Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Reminiscences #1

Flicking through photographs while editing this the other day I found a number of shots from my birthday treats. As I mentioned, my wife decided to celebrate my birthday by visiting five of the Worlds best fifty restaurants ( I have loved each one for different reasons but the one I am writing about today was the most social.

In March this year I was dragged out of bed and told we were off to Paris. A quick shower and some rapid packing and we were soon on our way to St Pancras to catch the Euro-star to Paris. We both love the city and enjoy the simple food you can grab in most cafes though the price of beer does make us wince.

I was told we had time for a short relax in the hotel but that the particular restaurant we were off to only took bookings for 18:30. Refreshed after our journey, we left our hotel and walked the short distance to our destination. At this point it was revealed to me that we were going to L'Atelier Saint-Germain de Joel Robuchon ( As we arrived we met a few people stood at the door of the restaurant. It was around 18:15 so we were a little early. As 18:30 approached, more people arrived and it was clear that this was a popular choice. At the appointed hour, the doors opened and the maitre d' appeared, all very reminiscent of Willy Wonka but without the acrobatics.

As we had arrived early, we were near the front of the queue. This enabled us to chose to sit at the bar rather than at a table, something I would recommend. The view of the chefs preparing the food is just great:

My place setting told me I was in for something special.

After a short while the menu arrived and I chose a Salad Niçoise. I like this dish but the design and presentation of their take on this just blew me out of the water.

A wonderful tuna confit  on a heart of lettuce with perfectly prepared beans, eggs Niçoise olives, tomatoes and anchovies. The accompaniment of an excellent tapenade on toast was a great addition.

My main course was too good. I completely forgot to take a photograph as I plunged into the spit roasted, milk fed pig served with the signature mashed potato and braised cabbage. I tucked in and made it vanish with considerable enthusiasm.

The desert course was to be the chocolate cup. When it arrived it seemed a shame to eat such a work of art. You might recognise the image.

The gold and chocolate promised pure luxury. The little golden Smartie sitting like a wonderful full stop on the chocolate lid signifying that he pastry chef's artistry was complete and ready for consumption. Luxurious this was. Decision made, we will have to come back and also try the some of the other nineteen or so establishments this excellent chef has spawned around the world. I have never really fancied Las Vegas but the three Michelin star restaurant there may persuade me.

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