L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Hong Kong

Recognized as 'Chef of the Century' by the Gault Millau guide, star French chef Joël Robuchon was a true master of the kitchen and restaurant industry, with a dozen establishments in cities across the globe to his name before his sad passing in August 2018. Robuchon’s restaurants have reaped an incredible 25 Michelin stars in total – more than any other chef in the world. 

Robuchon’s Hong Kong branch of the L’Atelier concept, which originated in Tokyo in 2003, is no exception to this high level of quality, featuring all his trademark flair in the open-plan kitchen and circular bar surround, and contemporary chic décor finished with lush red velvet seating and dark wood furniture. Robuchon’s gastronomic offerings channel ultra-modern French classics served tapas style; dishes such as langoustine carpaccio with citrus and Espelette pepper and crispy sea urchin waffle, or slow-cooked Challans duck breast and foie gras garnished with seasonal fruits, are expertly cooked by the Robuchon team, headed by executive chef David Alves.

At the heart of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Hong Kong is a philosophy upholding their respect for wine, espoused by wine director Paul Lo and head sommeliers Terence Wong and Eric Yau. Diners can pre-order from the formidable Best Wine List in the World 2016 from L'Atelier's sister restaurant Robuchon Au Dôme at the Hotel Grand Lisboa, a vast selection with 16,800 references.

However, the in-house wine list is nonetheless full of treasures of its own, with a quite remarkable collection of big-name Champagne, Burgundy, Bordeaux, and the Rhône, featuring a startling array of mature vintages from many of the region’s most celebrated producers. The same can be said of German Riesling, California Cabernet Sauvignon, Barolo and Barbaresco, Australian Shiraz … the starry list goes on and on.

The very solid Iberian section includes verticals of Pingus and Vega Sicilia from Ribera del Duero Álvaro Palacios, Daphne Glorian, and Clos Erasmus from Priorat, and Quinta Vale Dona Maria from the Douro. The staggering red Burgundy collection has 550 references, offering a plethora of choices, while the US has some exciting representatives from around the country, including 50 white wines from California, with back vintages of Marcassin, Kistler, and Kongsgaard. To elevate any occasion, there are 35 vintages of Petrus, with bottles dating back to 1947.

To cap off a meal of innovative French cuisine, the exceptional dessert wine selection includes all the classic choices from Sauternes, Tokaj, and the Loire, but also more unusual options from Spain, New Zealand, and even Ukraine.