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Posts Tagged ‘Michelin Stars’

I’m so happy today! K came to visit on my 65th day in Tokyo, finally!!

First meal after he landed was at Le Spuntik, a 1* Michelin restaurant that’s been raved about online. Fantastic value for lunch but I won’t be heading back any time soon. It was a painfully dragged out meal with long pauses in between courses as it seemed like the kitchen was unable to handle 12 diners all at once. The service staff was apologetic but there was nothing she could do. That said, I must note down my favourite dish — mushroom crepe with poached egg and shaved truffles. Everything is made with mushroom, including the crepe and ice cream, so creative!

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Now that I’ve kind of settled down in Tokyo, I’m starting a hobby (haha) to explore the higher end restaurants, from sushi to French fine dining. Abysse アビス is top on my list because it specialises in seasonal seafood (rare that there’s no meat) and also secures a Michelin star in less than a year after opening.

There’s definitely more hits than misses: addictive aonori seaweed sablés topped with caviar, thinly sliced squid (still too chewy), fried baby aji fish with mountain vegetables, super rich bouillabaisse, amadai with crispy scales (my favourite!), pistachio jelly (I specially requested for this after stalking IG pics and it’s crazy nutty for a jelly!) and gyokuro crumbles with prized sato-nishiki cherries and vanilla cream. Of special mention is the excellent service! After chatting and knowing about Matchaya, my waiter even brews a pot of gyokuro for me at the end of my meal. Perfect.

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While my amateur palate can’t judge whether my meal at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Hong Kong was worthy of 3 Michelin Stars, I have to say that it was an enjoyable one. They certainly did it right with the bread basket – a generous selection of mini croissant, brioche, baguette etc etc, served warm, baked in-house, and yes I had one whole basket to myself! Perks of dining alone, haha.

Then came a most dismal amuse bouche: some grilled vegetables, lettuce and avocado, big yawn. The default amuse bouche was a much more interesting chestnut soup with bacon and marshmallow pop (I eavesdropped) and it just goes to show how thoughtless the kitchen was in churning out amuse bouche for people with dietary preferences, sheesh. Come on, grilled eggplant and zucchini skewer (which even the culinary inept yours truly can make at home) at a 3 stars restaurant?

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Ignoring that pathetic start, everything went well thereafter. Starter of chilled cauliflower cream was deceptively light, as the incredibly umami lobster jelly gave a solid boost to the whole dish. Very very nice, and this was my favourite out of all!

LE CRABE
spiced alaska king crabmeat, lobster jelly, chilled cauliflower cream

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I thought I’d be wow-ed by roasted halibut since there’s everything I like on one plate: fish, broccoli, squid ink and coconut! But surprisingly, the flavours were rather muted.

LE FLÉTAN
roasted halibut, lemongrass oil, broccoli purée, squid ink farfalle, coconut cappuccino

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The signature hand-whipped mash potato was served with every main and it was so smooth and creamy! As a disclaimer, I don’t like mash potato in general (just useless carb filler imo) but this was too good to ignore. Can’t (and don’t want to) imagine the amount of butter that went in though.

POMMES PURÉE
mash potato

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I picked the safest choice for dessert: something chocolatey which I already knew I’d like haha. And I did! Wiped the whole plate clean, in fact. Tea/coffee and petit four were included and for HK$526 (approximately S$85), the 3 course set lunch (with lots of choices for each course) was excellent value for money! Highly recommended, period.

LE CHOCOLAT
dark chocolate mousse, raisins, salted caramel, rum ice cream

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L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
Shop 315, 334 & 401 Landmark Atrium
Central, Hong Kong
(852) 2166 9000

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