Can this iconic outpost lay a fair claim to its coveted comeback?

If I had to describe the new L’ATELIER Robuchon in three words, those words would be – sleek, sexy and glamorous. There is nothing simple about the spot, perched one level above the ground in the forever happening Gate Village district of DIFC, nothing no-frills, easy like Sunday morning. Think more like Friday-night-gloss – bright red and incredibly inviting.

We paid a visit to this location with a legacy on a Thursday night, making our way through the packed lanes and avenues of DIFC with gorgeous, early winter weather on our side. The elevator that takes us to the podium is also chock full, and as we register upon walking in, so is the restaurant.


L’ATELIER Robuchon and Dubai have a bit of a history. The local outpost of Chef Joël Robuchon’s iconic chain of restaurants can be found all over the world, including Cosmopolis jewels like Hong Kong, Miami, Shanghai, Geneva and beyond. Here in Dubai, it first opened its doors back in 2019. Over the years and many (many) meals, the complete arsenal of 12 restaurants has collected 32 Michelin stars, and a plethora of acclaim. Clearly, Chef Robuchon was a man of myth, a figure of legend, and our expectations were expected accordingly.

The ambience

The interiors of L’ATELIER Robuchon are like an echo of red. The contemporary, modern art-esque light fixtures flourish the space with a deep crimson hue, draping it all in an allure. The shade seems to lead the colour palette, also appearing in the chairs, the walls and the cutlery. Red is indeed the colour of glamour – bold and powerful. All the other ingredients of a classic high-end restaurant are there – the low lighting, the high ceilings and, outdoors – a stellar view of the Dubai skyline.


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The food

The meal begins with sea bass carpaccio, tuna ceviche and tomato tartare. The blanket flavours are bright, citrus and zesty, with the carpaccio being marinated in olive oil and lime juice, and the red tuna being mixed with avocado and grapefruit. The tomato tartare comes with a mustard sauce, a sharp way to tone down the rawness of the fruit. The ceviche is our favourite, a delightful combination of airy and dense flavours.

The second round comes as crispy shrimp wrapped in vermicelli in a bed of sweet sauce and a mushroom risotto. While the shrimp is, in objective terms, good, it’s not blowing any minds. On the other hand, the risotto is stellar, with every bite offering perfect grains of rice and the strong umami of the mushrooms. The flavour is uncomplicated, which is perhaps what makes it shine.

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atelier robuchon

The main course is a black cod, pan-seared and served with creamy velouté. There is a sweetness in the pairing, the only flavour that stands out, and the sauce is rich and heavy, but like the shrimp, it doesn’t quite hit the spot.

As we finish off our dinner, firmly agreeing that the restaurant would make for a great date night spot quite simply for the look and feel of the space, we are served dessert. My choice was the toffee-encrusted profiteroles. It is placed on a bed of light vanilla cream and filled with a caramel sauce and each bite is a sweet explosion in your mouth. It’s a dish I would easily order again. My partner prefers the coconut coffee dome, served with and filled with a coffee sauce and a dollop of ice cream. Together, we agree to disagree.

What’s On Verdict: It’s an experience for sure, but maybe more for the name and less for the game.

L’ATELIER Robuchon, DIFC Gate Avenue, DIFC, Dubai, daily, 11.30am to 3.30pm, 6.30pm to 12am, Tel: (0)4 297 7729, @atelier_robuchondubai

Images: Supplied