Bob Bob Ricard has taken the restaurant world (in London) by storm. I read about it on another blog last year and have wanted to check it out ever since. This isn’t the kind of place that you can’t book for the sake of Friday. It needs to be a pretty special occasion or you’ll get into the habit of being waited on hand and foot, having doors opened for you, sommeliers running around offering champagne just because it’s the weekend which is all well and good, but then after your meal you have to face the cold hard reality of life, and in fact people aren’t that nice and life isn’t that perfect.
As we approached the big black doors it’s as if they magically swing open and we were greeted by four (yes four) charming smiles. One opened the door, one took our coats, one asked our name and one showed us to our seats.
Once we were seated in our booth I looked around, and the restaurant is exquisite. Everything is black, gold and pink and whilst the décor looks modern, dark and edgy, it has the sense of never ever going out of style.
It was only a matter of time (about 0.2 seconds) before I started cheekily eyeing up the infamous ‘Press for Champagne’ button and no sooner than I had pushed the button, a charming sommelier appeared… ‘You pressed for champagne, Madame?’. I nearly fell off my chair, panicked and ordered the most expensive glass in fear of looking like a novice. Obviously it was gorgeous – a very clean, pure taste, obviously no nasty aftertaste you get from the cheap stuff.
^ kinda wanted to steal the champagne glass – isn’t it beautiful!?
We’d been on the BBR website a lot before Tuesday so had a pretty good idea of what we were going to order: Chris had venison steak tartare, I had lobster, crab & shrimp pelmeni w/ salmon roe. The flavours were balanced perfectly (crab can be very overpowering) and the roe tumbled elegantly down the pelmeni. It was delicate but flavourful.
Chris’ venison came with crutons and a beautiful little quails egg. The tartare was perfectly seasoned and it was like chewing through butter; so soft and creamy.
As well as the starters we had vodka. As BBR is a British/Russian restaurant they serve their vodka as it should be – at -18ºC. Most people think of vodka and only imagine the chronic heartburn that follows but the temperature (they also froze the glass) took away the harshness and you’re left with a smooth texture and a damn fine taste, too.
For our mains, we ordered steak. Chris had Filet Mignon w/ seared foie gras and I had Onglet w/ béarnaise sauce. I don’t eat foie gras but I did try Chris’ steak and confit apple and it was just glorious. You wouldn’t cook a cut of beef like that anything but rare (I get the feeling that if you asked for it upwards from medium you’d be ostracised, and with good reason) and it was gorgeous. The kind of steak that doesn’t even need sauce because the rich flavour of the meat is enough.
My steak was cooked to the chef’s recommendation: medium-rare. Onglet is a funny little cut from the middle of the cow, just below the fillet. The only way to describe it is that it was quite crisp on the outside and lovely and pink in the middle. The texture of the outside is good, don’t get me wrong but it’s totally different to any other cut I’ve ever had in the sense that the texture of the outside is completely different to the middle. If you’re after something a bit different then order an onglet. With our mains we shared sautéed spring greens and french fries.
The wine with our mains was also excellent. Chris and I almost never order wine by the bottle because our tastes are so different. Thankfully, BBR offer a fantastic selection of wine by the glass; Chris went for a French Bordeaux and I had Argentinean Malbec.
After a small break and another play with the ‘Press for Champagne’ button, we ordered dessert and shared Eton Mess and the BBR Signature Chocolate Glory. There isn’t much that’s more satisfying than smashing the top of the Eton Mess like a soft boiled egg and watching the lashings of whipped cream, marshmallows and fresh strawberries cascade out onto the plate.
The chocolate glory is served with a sauce that slowly melts the outside shell of the dessert to reveal chocolate mousse, passionfruit & orange jelly and meringue.
We finished with espresso before Uber-ing back across London and home.
I’m already snooping out the next special occasion – who’s birthday is it next..? – to book Bob Bob Ricard for. Everything from the impeccable service to the fabulous décor and the food, oh good grief the food is perfect. This is one of the best meals I’ve ever had.