We went to Bob Bob Ricard as we have always had a desire to go there after hearing such great recommendations and have curiously walked by a few times. Although based in Soho, this restaurant is nestled away at the back of the hustle and bustle. As you walk in you are almost hit by the decadent air of professionalism and efficacy. The reception is black and marble and rather small (it can get a little crowded if a queue of diner’s start descending) but soon enough, you are sent through to their magnificent dining room.
Bare with us readers, as my description of the room as it may at first sound rather nauseating, but we promise you, it worked and are we ever wrong? (please don’t answer that). The colour scheme was pink and gold; yes we realise this does sound rather dated and grannies tea room like but we assure you it worked very well and was used to enforce the French brassiere style and was much more subtle than you might first think when we describe that to you. The ambiance was very striking as it is opulent, decadent and all of the supporting adjectives.
We were seated at a lovely table that was a stall, so we had privacy yet had a full view of the restaurant and bar that was situated in the middle of the restaurant. We started off with a Zakuski tasting platter to share which consisted of; Russian salad and Truffle, Russian Herring, Foie Gras Paitfait and Jellied Ox Tongue. This was served with minus 18 degrees vodka, though we chose to pass on that.
Before we go on, we do have to emphasise that the service was fabulous, really one of the most professional services we have had the pleasure to receive recently. It was less stuffy than the usual French service yet as professional and knowledgeable, now on to the menu.
The menu was not extensive and some of the food such as Cheese Burger and Chicken Kiev’s did not sit well with the likes of Chateaubriand, Fillet of Venison with Truffle Jus, but still we are sure these were cooked with just as much passion – though needless to say we ignored that section. The other thing we would say about the menu was that it didn’t seem to know what the underlying cuisine was behind it; though clearly French inspired, it had English and as the tasting platter proved to be of eastern European twist. In a way we think this worked in its favour as much as it could have gone against it, as it portrayed how cuisines are increasingly merging with others and working well. We know many foodies would disagree.
For starter we had Scallops with Black Pudding and Apple Slices which were cooked beautifully although we think more could have been made of the apple accompanying it. Our fellow diners are a renowned non foodie who drags her feet when asked to accompany us to a restaurant (though they must secretly enjoy it) prefers much blander food that the rest of us, so we asked the waiter to recommend something milder in taste.
Despite the shock on the waiters face, he managed to come up with the perfect starter to suit what must have been his most awkward customer to date. He threw a curve ball and recommended the Macaroni Cheese; a side but could be ordered as a starter. We have to admit when the starter of Macaroni Cheese did come out, it was nothing like you tasted before, the Béchamel Sauce was topped with a crumble flavoured with Truffle and Fennel and was a real delight we have to admit.
For main course we ordered a fillet of 28 Day Scotch Steak served with the most exquisite Caramelised Onions and a Chicken, Truffle and Champagne Pie that was scorched on top with the Bob Bob Ricardo logo. The pie was a great table piece and I have to say the portions really were impressive. After this hearty meal, we were far too full to consider dessert although with the comfortable atmosphere it really was hard to tear ourselves away from the seats.
Overall a fabulous meal, the service and atmosphere was unfaultable and even the eclectic menu seemed to work, although maybe trying too hard to compensate with its use of Truffles, Champagne and Caviar. It had to be right up there, one of the best places we have tried in a while.
Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls gives Bob Bob Ricard:
Food Atmosphere Service
Photos courtesy of Paul Winch-Furness