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|Address:||1 Upper James Street, London W1F 9DF|
|Tel:||020 3145 1000|
|Price: £60.00||Wine: £26.50||Champagne: £66.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 12N-3pm 6-11pm Sat 5.30-10pm|
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Sitting in a leather booth at Bob Bob Ricard is liking being on a White Russian's theatre set design for Murder on the Orient Express. It's a little bit parisienne, a lot glamorous. Thankfully the food is a far cry from that of the Trans-Siberian Railway which, on my trip a few years ago, ran out of meat and fish somewhere before Irkutsk so served up soulless dumplings all the way to Mongolia. Skipping the offer of £225 Beluga and -18c vodka, I started with vareniki, a delightfully light dumpling dish reminiscent of gyoza, and then had the Chicken/Mushroom/Champagne pie which, despite its humble origins and low price for this menu, had been treated with proper respect: a huge, whole pie with a crisp pastry top and rich filling. Sides of roasted carrots and parsnips in beef dripping with maple syrup were as delicious as they sound. Some sort of shared chocolate fondant thing rounded it off. I am a bit disappointed that the much-hyped “Press for Champagne” button did not start a fizz fountain and is really just an airplane style call button. Perhaps this is a good thing as when the bill came I thought it was a bit toppy at £80 a head until Girl 3 pointed out that we'd drunk 2 bottles of Pol Roger at £57 a pop. Without that extravagance it would have been good value for money. Service is excellent: there's a multitude of monochromatically clad, deferentially smiling, waiters and when Girl 3 turned up some time after Girls 1&2 had ordered her meal was pushed through as a “rush order” so it turned up but a fraction behind ours. After dinner, at which we had lingered unhurried beyond our 2 hour slot, we were escorted down to a quirkily intimate little booth in Bobby's bar with leather banquettes and flip down cinema/railway seats. I expected Bond to turn up with a tarot reader. It was unaccountably quiet for a Friday night in Soho but we didn't stumble out until a couple of hours later and a few more glasses of bubbles and a Cosmo down. I can't wait to come back.