VOLUME  IX  No. 40 W E D N E S D A Y February 28, 2007


Dining and Wining ...
Where To Go ...
Where Not To Go







Name of Restaurant L'Atelier
Address of Restaurant
Shop 401, 4th Floor, The Landmark, Number 15, Queen's Road, Central, Hongkong
Date of Visit Friday, February 23, 2007  

TARGET’s Rating

    First Impression Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Attentiveness to Customers’ Needs Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Flexibility Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Product Expertise of Serving Staff Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Speed of Service Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Cleanliness of Uniform and Serving Staff Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Lighting Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Music Excellent Acceptable Poor
          General Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Presentation Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Taste Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Quantity Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Choice Extensive Limited Unbalanced
          Cost Reasonable Unreasonable Very Expensive
          Storage of Wine Good Poor  
          Expertise of Sommelier Excellent Acceptable Poor
Total Cost of Meal    
          Very Expensive Moderately Expensive Very Reasonably Priced
Name of Director of Food and Beverage        Mr Joel Robuchon  
Name of Executive Chef        Mr Phillipe Groult (on holiday)  
Name of Sous Chefs
       Mr Cedric Gavoille
       Ms Florence Dalia

There’s a new ‘guy’ on the block. 

His name is ‘L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon’ and he lives at Shop 401, The Landmark, Central Hongkong. 

Watch out all you pretenders to the world of fine dining because this French restaurant will give you, all, more than just a run for your money! 

TARGET (泰達財經) visited this fine, stand-alone restaurant, last Friday, at about 6:30 p.m., and was delighted with the total experience. 

Last Friday evening, really, started the night before when TARGET telephoned the restaurant in order to make a reservation. 

The lady, who answered the telephone, said that TARGET may make a reservation for 6:30 p.m. but must surrender the table by 8:00 p.m. (TARGET did not divulge for whom the reservation was being made) 

Alternatively, TARGET may reserve a table at 8:30 p.m. and, by so doing, may stay until the restaurant closes. 

When this medium asked what would happen if the service was slow at the first seating or that the meal had not been finished on time, the lady said that this was a new policy …  and that … ‘Please wait a moment … it’s OK if you are not finished, you can eat more …’. 

This reviewer was somewhat put off by this first encounter with a staff member of this restaurant, but determined that one should not allow one’s personal feelings to interfere with a professional judgment. 

On arrival at L’Atelier at the appointed time, TARGET was shown to a table which was terribly small and which faced a gaggle of Chinese ladies, all of whom were having the time of their lives, eating and drinking – and talking and laughing, very loudly. 

When asked whether or not the proposed TARGET table could be changed, at first, a Chinese serving staff member said something to the effect ‘I’ll check’ and, then, disappeared. 

Mr Danilo Nicoletti, the Maitre d’hotel, then, showed up at TARGET’s proposed table (which had been rejected) in order to ascertain whether or not there was a problem. 

Then, there was no question about a change of seating. 

‘Of course, you may change tables!’ said Mr Danilo Nicoletti, showing the TARGET duo to another table of the same size, but one with no gaggle of ladies in earshot and no neighbour to crowd us. 

‘But I must beg you to let me have this table by 8:30 p.m. because I have a party of 6 at that time. The other table (pointing to the area of the gaggle of Chinese ladies), you can have all night, if you like,’ he added somewhat apologetically. 

TARGET explained that we would surrender the table at the agreed time, provided the food was served on time … ‘d'accord … naturellement! … Our service is never late!’  

Having ordered 2 bottles of wine, TARGET accepted the recommendations of Mr Danilo Nicoletti with regard to the meal for the evening. 

It comprised the following: 

The Food, Recommended by Mr Danilo Nicoletti

Le Jambon <<Iberico de Bellota>> 
“Iberian Bellota” Ham served with toasted bread and tomato

Le Foie Gras D’Oie
Smoked Goose Foie Gras layered with Caramelised Eel 

Delicate Amadai Fillet on Crispy Skin and Aromatic Champagne Nectar

La Caille
Free-range Quail with Foie Gras, served with Truffled Mashed Potatoes


TARGET’s Choice of Wines

Alois Kracher  $HK1,400
Billecart-Salmon, Brut Rose, NV $HK900

The first courses were, in a word, superb. 

The Iberian Bellota Ham (‘Le Jambon’) was, in TARGET’s opinion, as good as, if not better than, the best ‘Parma’ Ham (actually, nearly every little hamlet in Italy claims to make a ham which the hamlet labels as being Parma Ham). 

The Iberian Bellota Ham is a little more fatty than Parma Ham, but it has a flavour that just won’t go away.  

(TARGET was advised to eat the ham with the fingers, a finger bowl, being provided.) 

As for the Smoked Goose Foie Gras with Caramelised Eel, it would be difficult to imagine how this dish could be improved. 

The succulent morsels of foie gras and eel melted in one’s mouth and the sweetness of the Kracher was a perfect accompaniment to complement this dish. 

Danger! This dish is extremely fattening! 

The Amadai Fillet, TARGET was informed, came from Japan; its taste was similar to sea bream, but being, perhaps, a little more chewy. 

The preparation of the dish was, exactly, as was described on the menu and deserved top marks. 

The free-range quail, however, had a slight edge over the Amadai, due, in part, to its multiple flavours and the caramelisation of the meat of the bird. 

However, one could not fault either dish because they were both excellent. 

The Champagne went down well with both the fish and the quail. 

As for desert, one is told that there is an assortment of imported fine French cheeses. 

As it turned out, this was a bit of a joke – pass the cheese dish, folks, it does not exist. 

The soufflé, however, was a complete surprise because, in TARGET’s opinion, it ranks among the best in town.  

All in all, the meal was very satisfying as was the total dining experience. 

At a fine-dining restaurant, the preparation and presentation of the food, of course, is important, but it is the complete package – the total experience, if you will – that is the hallmark of the best of the best. 

In a conversation after the meal with Mr Danilo Nicoletti, TARGET learned that L’Atelier is owned by the fourth wife of Mr Stanley Ho Hung Sun (何鴻燊), Ms Angela Leung Oi Kei (梁安琪).  

On the day that TARGET visited this eatery, it appeared that this lady had, already, been on an inspection tour of the restaurant with some of her lady friends. 

It seems that the restaurant is a hobby of this multi-billionairess. 

She has, without question, very good taste if this restaurant is to be considered an example of her taste in food, decor and ambiance. 

If this 70-seater restaurant can maintain its present standards, it will knock the socks off certain fine-dining establishments of 5-star hotels of the territory. 

The Executive Chef of L’Atelier is Mr Phillipe Groult, who is, presently, on holiday in France. 

On the evening that TARGET ate at this restaurant, the Sous Chefs were Mr Cedric Gavoille and Ms Florence Dalia. 





While TARGET makes every attempt to ensure accuracy of all data published, 
TARGET cannot be held responsible for any errors and/or omissions.




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