Charlotte Kan heads to Le Comptoir Robuchon London to experience Joël Robuchon’s incredible culinary legacy, which took the form of an indulgent lunch comprising a feast of meticulously curated food dishes and wines.
There was a time, not very long ago, when hard workers and bon viveurs would, without raising any questions about their professionalism, indulge and take a few hours off their busy schedule to share a gastronomic lunch experience with a dear friend, cosying up on a red velvet bench seat – a sensuous moment, suspended in time, spent sampling numerous dishes with carefully curated wines, amid attentive but discreet service, somewhere in Mayfair, St James’s, or Marylebone.
Le Comptoir Robuchon is reviving a much-loved tradition by offering an intimate, luxurious but relaxed fine dining (and lunching) set-up on Clarges Street for serious culinary fare, in line with the famed and eponymous chef’s much-acclaimed philosophy of contemporary, welcoming eating.
My gourmet and hedonistic lunching companion (Clemence de Crecy, founder of the Clementine Communications lifestyle agency) and I are both fortunate to frequent some of London’s most exciting ‘tables’, but both very quickly agreed we were facing something rather exceptional (winning our highest votes so far this year).
With the world of hospitality in disarray since Brexit and COVID due to a lack of skilled (and engaged) staff, we were most pleased to be reacquainted with the discreet, warm and efficient level of service a restaurant of this calibre would commend from the on-go.
We were greeted with an assortment of fancy and finely decorated bread whilst served a glass of perfectly chilled, organic, 1er Cru – Extra Brut Champagne (B. Delespierre “Enfant de la Montagne”) after the sommelière enquired about our taste before we had even opened the menu. First impressions matter.
Head chef Fabio Fasano has big pots to fill: Michelin star chef Joël Robuchon held a world record of 32 stars in 2016. From the melt-in-your-mouth scallop & mango carpaccio to the caramelised black cod with Malabar pepper sauce and coconut mousse, huge sole meunière glazed in black butter and the fluffy chartreuse soufflé, served still steaming but with the addition of a frozen ball of pistachio ice cream (I for my part chose L’Exotique, a passion fruit cream, coconut foam, exotic fruit tartare, rum granite) – the dishes, a fusion of French and British cuisines, were all delicate, flavoursome and playful.
I may have to come back soon to sample the Ravioli Langoustine, which I am told is also a must.
Throughout our feast, our food was artfully paired with unexpected wines from obscure small producers from all over the world (from Oregon to Slovenia), hidden gems that allowed a dedicated member of the all-women team of Robuchon sommeliers to showcase the restaurant’s exciting and extensive wine list (over 45 pages!) – and Head Sommelier Charlotte Page’s impressive skills.
The décor is warm and opulent, and the marbled bar was the perfect stage for some mixology. Two words can sum up our experience, superb and memorable.
Le Comptoir Robuchon London – Where and how?
Address: 6, Clarges Street, London, W1J 8AE.
Telephone: 020 8076 0570
For more information on Le Comptoir Robuchon London – please visit www.robuchonlondon.co.uk.
The review of Le Comptoir Robuchon was written by Charlotte Kan.
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