Joel Robuchon Restaurant - Certainly some of the very best French food one could eat in the United States. Many proclaim this temple would provide a near perfect combination of gastronomic feats and culinary artistry
Le Pain (Extensive bread cart) - There are more than a dozen different kinds of bread here - the selections include pain au lait, bacon epi, french baguette, compte cheese bread etc.
Le Caviar Oscietre en fine gelee de corail anisée, servie en surprise (Osetra Caviar on a coral gelee served as a surprise) - Robuchon is a master of creating caviar-based dish and this is without exception. Ample briny and crisp caviar on top, the surprise is below - fresh dungeness crab layered in fennel cream. A beautiful and balanced combination of crab's sweetness, caviar's saltiness plus some exploration of contrast in textures
La Tomate en salade, huile d’olive au basilic, tomate et mozzarella en gelee (Salad of tomato, basil infused olive oil, tomato gelee topped with mozzarella) - An imported tomato from Japan is rather sour tonight; the tomato gelee is executed in high precision and pleasing to the eyes. A refreshing dish
Les Asperges un blanc-manger aux substances d’agrumes, brouillarde cremeuse dans une voilette de pain dore, royale tremblotante de morille au vin d’Arbois (Pana cota with citrus oil, scrambled egg in golden toast, morel royale with yellow wine) - Asparagus with pana cota is alright; I like the creamy egg eaten together with the asparagus and the toast crust; lastly "the soup" has fragrant aroma, but the morels' flavor is not as intense as I want it to be
La Grenouille la cuisse en fritot à la purée aillée et au coulis de persil (Crispy frog leg, garlic and parsley puree) - One of Robuchon's famous dish. The frog leg is tasty by itself, the fried shell is crisp while the parsley sauce adds different flavor
Noix de Saint-Jacques a la plancha, condiment au kumquat et au caviar (Sea scallop a la plancha with a sauce of kumquat and caviar) - A butter poached of diver scallop is sweet and almost flawless. The kitchen enhances it with the buttery kumquat sauce and a dollop of Iranian caviar. It's about as good as my scallop dish (with fregola pasta) in Chateau Robuchon
La langoustine truffée et cuite en ravioli a l’emince de chou vert (Truffled langoustine ravioli with chopped cabbage) - A perfectly cooked langoustine (meaty and succulent) is delicious with truffle's pungent smell and creamy & sweet sauce. The cabbage balances the prawn's rich flavor. This dish is consistently good!
L'oursin a la puree de pomme de terre au café <Blue Mountain> torrefie (Uni on mashed potato with roasted coffee beans) - An intelligent combination of ingredients that nicely complement one another. The uni is creamy and sweet, with buttery potato that thankfully not really sinful this time
Le homard rôti au curry et fines graines de chou-fleur (Roasted lobster on cauliflower with green curry) - The typical blue lobster taste is there except it's rather overdone for me. Decent contrast from the cauliflower
Les Petit Pois en fin veloute rafraichi a la menthe poivree sur un voile d’oignon doux (Light pea veloute with peppermint on top of delicate onion cloud) - It's a surprisingly complex dish ... warm pea veloute is mixed with bacon's strong flavor while balanced with some mint sensation - interesting
Le Bar poele a la citronelle avec une etuvee de jeunes poireaux (Pan-fried sea bass with a lemon grass foam and stewed baby leeks) - A tender, flaky and delicious piece of Brittany sea bass prepared with Asian twist. The lemon grass and citrus produce slight contrast and generate piquant flavor. This is much better than bar with red wine sauce I had in Tokyo
Le Boeuf de Kobe, noix d’entrecote eminceem epinards au wasabet poivrons arlequins (Kobe beef ribeye, spiced spinach and crispy vegetables) - The marbled beef (A4) is prepared in Asian style with many different vegetables. The kobe beef was delicious and melted in my mouth, this entree was rather light which is nice after eating more than 10 courses
Les Racines Maraicheres couleurs de saison melees d’une semoule de ble perfume a l’huile d’Argan (Spring root vegetables stew with Argan oil couscous) - This seems to be a new regular dish at any Robuchon's fine dining tasting menu, except the vegetables vary according to the season. The rare argan oil match well with the several different crispy veggies - oh, it's also somewhat intense
Le Fraise confite au sirop de citron vert, rafraichi au sorbet Tequila (Strawberry compote infused with lime, tequila sorbet) - As expected that fresh dessert to cleanse the palate would come first. It displays a flair of the stewed strawberry's sweetness and the lime & tequila sorbet's sourness - not bad
Le Chocolat aux noix de Pecan, onctuosite au gianduja (Nyangbo chocolate cake, light gianduja cream) - Beautiful presentation accompanied by wonderful flavor in the palate. The chocolate is both bitter and sweet mixed well with some gianduja (aka refined version of nutella) intensity. A good ending ...
Mignardises - Expect to have lots of extras from Robuchon's sweet and extra pastries. I sampled canele, raspberry and chocolate macarons, nice yuzu and spices chocolate, fruit opera, small eclair and nougat. Additionally, (not shown) I ate vanilla bean and caramel ice cream as well as strawberry sorbet
The dining room - Obviously MGM went all the way for monsieur Joel Robuchon. Almost nothing is spared in terms of comfort and the luxury of its dining room - from cozy sofa, marble floor, irish linens etc. My only feedback: the space between tables are quite narrow causing a little discomfort at times
Moi alone. Just before enjoying my first dessert, it's probably and supposedly Robuchon's finest restaurant ... quite close, I slightly prefer the Ebisu's palace. The food in both places is equally good, but the Tokyo counterpart provided better service and more comfortable dining room