We decided to dine at a Michelin 3-star restaurant in Hong Kong tonight. We went to L’ATELIER de Joel Robuchon at The Landmark in Central, and both ordered the menu decouverte. Since we did not have reservations, we were seated at the bar, which actually turned out to be a great place to be seated as you can see the chefs plating the dishes.
One of the things that shocked us was the price of wine. The restaurant had an extensive wine list, but every bottle was expensive. This has to do with the fact that it is a Michelin rated restaurant, and that the wine import fees are very high. We ordered the cheapest red we could find from California, which still cost us HK$800 (around Cdn$100). I originally wanted to get an Amorone, but those bottles started over HK$1000! The wine we got was called Call Me Crazy from Pazzo. It was a 2006 Cab from Napa Valley, and definitely not worth $100. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t spectacular.
The term “Michelin Star” is a hallmark of fine dining quality. The Michelin Guide was first published in 1900 with the aim to help drivers find places to stay, eat and get their cars fixed while travelling around France. The guide has since expanded to include capitals usch as London and New York. in 2007 it made the leap to Asia by including Tokyo. Michelin came to Hong Kong/Macau in 2009, and at the time, food columnists complained that the guide was skewed towards Western palates. Today, Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong retains it’s 3-stars for a fourth year. L’Atelier just rose to 3-stars this year.
This is how the stars are defined:
- One star: A very good restaurant in its category.
- Two stars: Excellent cooking and worth a detour. First class cuisine of its type.
- Three stars: Exceptional cuisine and worth a special journey. Often extremely expensive, and with an extensive wine list.
The food was good, but pricey. Portion size was perfect for me and presentation was well done. Servers were attentive, and there was never a long wait for anything. The overall experience was positive.