Sunday, July 25, 2010

You got the best of my love: Bob Bob Ricard

I generally don't like to go with the flow and pride myself on a downright cantankerous outlook to many aspects of popular culture. Dan Brown = worst writer on the planet. Twilight films and books are so godawful I literally cannot get my head around how so much of the world's population has been duped into paying good money to see them. Team Edward or Team Jacob? How about team stick them all down the plughole and be done with the whole lot?

But even I can admit that there are some things that receive their just desserts and Bob Bob Ricard in Soho is one of them. Other bloggers have raved about Bob Bob and for once, I agree. Having dined there twice, I've been served two flawless meals - pretty much a first for any restaurant in London.

Unlike Bar Boulud, Bob Bob Ricard is a restaurant that understands the concept of space - the railway-styled seating is perfect for two or four, though maybe a bit too tight for six. With two, Farzana and I had the run of the table and didnt we make use of it?

Before we started the meal 'proper' we tried a pairing of traditional russian salted cucumber and Kauffman collection 2006 vodka 'to open the palate' (this is what I love about the Russians). The salted cucumber on its own is probably not going to rock your world, but the pairing with the vodka brings out flavours I wouldnt have imagined from this rather bland little vegetable.

The next amuse bouche was pickled herring with boiled potato and Bob Bob's infamous homemade zubrovka. I cant think of many better ways to start a meal...

After that, it was a parade of brilliance. The venison steak tartare I'd tried last time, but loved it so much I couldnt resist getting it again. The quail's egg and crispbreads set off the dense flavours of the tartare. Judging from the smells wafting across the table and the noises of appreciation, the scallop and shrimp shell pie went down equally well.

Mains came in the form of Lobster & chips (again another staple that can go so, so horribly wrong, as anyone who's been faced with an overcooked piece of chew can account for) and poached turbot with truffled mashed potatoes and duxelles. The lobster was impeccable - fresh and firm served with a just-on-the-right-side-of garlicky sauce and crispy frites. The turbot was a success story of its own, with strongly flavoured duxelles to complement but not overwhelm the delicate fish.

And desserts. It took some (not much) mutual persuading that dessert really, really was a good thing after all of that food. But a cheeky glance proved too much temptation for us to resist and we finally settled on the Grand Marnier souffle and Strawberry Souffle. When ordering the notoriously tricky desserts, we joked with the waiter that the chef had better be up to the challenge. He was, much to our delight. So finished a rather flawless meal...

Maybe the next time someone recommends something/ somewhere to see/ read/ eat - I'll take it on board. Though I still draw the line at Twilight. I'd rather watch paint dry.

Waiting rating: Is it wrong to say that the waiter was cute? What?! He was... That aside, service was excellent anyway.
Scoffing potential: If you can't eat and love the food at BBR you deserve to be sent to the land of bland
Wallet buddy: By no means cheap but balanced by large portions and sheer brilliance
The crowd: Soho's young and trendy, Soho's old and trendy.
1 Upper James Street
020 3145 1000


Kavey said...

I'm completely with you on both the incomprehensible success of Mr Brown and the frankly bemusing fervour for Twilight, not just amongst love-starved teens but women in their middle years, who have an inexplicable craving for sullen teemage heroine (I just want to slap her) and cold, mean caricature vampires and werewolves.


But I am indeed one of the bloggers who has been raving about BBR since my first visit of many, back in January.


Julianna Barnaby said...

And just when you thought it could get any worse, they made those awful films. Gag!
It is indeed a truly fab restaurant, was gutted to miss the blogger meet there the other day. Can't wait for third little trip there...

Bob Bob said...

Delighted that you've enjoyed all of your visits! We do have some proper tables for six, very glam ones too - with little side tables for ice buckets, wine, etc.: Say hello next time you are in, I would love to show you around!

Farzana said...

This is now my favourite eatery in London, and I cannot stop telling everyone about how fantastic it is. Flawless meal that evening, and I can't wait to go again!

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