Hot on the heels of the announcement that French Michelin three-star chef Pierre Gagnaire is opening a restaurant in Hong Kong comes the rumour - as yet to be confirmed - that Joel Robuchon is also opening a place here. Robuchon, who has Robuchon a Galera at the Hotel Lisboa in Macau, was named 'chef of the 21st century' by the Gault Millau restaurant guide. He attempted to retire from the backbreaking world of haute cuisine in 1996 - obviously that has not been the case. If rumours prove correct, the chef's Hong Kong venture will be L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, the first of which opened in Paris in May 2003. There are also branches in Tokyo and Las Vegas. The Paris establishment offers a less formal way of dining than at Robuchon a Galera; instead of sinking into plush chairs, diners perch on tall stools around a counter overlooking the open kitchen, and the room is modern and dramatic in red and black. It's a casual, interactive, fun way to dine as guests see and comment on what the people sitting next to them are eating, talk to the staff and watch their meals being prepared. And if the food in Hong Kong is anything like that in Paris, it will be superb. No word yet, though, on whether the restaurant will take bookings - at the other locations, guests line up for seats. This helps to keep the prices down (although it's certainly not cheap) because as soon as a party of diners leaves, the seats are immediately filled. When the Paris restaurant opened, foodies predicted the French would refuse to wait, but the place is going strong. There should also be some details to announce soon about a branch of Nobu opening early next year in a top hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. Watch this space for details.