Since hitting London in 2010, superstar Daniel Boulud has charmed the capital with his New York pizazz and metropolitan French cooking. Sporting its own entrance beneath the Mandarin Oriental hotel, this self-named eatery is a democratic destination for Russian oligarchs, itinerant foodies and shopping families on the town – so perch at the zinc-topped bar with an exceptional Long Island iced tea or bag a red leather booth in the ‘cleverly designed’ dining room alongside movers and shakers such as F1 top dog Bernie Ecclestone. Everyone recommends the efficiently delivered ‘high-end’ burgers, especially the decadent version with braised short ribs, truffle and foie gras (‘have the cardiac equipment close to hand’, warns one fan). Otherwise, the kitchen sends out fabulously unfussy plates of superior charcuterie, croustillants and boudins, moules à la crème and rosemary-scented lamb chops. Service gets mixed reports, and ‘overpriced’ drinks can be a main bone of contention.
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