Potato Royalty

It’s official, I’m a potato king.

Found my one true love, which is the spud in the form of Joel Robuchon’s pomme puree i.e. mashed potatoes. Well calling it “mashed potatoes” doesn’t quite do it justice, as it’s a brilliantly smooth “puree” that melts in your mouth with a lingering flavour of butter that makes you swoon. The reputation is without a doubt, well deserved.

Anyway, moving on from the uncontrollable salivation. Onwards, to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Bangkok!

Much to my excitement, the “Chef of the Century” Joel Robuchon has finally set up shop at Bangkok with his accessible and very successful L’Atelier chain. I never really got the chance to try out the original at Paris, so was quite excited to finally lay my hands on a lunch reservation. We opted for the 1450 baht lunch menu, which consisted of 1 Amuse Bouche and 3 courses (Starter + Main + Dessert). As it was a special occasion, we started with a lovely 2004 Vintage Brut Veuve Clicquot Champagne. I mean, who doesn’t love a good bubbly?

2004 Vintage Brut Veuve Clicquot
2004 Vintage Brut Veuve Clicquot

The amuse bouche was foie gras with parmesan cheese foam and some sort of berry compote. Very flavourful but well balanced, using a classic combination of foie gras paired with a sweet element i.e. berry, and in parallel the parmesan foam held up well against the foie gras. Way to start the meal with a bang!

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 Next, my starter was a crispy poached egg with on fine parmesan mousse and pata negra ham. It’s a lovely combination of textures with the crispy bits and ham, coupled with the oozing egg yolk and the delightfully rich parmesan mousse, which was surprisingly not overpowering. Definitely jizzed in my pants with this particular dish.

Crispy poached eggs on Parmesan Mousse and Pata Negra Ham
Crispy poached eggs on Parmesan Mousse and Pata Negra Ham

The main course was redolent of a beefy version of Shepherd’s pie with the braised beef cheeks and the potato puree, topped with what I believe to be a layer of crisped-up potato. Luxurious and decadent, although a tad aggressive with the salt. Nonetheless, a very successful dish.

Beef cheek braised in red wine and potato espuma
Beef cheek braised in red wine and potato espuma

My partner had their signature dish of black cod with Malabar pepper sauce and coconut foam. The cod was beautifully cooked and pure velvet.

Black cod with malabar pepper sauce and coconut foam
Black cod with malabar pepper sauce and coconut foam

For the coup de grace, a very classic Mont Blanc with chestnut cream and crisp berry meringue. A comforting dessert with the chestnut cream, and the meringue added a nice crunch to the dish. I’m quite a dessert whore, and this definitely made me happy.

Mont Blanc, chestnut cream and crisp berry meringue
Mont Blanc, chestnut cream and crisp berry meringue

Wow, what a meal! Although I had a very decent meal at Sra Bua the night before, L’Atelier took it to the next echelon of awesomeness. Although it’s not quite a like for like comparison, but the latter definitely had more of a Wow factor. Plus, they had the world’s best potato puree to go with the meal. And you certainly can’t beat that.

Location: 5th Floor, MahaNakhon CUBE, 96 Narathiwas Ratchanakharin Rd., Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Thailand. +66 (0)2 001 0698. Website.

 

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