A classic of haute French cuisine, Joel Robuchonrestaurateur and chef, multiple Michelin winner and winner of many other prestigious gastronomic awards.
The other day I finally got to another of his restaurants, in Monte Carlo…
Monsieur Robuchon I have always been a man with a keen sense of fashion. And, of course, sensing five years ago that Japanese cuisine deservedly again takes its toll in the minds of connoisseurs of haute gastronomy, the classic devoted his next restaurant to this very topic. The restaurant was named unpretentiously – Yoshi, and became, as far as I understand, the first Japanese place in the collection Robuchon. In fact, it is not even called a restaurant, but is positioned as a “sushi bar”.
The establishment operates at Hotel Metropole v Monte Carlo (this hotel already has another Robuchon restaurant, French). This time, Joel entrusted conjuring in the kitchen to his colleague from Japan, 39-year-old Takeo Yamazaki. The place is also supervised by the notorious Christophe Cussack.
What can I say, did I like it? In general, yes, but if you remember (and you couldn’t forget about it somehow, such is the power of the name) that this is after all a restaurant Robuchon, then … I’m a little disappointed. I will not hide, Robuchon one of the most beloved gastronomic artists (remember his legendary mashed potatoes!), and while I was eating here, I always caught myself thinking that something … something was wrong. What exactly?
And here’s the thing: this is excellent quality Japanese food, you can get this in a lot of decent level, but not at all outstanding establishments in New York, for example, but what does the great Robuchon? That’s exactly what has nothing to do with it! He doesn’t create here, he doesn’t cook here. He only provided his name – that’s what my taste buds screamed as I ate this perfectly cooked but completely ordinary sashimi.
I really love Japanese cuisine, and, believe me, I understand what I’m talking about: Robuchon a classic of French cuisine, and – I don’t want to say anything bad about his governor Takeo Yamazaki, but he doesn’t reach the level of Robuchon (if I’m allowed to roughly compare French cuisine and Japanese cuisine in such a rude way). For example, take at least a salad of octopus in a spicy sauce. No, it is very tasty, no doubt, but my friend in Moscow cooks the same at home …
In general, even incredibly cool interiors from Didier Gomez (he also owns the design of the Japanese restaurant Le Mood in Paris, for example, and he also did the Parisian boutiques of Jean Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani) cannot save here. Yoshi’s design (if there’s nothing special to say about food, let’s talk about design) is truly zen: contrasting and at the same time not striking on the eyes, but on the contrary, immersing in trance combinations of bright pink and pale green silk, which polished stone and ebony… plus windows overlooking a pleasant Japanese garden.
In general, I am ready to put this restaurant on a five-point scale of my rating no more than 4. Yes, even with a minus.