and you could happily spy on them.
Just like at Hibiscus, dessert turned out to be my favourite course. I had originally told the waitress that we'd have just the one dessert to share, but she ignored me and two turned up instead. Naughty of her, but I'm quite glad because this chocolate and coffee finger was rather delicious. A coffee-soaked sponge nestled beneath the chocolate ganache, and the little silver balls gave a welcome change in texture. Accompanying vanilla ice cream was a good bland foil for the richness of the chocolate, though I felt the meringue perched atop of it to be rather redundant.
All in all, a good lunch but for £35 with a glass of wine and service, I do wonder if perhaps it's worth saving up that extra more (ok, a whole lot more) and going for the full whack to get the real experience of the restaurant. While the cooking was solid and the presentation was lovely, I didn't feel particularly wowed by any of the dishes, especially from a 2 Michelin starred establishment.
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
13-15 West Street,
London WC2H 9NE
Tel: 0207 010 8600