Matthew Steeples revisits Bob Bob Ricard and remains mightily impressed
The name says it all: A man named Bob owns 2/3rds and another named Ricard has 1/3rd. Beyond that, it’s simply fantastic and frankly for a restaurant in Central London, Bob Bob Ricard offers something that genuinely is nigh on impossible to find and that is fantastic service.
Put a water glass down here and you’ll instantly find it refilled. Press a button and you’ll get champagne. Nothing is too much trouble and with the help of the fine staff here, one feels like one is on the Orient Express.
The décor of Bob Bob Ricard – which is an all booth restaurant that is open 365 days a year – is like that of a first class train carriage and suitably the menu is dominated by luxurious ingredients also. Lobster and caviar are staples and indulgence is encouraged. A shot of vodka too many and you’ll end up away with the fairies but if you were to sample such, you’d be overjoyed at the fine selection on offer.
I began with a simple Stinking Bishop cheese soufflé (£9.50) that contrasted wonderfully with a light apple salad whilst my friend devoured salmon tartare (£8.50) enthusiastically. So good was the spicy fennel and horseradish accompaniment that she decided to ditch her favoured “essential” addition – Tabasco.
We continued with a fish pie (£17.50) emblazoned with the restaurant’s owners’ names. Designed with the hearty diner in mind and filled with smoked haddock, prawns, mussels and salmon, this superb dish topped with puff pastry did not need sides but in joining it with honey glazed carrots and parsnips (£5.50), the result was heaven on a plate. Those feeling bolder – as I did on a previous visit – will plump for Bob Bob Ricard’s signature dish: A lobster burger with a crayfish cocktail (£34.50). It is a veritable delight and rightly loved by many.
Don’t go to Bob Bob Ricard if you don’t want an experience as this is a restaurant that makes The Grand Budapest Hotel look dull. It is a restaurant that Hercule Poirot would adore. Go there again and again and each time you’ll experience something different. This is a train you’ll never want to get off.
Bob Bob Ricard, 1 Upper James Street, London, W1F 9DF. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 3145 1000.
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