You don’t step into a Joël Robuchon establishment without some lofty expectations. After all, we’re talking about the most decorated chef in the world, with 26 Michelin stars tucked neatly under his belt. The more “casual” of his two Singapore outposts (sister restaurant Joël Robuchon is right across the way), L’Atelier has the same distinctive red and black décor as the others around the world. We settled easily into our counter seats and decided some discovery was in order with the découverte menu ($250). The eight-course degustation seemed like the most efficient way of getting a cross-section of the menu, and so began a seemingly endless procession of dishes starting with a pleasant amuse-bouche of foie gras custard with parmesan foam. We found the yellowtail tartare with spicy tomato coulis to be an ideal first course, light and bright with the mildest hint of spice to tantalize the palate. Our daikon bouillon was a particularly noteworthy offering, possessing an incredible depth of flavor and a velvety texture without the assistance of cream or milk. Another standout was the mash that accompanied the hanger steak, so unimaginably smooth and creamy that our low-carb dieting dinner companion not only finished his portion, but was caught digging into ours. The pair of plated desserts was a letdown, fortunately, the tarts came swiftly to the rescue ($25 for five slices); the lemon tart was divine. All through our meal, well-meaning, enthusiastic servers checked on us, almost too frequently really. Other rookie mistakes, like mixing up which of our party was having sparkling or still water (there were only two of us) didn’t earn them any points either. But the all-important question still stands: Is it worth it? Compared to our past stellar experience at the Hong Kong establishment (two Michelin stars), this pales in comparision. While the evening proved an enjoyable affair (excellent company always helps), we only wished the service had matched up to the food. If you can’t afford a trip to Paris, London, Tokyo or Hong Kong anytime soon, it’s still worth a visit. Our unsolicited advice: Save your moolah till you can.Have you tried the lemon tart? It’s one of I-S Magazine’s 50 things to eat in Singapore before you die (2011).