Hello Readers! I’m back from my holibobs, although it wasn’t much of a holiday….it was quite possibly the most full-on trip back to the UK we’ve ever had. It was non-stop. In between the many health check-ups, sorting out our UK house, the Domestic Prince working, celebrating the Domestic Prince’s Granny’s 100th birthday, we found a bit of time to catch-up with some of our wonderful friends and to eat in some fabulous restaurants. So, today’s post is a review of one of the restaurant’s we visited: Bob Bob Ricard.
We first went to Bob Bob Ricard not long after it opened back in 2008. At the time it was being positioned as kind of a cousin to The Wolseley. It served breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner and you could order anything off the menu at any time. I was in heaven! Breakfast and afternoon tea for supper, yes please! However, on our visit a couple of weeks ago, they’ve stopped serving breakfast and afternoon tea, so you can only go for lunch or dinner.
Bob Bob Ricard is lavishly furnished; it feels like you’re in an ornate makeover of the Orient Express. Which is exactly what, world-renowned designer, David Collins, was looking to achieve. He has managed to create a quirky space that feels like you’ve stepped back in time. The whole restaurant is kitted out with leather banquette booths, complete with “Press for Champagne” buttons. The booths aren’t too close to each other and it has a romantic and quite intimate feel.
We had a 7.45pm reservation and were told they would need the table back by 10pm. This turnover time really irks me. However, we ended up staying long beyond 10pm and not once were we asked to leave.
Service at BBR is attentive, without being over the top and intrusive. Ahead of this most recent visit, I’d read a few reviews saying that the service was overbearing and that when pressing the infamous Champagne button, nothing happened. However, when we pressed the button (you didn’t think we wouldn’t?!) our waiter appeared in seconds with the Champagne menu. And just to be sure it wasn’t a fluke the first time, we tested it out again later in the evening, and like a genie from the lamp, our waiter appeared in moments.
The menu is extensive, offering a choice of thirteen starters, many with a Russian slant. There are twenty-two main courses to choose from, with a great selection of fish dishes with a choice of twelve side dishes and ten puddings.
To start with, I opted for the prawn cocktail, which came on a bed of crunchy iceberg lettuce and a tangy cocktail sauce. It was nice, but nothing to write home about.
For my main course, I was torn between the Rosemary Roasted Lamb Medallions and the Chicken Mushroom and Champagne Pie. Now, you all know my love of pies, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that I chose the pie. What clinched it for me was the truffle gravy that was served with the pie. I’m having a total truffle love affair at the moment. Which is why I also ordered truffled mash potatoes as one of my sides, together with roasted carrots and parsnips. The pie was sublime. It came out with one of the best pastry lids I’ve ever seen; all golden and glossy, with the BBR stamp printed on the top. It was a huge portion, which I’m sad to say defeated me. The truffle gravy was delicious, as was the truffled mash. I was slightly disappointed with the carrots and parsnips, which just weren’t roasted enough for my taste.
When the time came to order pudding, I was too full and in danger of popping, so unfortunately had to skip it. If I hadn’t been so full, I would have gone for the Warm Chocolate Fondant, which receives rave reviews.
I’ll let my other dining companions post their thoughts on their choices in the comments section below.
Having ordered two bottles of Champagne, we didn’t order any wine. Which is a shame, as BBR is renowned for their relatively reasonably priced wine list. In fact, they actually make a point of highlighting the price other high-end restaurants charge for the same bottle of wine. I have never seen anything like this before, but would wholeheartedly encourage it! Supposedly, BBR never charge more than a £50 mark-up on any one bottle. I really hope other restaurants follow BBR’s example.
With delicious food, impeccable service, quirky décor and Champagne at the press of a button…Bob Bob Ricard was an all round hit with us!
Have you been to Bob Bob Ricard? If so, I’d love to hear your views on it.
With much love
The Domestic Princess