Wednesday, October 18, 2017

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon 2-Michelin Star French Restaurant

Hello! It has been more than a year since I last updated my blog. People around me have been asking why did I stop writing. Well, many things happened over the past year; I've been to many different countries that I would love to talk about (i.e. India, USA - Arizona Road Trip, Europe, Japan, Melbourne Road Trip etc.) but I couldn't find the time/mood to write down my experience. Besides travelling, I have never stopped devouring delicious food in Singapore and around the world.

If you have been following my blog, you would have known that I visited an exceptional 3-Michelin Star French restaurant last year at Resorts World Sentosa. Till now, it still remained as the only 3-Michelin Star restaurant in Singapore and I absolutely agree with it. Hence, this time round, I decided to give its sister restaurant L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (2-Michelin Star) a try.

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Address: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Hotel Michael Level 1, Resorts World Sentosa, 098269
Operating Hours: Thu – Mon 6.00 – 10.30pm, Closed Tue-Wed (Except Public Holiday)
Contact: +65 6577 7888

Reservation was made via a few email exchanges with their friendly Hostess Dolly Chao as I have some questions regarding their menu. It was a quick, informative and painless process, 1.5 month prior to the actual dining date. I don't think it is necessary to reserve that far out for a non-festive dinner.

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon is a casual dining restaurant, with a casual dress code, located on the left entrance, with Joël Robuchon on the right. My dining spot was a bar counter table, at the most left end before a right turn, facing the kitchen. There were other high tables besides the bar counter. I did not see any normal-height tables, if I remember correctly. The restaurant is Black x Red themed, with Black as the base and Red as a complement, which was pretty pleasing to the eyes.

Initial Table Setting with Menu

Menu (Available on their Website)

View of the kitchen from my table

Bar counter seats

High Table Seating

I have looked through the menu available on their website before coming, thus I already have the dishes I wanted to order in mind. I went for the $118++ set menu (from Menu Appetit) with Amuse-Bouche, 1 appetizer, 1 main course, 1 dessert and coffee/tea. (I will try to recall as much detail as possible as I had this meal 2 weeks ago...)



The amuse-bouche kicked off a fantastic start to the meal experience. It tasted like croissant in liquid form, savoury, piquant and sense-awakening.


I was really looking forward to the bread basket as the breads I had previously in Joël Robuchon next door was memorably outstanding. Sadly, there were less variety of breads in L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. One of the 4 different types of breads in our basket was made with olive, which I'm not a fan of. The best bread was the croissant (most right), it was crispy and fragrant. One little complain though, we requested for another serving of the croissant when the waitress asked if we needed more, it never appear... :(

Appetizer (Entree) 

LA SAINT-JACQUES - Pan-seared scallop with pumpkin purée and ginger foam (Add. $11)

Close-up view of the scallop

The pan-seared scallop was fresh and juicy. It was a good mix with the pumpkin purée which gave its sweetness a nice boost. Worth the additional $11++.

Main Course

LE BLACK COD - Black cod in velvet daikon veloute parfumed with yuzu

Close-up view of the black cod

Oh yes, another fresh meat from the sea! Absolutely love the black cods from JR restaurants! As compared to the black cod dish of Joël Robuchon I had last year, this yuzu infused sauce was actually yummier than the other. The fish could be sliced effortlessly with one stroke of the knife. Don't skip this main dish if you are a die-hard black cod fan!

LE PIGEONNEAU - Free range french caramalised pigeon with foie gras and mashed potatoes

I took a bite of the pigeon and didn't really like it. Well, at least the person who's having it as the main dish did. Based on his description, it was like a tinier, exquisite version of chicken which was satisfying.

JR Mash Potatoes!

Every main dish will be accompanied by JR's signature mash potatoes!! It's so creamy and delightful. Good news is, you can ask for more serving! (FOC!)

Waiting for my dessert~~

Dessert and Cheese (Dessert et Fromage)

The waitress would asked for your opinion whether to serve cheese first then dessert or serve both together (if you order one of each). We opted for cheese to be served first.

LES FROMAGES - selection of Fine Cheeses

Raisin bread accompanying the cheeses

We were advised by the waiter to start from the bottom long piece of cheese and eat in a clock-wise direction as the "strength" of the cheese will get stronger. The first cheese tasted like normal cheese. The second cheese, Mimolette, which is orange in colour was very delicious! My favourite out of all the cheeses. The third cheese at the top left corner tasted like drains, so awful! It was quite an experience as I have only smelt drains but never tasted it. Now I am done with both. Life's complete? LOL. Anyway, the fourth cheese on the top right is blue cheese. I have always loved blue cheese for its strong flavour and good complement with meat. The last one was a tad too strong for my liking, but it tasted good with the bread.

This was my first time having a plate of cheese selection and I find it wholly enjoyable as it will keep the conversation going - discussing the taste of each cheese and coming into conclusion of how each type of cheese fare with rankings.

LE MOELLEUX - Chocolate « fondant » with dark chocolate sorbet and tonka bean sauce

Omo omo, the dark chocolate was so rich and yummy! Nothing beats chocolate, especially dark chocolate. Even the small piece of chocolate with writings of the restaurant name tasted heavenly. The combination of hot chocolate fondant and cold chocolate sorbet was interesting. It would be good to share this dish given the richness of the dark chocolate.

Tea served with mignardise

Mint Tea

Vanilla Ice Cream Macarons

Yum yum

Ice cream macaron!! Waaa again another first in this restaurant. I have never tried ice cream macaron and this virgin tasting was great. Think - cold vanilla ice cream in between two soft discs. <3

We had a wonderful view of the kitchen watching different people in charge of different food. Some were responsible for plating, some for cooking and there's a station for making mashed potatoes which was attended by two staff in rotation. All he did was stirring the mashed potatoes continuously. The lead chef was going around the kitchen, giving instructions and opinions to the other chefs. In the picture below, I captured him showing the staff how to do proper plating. Before this picture was taken, he was actually reprimanding them for doing it wrongly. I felt that it was quite intense to work in such an environment.

In conclusion, the food quality is up to 2-Michelin star standard. It was different in terms of ambiance you would expect from a 2-Michelin Star restaurant as L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon is a casual restaurant in fine-dining style. The service was as expected though it's a little disappointing that the waitress could actually forget our extra order of the croissant. Also, the bar counter seats were not very supportive of the back and both of us started to feel some backache after we finished our mains. Since each table is expected to dine in the restaurant for at least 1 to 1.5 hour, I think the seats comfort level should be improved.

All in all, we both enjoyed our dinner at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. The total damage for 2 pax was about SGD 320 with 7% GST and 10% service charge, way less than half the price of its sister restaurant. Hahaha. I really hope to revisit the 3-Michelin Star Joël Robuchon again! *someone bring me there pleaseee* =D 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Birthday Celebration at Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, July 2016

Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora
Address: 8 Sentosa Gateway, S.E.A. Aquarium Level B1M, Singapore 098269
Opening Hours: Daily 11.30am - 2.30pm (Last Order at 2.15pm), 6.00pm - 10.30pm (Last Order at 10pm)
Contact: +65 6577 6688

To get here
1) By car: Drive towards B1 West Car Park and follow the directions to the restaurant
2) From S.E.A. Aquarium: Entrance is on the left of Open Ocean Gallery

Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora Menu
OCEAN 6 Parts at SGD 168++

OCEAN 4 Parts at SGD 118++
We took the OCEAN 6 Parts menu as we would like to have more variety of food. As I'm allergic to lobster, I requested for a change and they swapped my third course with Crispy Skin Barramundi after consulting the chef. (By the way, I noticed that their menu has changed on the website. The new menu has more flexibility for each course.)

Table Setting
We were seated at the most left "front-row" table next to the Open Ocean. Our view was 'cut-off' on the left though. =/

Table next to us, with a better view, was not occupied yet

Empty tables at the back

Champagne for our dinner

Average bread and nice butter
There was only 2 types of bread to choose from. We took 1 type each as we really didn't want to stuff ourselves with carbo and not having enough stomach space for the courses later.

First Course

42°C Sous Vide Salmon (Salmon Tartare, Citrus Minestrone, Ikura, Fennel)

42°C Sous Vide Salmon
It tasted as expected from how it was presented. Salmon and ikura was fresh, nothing extraordinary to brag about. We rated this dish average.

Tiny cup of nice snack

Second Course

Smoked Eel (Sunchoke Textures, Duck Foie Gras Terrine)

Smoked Eel

Smoked Eel with Sunchoke Textures and Duck Foie Gras Terrine
Thankfully, the second course was a saving grace. The combination was well selected and tasty.

Third Course

Lobster Dumpling & Croquette (Coral Cream, Uni-mash, Carrots) for YH;
Crispy Skin Barramundi (Fermented Black Bean Paste, Sauteed Baby Vegetables, Pepper Salsa, Green Pepper Juice) for me

Lobster Dumpling & Croquette
YH enjoyed this dish very much. The lobster flesh was huge and delicious according to him.

Crispy Skin Barramundi
Living up to its name, the skin of the Barramundi was indeed crispy! I think it would be lovely if they use cod fish instead.

While we were dining halfway, a large group came in and threefold the noise level in the restaurant! A couple (in the picture above) even came next to our table to snap pictures for at least 5 minutes. They were not the only one! >.<  I really find it disturbing for this to happen in a fine dining restaurant. I wouldn't mind if it's just one or two pictures. But 5 minutes? Come on, if you wish to take so many pictures, perhaps you should go to the S.E.A. Aquarium? *Don't block my view* 

Fourth Course

Beef Wagyu Striploin MS6 (Parmesan Mash, Mushroom Duxcelle, Smoked Onion Puree, Cep 'Soil')

Beef Wagyu Striploin MS6
After dining at Pollen and recently crowned Michelin 3-Star Joël Robuchon, my taste bud for beef has been terribly spoilt. Despite that, I would say this medium-rare beef wagyu striploin was pretty good! The beef by itself was decent, mixing it up with the other ingredients resulted in a better taste.

Another one..

One of the female staff was very warm and friendly. She offered to help us take a picture with the marine creatures and she took quite a few shots too - because I said I want a pictures with stingrays. =D

Fifth Course

Citrus Refresh (Limoncino Mousseline, Lemongrass Milk Espuma, Mascarpone Lime Sorbet)

Citrus Refresh
I guess the Citrus Refresh served as a palette cleanser? Quite a decent refresher I would say.

Sixth Course

Green & Red (Pistachio French Toast, Textures of Strawberry, Balsamic & Strawberry Sorbet)

Green & Red
Honestly, I think that french toast was too heavy to finish off the meal as a dessert. =/ I could not finish this plate of Green & Red. Taste wise, it's alright. BF finished his though.

Birthday Cake

Yay, I got my birthday cake this year!! Happy Birthday to me!! Another year older, another year wiser? I hope so. My perception really does change along the years and thankfully in a better way. I grew to be less sensitive towards negativity, contribute to the society (donations + taxes) and learn to know who are the true friends around me. Especially those who remembers my birthday by memory. Thank you! Last but not least, my family! <3

Thank you for the cake, Ocean Restaurant!

Making the same wishes every year

By the way, I had salad / less-carbo meals for one whole week before this day so that I can look better in the dress. Verdict? Don't do it. I weighed the same and 'suffered' for nothing. JUST EAT AND BE HAPPY. Exercise too!

Entrance from S.E.A. Aquarium

Peeped into S.E.A. Aquarium Open Ocean Gallery

There is something about the rays that kept my eyes occupied for quite a while during the meal. They calmed my nerves and somehow has a little hypnotizing effect. I wish I could have them in my house! Before I got slammed by netizens, NO I wouldn't do that. They deserve to roam freely in the real ocean. This tank is definitely not big enough. =(


Oh hello!

Entrance from Car Park

Thank you for my birthday planning. From River Safari in the day to dining at Ocean Restaurant in the night, I must say it was a very ocean-blue day with all the marine animals!

As for Ocean Restaurant, I would say that it has an interesting concept with incredible view of the sea creatures. Service was up to standard. However, in terms of fine-dining, food was average and the ambience was disrupted by the large group. The moment the large group came in, it felt more like Din Tai Fung / Putien than a fine-dining restaurant. Don't get me wrong, I love and frequent both Din Tai Fung and Putien. My view is, if the price is 10-20x higher than the usual restaurants, the expectation will be at least 10-20x higher too.

For those who are eager to try, I would suggest you to go during lunch time as their lunch menu is cheaper. Don't expect too much on the food. Go for the experience.