For absolutely ages now, my friend Vicky and I have been meaning to dine at Bob Bob Ricard together – it’s one of her favourite London restaurants, a bloggers’/foodies’ dream and I was immediately sold by the ‘press for champagne’ concept. We decided the perfect opportunity would be an evening to celebrate my birthday and we made it a couples affair – so Ashley and Callum came along too.
First things first – what a place! The restaurant’s decor is very art-deco, so beautifully ornate and just oozing luxury. Unfortunately, there’s nowhere to enjoy a pre-dinner drink and Vicky pre-warned us of this. We arrived as close to our reservation time of 7:30pm as possible to ensure we weren’t turned away or casually loitering in the street. Not only is the restaurant beautiful, but the ambience is very good, the food, incredible and the all-round experience pretty much spot-on.
We ate in the ‘Blue Dining Room’ which is on the main floor and is definitely inspired by the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Each table was like a train carriage, with plush padded seats. There was a level of exclusivity, with a private booth feel – perfect for the occasion. Downstairs is the ‘Red Dining Room’, with its distinctive backgammon-tiled floor and large oriental vases. We had after-dinner drinks at the bar there and it was definitely different to the main dining room. There’s also a private dining area. The staff were attentive, although it almost felt like a military operation, with food and drinks arriving to the table by multiple staff – but with precision and finesse. Unfortunately, our waitress came over to the table to take our drinks order before I had the chance to ‘press for champagne’, so I couldn’t really get excited about it after that. Needless to say, I did press it and the Champagne went down nicely. So much so, we had a couple of glasses.
To the food... and what a menu! The offerings pay homage to the restaurant’s Russian roots, while combining traditional British classics. Think comfort food executed to perfection. You could have oysters and caviar, or beef wellington, or chicken Kiev! We all knew we’d have dessert, so decided to skip the starters and go straight in with hearty main courses. This is where I went wrong – and dug straight in before taking any photos. I was hungry and the food was just too good. Ash and I actually chose the same dish: the crispy belly pork on a bed of red cabbage, with apple puree and truffle gravy. It was absolutely divine, particularly the gravy which was just so silky and not too rich. The portion sizes were a lot larger than I was expecting, although we decided to share a couple of sides. Vicky described the truffle mash as “an angel’s pillow” and it certainly was heavenly, so soft and creamy. The honey & thyme roasted parsnips & carrots were also delicious.
Source: Foodie for Thought
Vicky and Callum both chose pies and although often synonymous with East London and the working class, these were anything but! This was pie done with class – the tops were beautifully glazed, with the BBR logo printed in the middle. I’d love to know how this is achieved. Vicky chose her favourite: the chicken, mushroom & champagne pie; while Callum’s mariner pie was filled with mussels, prawns, haddock and salmon. Both pies were huge – and when they arrived at the table, looked as though they could easily feed two or three. For a moment, I actually wished I liked pie.
Although I struggled to eat my main course and Ash had to help me out with the pork, I knew I was always going to order dessert and in particular, the BBR Signature chocolate glory. It was well worth it – even though it was incredibly rich. If you’re a chocoholic, you’ll love it – but for me, it was too sickly and there was far too much chocolate! The chocolate sauce was poured at the table, just in time for me to film it being drizzled over the hollow chocolate shell, which melted away to reveal the centre: chocolate mousse, chocolate brownie, berries and orange & passion fruit jelly. Needless to say, it was a struggle and I didn’t manage it all. Ash had the strawberry & cream soufflé, which would have been my second choice – and I have to admit, despite the spectacle that was the chocolate glory, I wish I had chosen it myself.
Obviously, it’s not a cheap evening, but for a special occasion, there’s nowhere like BBR. I’m glad I finally managed to tick it off my restaurant bucket list and would love to return for another special occasion. If you have never been to the Soho restaurant, I highly recommend it – even though it isn’t somewhere you’d go just for ‘date night’.
Love, Lucy xx