Wednesday, 3 February 2016

ATE AT: Bob Bob Ricard, Soho

I've wanted to go to Bob Bob Ricard ever since I first noticed that infamous 'Press For Champagne' photo on Instagram. I was totally intrigued by this glorious idea of pressing a little button and a glass of bubbly joy would be delivered to my table. Then I saw the menu...

I was then less enthused about the button and absolutely engrossed in the menu. Lobster, crayfish, champagne sauce, oysters, fillet mignon, lobster mac and cheese, the most mouth-wateringly good chicken kiev I've ever read about...I wanted to eat everything. All of it. Every last bit.

And that is the story of what sparked my want to secure one of those Grand Budapest-esque booths in one of the rooms at Bob Bob Ricard.

I was supposed to go last year with a guy I had been seeing at the time but y'know, I couldn't just carry it on for Bob Bob (although I'd wished for several months later I'd just gone through with that one last day that would have allowed me to eat from the menu of dreams). But anyway, I was in Italy, sat with my Mac, post-booking a long weekend in Barcelona and it came to me 'I'm not here for Valentine's Day, why not have an early date night at Bob Bob Ricard!?!' (not with 2015 guy, FYI).

We threw on our rarely worn fancypants outfits (dress code: 'elegant') and made our way there...

The booking was a little too early for me at 6pm but we got a couple of hours there so it meant a nice wander down to Carnaby Street and a carafe of lovely Merlot to share before we headed home.

I expected the outside of the building to be a little more hidden rather than BOB BOB RICARD clear to see from miles away. Upon entering, I was already impressed by the attentiveness of the staff - one to take our coats, another to show us downstairs to our table. We were seated in The Red Dining Room, which really reminded me of a cross between the Grand Budapest Hotel and a James Bond film.

I'd already looked at the menu multiple times but still couldn't decide what to have, H hadn't a clue either. We both decided on mains and desserts. I was desperate for some oysters but decided they're not as fun if you're not sharing.

While we spent a longer-than-normal amount of time looking at the menu, we ordered to Rhubarb Gin and Tonics, something recommended to me (ironically) by 2015 BBR guy. They were tasty but they felt a bit thicker than a normal G&T which I wasn't sure whether I liked for half of the drink.

Eventually they got an order out of us, baked sole with champagne sauce, stuffed with lobster on wilted spinach for me and fillet mignon for H.

Again, the staff were really attentive, we had three people serving us, it was almost a bit too much but I cannot grumble at amazing service.

And then, the moment I'd been waiting for...

This baked sole may not look like a lot but oh my GOODNESS. It was probably one of the tastiest things I've ever eaten. I want champagne sauce with everything. I also had a side of crushed minted peas which I thought, for a 5er they could do with being a bit out of the ordinary. They were, who knew crushing peas (not mushing!) with a hint of mint would be so damn good. Stuffing this sole with lobster? Genius. I cannot fault this one bit and it's making me a little bit sad that I can't eat it now.

H's fillet mignon was also incredible - 28 day aged Scotch beef with seared foie grais, confit apple and truffle gravy. Honestly, as good as it sounds. The beef is cooked medium rare and it looked perfect. I'll be honest, foie grais is something that's never appealed to me, like ever. But I did try a bit and I can't say it's something I'll be in a rush to have again. I mean, it was really tasty, don't get me wrong but the texture was just not for me. Texture is a big factor in the things I eat. Anyway, H was quite for a 3/4 of this plate full of food so it clearly ticked all of the boxes for him.

I must point of, the mains were even better than I'm able to describe. Mine was one of those dishes that I proceeded to make 'mmmm' 'ooooo' 'oh my god' noises throughout.

Next, desserts. Over the last year I've gone from a dessert person to more of a starter person BUT they had my absolute favourite and my namesake dessert on there - Eton Mess (however, I'm an Eaton with an a). H predictably went for the one that basically sounded the most chocolatey.

Well, I hadn't expected this...

It felt like a game. Almost like a Kinder Egg but without the chocolate. The Eton Mess En Perle was a dream. An absolute dream. Despite it's pinkness, the meringue ball actually tasted of lime. I KNOW, LIME. But it's pink? I KNOW! Inside was a strawberry sorbet, raspberries, marshmallows and cream with strawberry sauce drizzled over it by our waiter. There are not enough words to sum up the absolute taste sensation of this dessert.

And then H's arrived, and it topped mine.

Of course, he had a golden ball filled with goodness, didn't he?! AND is hot chocolate sauce melted his pretty, shiny golden ball (as you can see). So it chocolately golden dreamboat was the BBR Signature Chocolate Glory - a chocolate jivara moose, chocolate brownie, berries, passionfruit with orange jelly and all of that dreamy chocolate sauce drizzled all over it. The noises confirmed how good it was and, not only that, it looked impressive. As with mine, our waiter drizzled the sauce on top.

One thing I've learned from BBR - I love a gimic. I love a button you can press for champagne. I love a giant ball filled with a variety of sweet things where the waiter has to get involved with the sauce. I've made this all sound a bit rude.

The experience of BBR was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. It was the PERFECT place for an early Valentine's date night. The food was some of the best I've had. The desserts, well you know all about how good they were. The service was fantastic.

All in all, it was VERY good. And I'd definitely go back, even if I had to go at 6pm again. It actually turned out pretty well that we finished there at 8 as it meant we could walk up to Carnaby and have all of that wine before heading home.

I felt like I was walking on a cloud of happiness as we walked arm in arm through Soho. It's amazing how a good meal can make you feel.

BBR take reservations for up to 3 months. There are no Saturday reservations before 10pm from now until the end of April. Now do you get how good it is?

1 Upper James St, Soho



  1. I am just taken aback... I always wanted to go for the button, but they do food and food that looks that good?!?!?! I shall immediately be wafting this blog post under Mr W's nose for future visits to London.

  2. This looks amazing! It's been on my list for ages as somewhere I need to visit. I just need a special occasion for my excuse!

    Jasmin Charlotte