For years now I have wandered past BobBob Ricard in Soho and have always fancied trying it out. Being a bit of a foodie and liking to experiment with new and exciting eateries, I decided to bite the bullet (so to speak) and book a table for Saturday evening. I couldn’t wait to see what the place had to offer – it’s delectable delights tempting me from afar.
At first glance, the art deco exterior hints at 1920s American glamour – the frosted, glacial looking window panes and the smartly dressed doorman hint at the world of sophistication and elegance that pervades within… I was excited to see for myself what the interior would hold… what would await me and would it live up to expectations?
I for one like to adhere to dress codes and the dress code stipulates that one should wear formal/elegant attire. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like the excitement and fervour of dressing up for a nice night out in the West End? I do! More so than I probably should! After a lengthy four hour decision making process… and they say only girls take forever!… I finally and eventually settled on my usual combination of a smart shirt and trouser combination. What a surprise eh… but hey, an oldie but a goodie!
Upon arrival for our 6pm reservation, we were greeted at the door by a wonderfully friendly and courteous doorman, who promptly ushered us inside and into the warmth – a welcome reprieve, I must say, from the grey and dismal weather brewing outside!!! Brrrr!!! First impressions were decidedly good and the interior certainly lived up to the expectations that I had in mind. The décor and lighting were both carefully considered and induced the effects of decadence and old school glamour. The place has a distinct touch of the Great Gatsby – dimly lit, sumptuous and evocative – hues of red, black and gold awash and bouquets of the most amazing autumnal arrangements taking centre stage for all to see.
We were lead to our table which was located in the downstairs part of the restaurant and luckily, or at least we thought so, we were situated in a lovely and secluded corner area. The booth-style seating was exquisite – the seats were made of the softest, plush velveteen and walls of stylised Italian marble offset by the richness of dark Mahogany fixtures and fittings. The place feels sensual and evocative and very, very chic!
Excitingly, our booth had a button labelled ‘Press for Champagne’ – how wonderful! It brought to mind Alice in Wonderland and her wonderfully labelled potion bottles saying ‘drink me’…. I couldn’t resist and promptly pressed… who doesn’t love the surprise of champagne on tap!
The waiter, clad in a beautifully ornate pink waistcoat, looked every inch the part and was extremely attentive and clued up on the menu. The bubblegum pink of his uniform and his striking looks reminded me of an archetypal Wes Anderson character and if one squinted, we could almost be on set at The Grand Budapest Hotel. The menu was not overly extensive but seemed to use seasonal ingredients (mushroom being a particular favourite this time round) and would certainly please a wide variety of tastes. We started off with a tipple (or three!) and had some delicious cocktails – sweet, sparkly little numbers that slipped down a treat! For starters, I was my usual carnivorous self and ordered the steak tartare. It came beautifully presented and the portion size was most certainly sufficient.
The taste was delectable and with drinks flowing and a heady Russian elegance surrounding us, we moved onto our main courses. Chicken pie!!!
Two sumptuous chicken pies arrived at our table and by gosh, were they a size? The pastry was light and flaky and the attention to detail in the presentation was exquisite – each pie was adorned with the signature motif of the restaurant. Little details like that always please me. The pie itself was delicious. The pastry topping light and flaky and the inside, tender, juicy and succulent. The chicken chunks were meaty and melt in the mouth and the sauce was rich and delicious and mushroom infused. The creamed mash which accompanied the pie was buttery and light and melted on the tongue. The main course was truly scrumptious, exceedingly filling and left me satiated in a satisfied full- belly kind of way!
Having taken a breather from all that food, we decided we really ought to partake of desert – well, it would be rude not to wouldn’t it? So I opted for the signature chocolate bomb! What came to the table could only be described as Willy-Wonkaesque and my boyish eyes widened in excitement. Here, right before my very eyes, was a spherical chocolate ball, dusted with the finest gold sheen – pure chocolate heaven! What’s more, the waitress proceeded to pour hot chocolate sauce all over the bomb making it concave to reveal a mousse-like centre! The food was simply exquisite.
We left the restaurant feeling all kinds of happy – happy to have experienced somewhere new, happy to have eaten such delicious food, but mostly happy for another evening well spent in good company. For anyone who hasn’t tried Bob Bob Ricard, my advice would be – try it! Give it a go! It’s such a wonderful restaurant and though slightly on the pricey side, a fine price to pay for a great night out.