Bob Bob Ricard 22

1 Upper James Street , London, W1F 9DF

10 reviews

60 International Soho

  • Bob Bob Ricard 2012
  • Bob Bob Ricard roast dinner London soho restaurant bar

SquareMeal Review of Bob Bob Ricard

Squaremeal London Hot 100 2016“That restaurant with the Champagne buttons” is more than just a gimmick, although ostentation is undoubtedly blingy Bob Bob Ricard’s primary selling point: “I feel like I’m in Gatsby’s dining room”, notes one fan. Luckily, the palpable sense of enjoyment lends warmth to the glitz and gold, which is everywhere you look. Cloistered royal blue booths explain why celebs enjoy hiding out here, as does a sumptuous menu of comfort food – think mighty beef Wellingtons and deep-filled, steaming pies. A new executive chef has introduced some lighter (but no less lavish) additions to the menu in the shape of, say, lemon sole stuffed with scallop mousse or lobster in a sparky Champagne sauce. The Sunday roast lunch stars prime USDA Black Angus beef, drizzled with truffle gravy, while the pricey wine list favours treats from the French regions. Service glides effortlessly, and although prices are reasonably high, it’s worth it for the fun you’ll have.

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8.2

Food & Drink: 7.9

Service: 8.3

Atmosphere: 7.6

Value: 7.9

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Elle E. silver reviewer 29 October 2012

We booked a table for 6 in the morning for the evening, on a Saturday night and frankly, the 10pm service worked for us. On arrival (we were merry and happy) we were greeted by one gentleman and his ipad (it may be sleek-er but I do miss the old diary that restaurants used to have) and promptly led to our table. Surprise, there wasn't any vodka available, don't you think this is a little peculiar for a Russian restaurant ? Actually, I am wrong, a shot of vodka was offered with an order of caviar but this shot just wasn't available on its own (nor was it in a bottle) ! We went for cocktails with our meal and my oysters were tasty and plump but the shallot vinegar was a tad tasteless. My main of Sole paupiette was lovely and delicate but (just to be difficult), I was a bit disappointed (ok, disappointed may be too strong a word) that the only greens available on the menu was either boiled spinach or salad. I was expecting something like asparagus, broccoli, French beans… Alltogeter, the food was adequate for the price. We may have overstayed our welcome a little as the waitress brought the bill before we asked and the light came up. It felt a little like staying until a bar closing time, well, in a nicer setting and without the vodka..-

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

BoatLady platinum reviewer 16 October 2012

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.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Magnus S. 25 September 2011

Lovely evening of great food and fabulous wine. I started with oysters and vintage Bollinger (which is sold by the glass!). For the main we had Beef Wellington – the best piece of fillet I've had in years, may be even ever – and for dessert caramelized oranges for me and creme brulee for my companion with 1996 Chateau Yquem once again offered by the glass at an irresistible £29 per glass. Not bad for the world's finest (and most expensive) sweet wine. Charming staff and a buzzy, glamourous room made the experience practically perfect. If only they could make finding a parking space in Soho on busy night a bit easier.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 2.0

Fiona B. 01 September 2011

Buzz and glamour? Classy and exciting? No, no, no!!! Not in this part of Soho. Was everyone away, including the entire bar staff? Was I in the wrong place (that is not a question). What is (not) going on here, in Holiday season? Last night, (a Wednesday) all the happening action had been shunted into the sidings. I was early, the bar downstairs was closed (no explanation, so I don't know why), and thus I was shown straight to the table for a drink while waiting for my three companions. The decor is more fairground than true glitz, with appropriate music (ie to a fairground), which didn't drown out the deadly hush of empty dullness. The cramped, high-sided ‘railcar booth’ tables are cattle-class rather than first-class in my opinion, and anyone who was over-fond of their food simply wouldn't fit in. The space was constricted enough to feel claustophobic rather than cosy, and paper placemats just ain't luxe. I found it unwelcoming and uncomfortable. And a squeeze too far for four (slim) friends. The service was fine, the food unmemorable, decent ingredients, cooked ok. Only glitch was when my man wanted chips instead of mashed potato. Po-faced waitress checked with the kitchen and said that wasn't possible (despite entire trainloads of empty tables – can't imagine the kitchen resources were exactly stretched – so more of a “computer-says-no” type of refusal). My man tries a different wheeze “I would like to order the veal holstein WITHOUT mashed potato on the plate, and a side of chips?” – problem solved. A tiny jug of delicious-smelling sauce arrived with the mains: “what is that? who's it for?”. Waitress depositing said jug said “oooh, I'm new, I'll have to ask…”. I saved her the trouble by (rightly) deducing it was veal jus with truffle from the look and smell and hence to go with the holstein – the rest of us were having seafood and fish dishes, so not rocket science to work out. We drank an indifferent Chablis at an ok price and lots of water, the aforementioned flat atmosphere not conducive to alcoholic bonhomie – or chatting and lingering. it was a big relief to leave, to be honest. Very so-so for Soho. Maybe our timing was bad: other recent reviews would lead me to understand that we missed a proper sniff of the Real Bob Bob Ricard Experience – but I won't be testing that theory out another day.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Food fiend platinum reviewer 26 July 2011

This was the second time ive been to BBR – but the first time for an actual meal. Prior to this visit, i did wonder how people would pay such a high price for breakfast and so made the assumption that the rest of the items on the menu would be overpriced too. Anyway, i was wrong and i was very impressed. The venue itself is well designed and reminds me of scenes from Titanic, ie very opulent. Service was very good and not intrusive in the least. As id been overdoing it a bit in the dining out stakes, i went for the set menu which was 3 courses for £24. Mine comprised of eggs florentine, then burger for main and ended with a lovely raspberry cream pudding. This, in my opinion, is one of the very good places to go to in Soho – the food is good and nothing strays too far from the norm and its a zillion times better than Hix which is the only style place that could compare. But sometimes thats just what you want, nothing fussy, just a decent tasty meal. Also, to an extent, you get what you pay for so its a little pricier than your normal diner type places, but this is catering to a cool, media, business lunch crowd. I cant really fault the place and will definitely be back. If you want something a bit different, try Nopi which is a few doors down, but for some tasty, hearty, stylish food, this is the place to go.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

David J. gold reviewer 28 May 2011

Last week’s Food Bloggers’ Dinner at Bob Bob Ricard – off Golden Square, Soho – was an excuse to stick my schnoz up in the air more than usual and open the pocket thesaurus along with other equally snooty food writers. Creatives flourish in such company and a “tasty plonk” is instead noted as a “superannuated example of primitive España, long past its juncture.” At least, that’s how I talk in such company (to my own embarrassment). Bob Bob Ricard was fashioned by its owners Bob and Ricard (actually Leonid and Richard – go figure) and designed by architect and restaurant designer, David Collins. The design is reminiscent of an Orient Express carriage fused with Liberace’s kitchen (possibly not the intention? Maybe this is what Cloud Cuckoo Land looks like?), and has a clean-cut interior with a splash of exuberance. The art deco furnishings are nostalgic of a bygone era and evoke images of a Hercule Poirot murder scene. Vintage children’s tin toys and train sets sit alongside pink and black artworks – rather like a Pink Panther finger painting or punk-styled Rorschach test. The menu is surprisingly simplistic, offering minor twists of Russian flair to traditional British dishes: caviar with blinis and zakusk canapés is an example. Caviar and champagne is a staple here, perhaps even Bob’s two favourite things in the world? There’s a story about Bob discarding Beluga caviar after a high-society London party. If I told you how, you’d cry. Each table is fitted with a champagne button so it’s literally available when required. Press the button, titled, “Champagne” and a waiter will arrive at your table – dressed in a fitted pink blazer, turquoise for the girls – with glasses of fizz. It’s like they say, the best things in life are…well, about as much as a good bottle of champagne. Upon arrival we were given the BBR signature drink of pink rhubarb gin and tonic. A welcomed relief after exiting the humming and muggy-evening streets of Soho, and it had a glamorous and sparkling punch. A pre-starter followed of jellied ox tongue with creamed horseradish served with Vodka Imperia by Russian Standard served at -18c. I can’t make up my mind if the jelly was beautiful art on a plate or just a wobbling casing for animal mouth? It’s like that episode of The Office when Gareth says of jelly, “I don’t trust the way it moves.” However you consider it, it tasted damn good and the light creamy horseradish lifted the flavour and melted in the mouth. And that’s from someone who doesn’t even like the stuff. The vodka had an initial sharp texture but developed down the throat with a sweet finish, and is indeed, best served chilled. Russian salad with black truffles was the starter and lacked the personality of the prior dish. It was again accompanied by chilled vodka: Kauffman Special selected vintage 2006 served at -18c, which is, according to Bob, “the most delicate vodka in the world.” Again, there was sharpness to the nose and texture, with hints of anise, but developing characteristics in the mouth resulting in an overall softer finish, which I’m told is inherent to a honey-based vodka. The main of veal Holstein was the best dish. There’s Bob Veal from calves that are slaughtered when they are a few days old, up to 150lb, but not sure if this was Bob’s Bob Veal? Buttered breadcrumbs were reminiscent of veal Parmigina and encased the juicy and robust veal and truffled creamy mash potatoes underneath soaked up the surprise of a ‘Secret Sauce’. There was a quail egg on top (for pretty effect) with slithers of salty anchovies to heighten the flavour. Our wine was a 2008 Rioja Tinto, Bodegas Navajas, and a great match for the veal. It’s a youthful Rioja noted for its intense raspberry and black cherry overlay, but there is also a finishing hint of vanilla oak which sweetens just a little and calms the saltiness of the anchovies. We had a choice of two desserts and I opted for the lighter Bramley and Cox apple jelly, the prettiest dish of the evening. Served with crème, corrugated apple and deliciously crumbly shortbread, the careful presentation of soft yellows and greens invoked images of Kent countryside and picking apples in woodland. The thinly cut apple slices were positioned in the crème and were sweet and crunchy. Surprisingly, the jelly maintained all the juices from the Bramley and Cox without diluting. The other dessert option was ‘Chocolate Glory’, consisting of chocolate Jivara mousse and chocolate brownie with passion fruit orange jelly and meringue served with fresh raspberries and hot chocolate sauce. Now there’s a breathless description. It arrives – noticing Gourmet Chick next to me – like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange dusted gold. The waiter then returns to pour hot chocolate over the sphere, which teasingly melts the chocolate and reveals the inner contents of passion fruit jelly and meringue – flawless theatre and downright greedy for those with a sweet tooth. I wrapped up the evening with a glass of Sauternes (2003 Château Rieussec) that was far too thick and sweet and went down like car oil; however the girls at the table seemed to lap it up with ease. There had been careful balancing of plonk and grub up until now, and this was too candy-coated for me, the syrup and sugar tones buttock-clenching. This said, The Wine Spectator rated it 95/100, so what do I know?

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 4.0

Richard E. platinum reviewer 23 May 2011

A moral dilemma: is it ethical for a restaurant to include on its wine list the prices that you'd pay at its competitors' pads? Does it make it any easier to take if the person most prodded is Gordon Ramsay? I know one restauranteur who thinks it is a poor show. Me? I can see both sides: sure, it is nice to know that the Haut Brion is a quarter of the price here than at Marcus Waring, but then the food isn't really a quarter as good, so what does the comparison show? Add to this the fact that none of the wines appear to be cheaper anywhere else (did you check out the Union Cafe Bob?) and a fear that our friendly Bob is merely being mischievous. Now, were he to put the wholesale prices that the wines were bought at, that would be interesting. And the wine list is very interesting. Along with the said HB (£362 if you must ask) there is a terrific selection by the glass, including the fine Grand-Puy-Ducasse and even the glorious Yquem '96, in both 100cl and a “tasting” size of 50cl. Genius. In fact, why do you need then to put down your fellow restaurants? Man-up Bob; you have a great wine list, don't knock others. The room itself is, I think, supposed to be reminiscent of grand station cafes from the time of steam trains, sort of up-market American diner, with pink waistcoated boys and turquoise besuited girls. I'm afraid, to me it looked like I'd imagine the waiting room at a high class brothel would. The menu is all day and mixes French and Russian, with British bits thrown in, so you get caviar and vodka shots, next to onglet, next to cream teas. All a bit confusing, but then Russia and France have a long culinary history; we have, if legend is to be believed, Napoleon's Russian troops in Montmartre to thank for the word “bistro”. There are nice touches – a button to press for champagne, a plug for the toaster that comes with afternoon tea, that sort of thing. But its all a bit gloomy on a bright summer's afternoon. The food was perfectly adequate, but didn't really illuminate the gloom. The pickled herring with beetroot was a lovely colourful palate and the potted prawns were perfectly serviceable. This dish started well, with the dressing on the watercress salad being lovely. The prawns themselves came in a creamy, anchovy infused binding, rather than the more traditional clarified butter. Fine as it was, although a bit salty, a sensation heightened by the toast that accompanied it, which was itself highly salted. I know the latest report on whether salt is good for you or not has said go for it, but there is a limit. This went beyond that limit. Mains too were fine: the chicken Kiev a little let down by not enough garlicky butter (what else is the point of the dish?), but the veal Holstein flat, breaded and with a fried quail's egg mounting it very pleasant indeed. We skipped deserts and instead spent the money on a thimbleful sized glass of Yquem. A glorious honey marmalade of a wine, that needed nothing plated to accompany it. So go for the food if you must, but stay for the wine and Bob, come on, tell us how much you paid for them. You tell us how much we have to pay you, so it seems only fair.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Richard C. 25 March 2011

This was a breath of fresh air. The service was fantastic, the wine perfect and the food a delight. That doesn't quite cover it. The staff were very welcoming, but they unlike others I could mention (Maze for one) they also understood that we were their to chat, eat and drink, not there for them to attempt to show their waiting capability, which means I hardly noticed them when they sorted out the service. Their recommendations were spot on. The wine and vodka was perfectly delivered and actually really great. Now the food. The menu is something to behold. I was spoilt for choice – a mix of culinary memories and new offerings which made the choice difficult. The Onglet was fantastic, as was the ‘stolen’ chicken kiev. Finishing with a plate of cakes for me, rum barbar and battenburg amongst these just completed a great evening and a fantastic meal. Would I go back – yes please!!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Grumbling Gourmet platinum reviewer 16 November 2010

The burger at Bob Bob Ricard is the reason that exercise exists. Without that, you're lost. Sadly, I appear to be losing… though if I thought that the reward was a guilt free burger at BBR then I'd be spending a lot more time on the rowing machine. There's a limited menu, mainly classic bistro dishes intermingled with a handful of left field caviar based choices (no doubt a small reminder of home for the Russian owner). The decor wouldn't be out of place in a top end French railway buffet (assuming that said buffet were decorated with beautiful blue leather seating and staffed by men in salmon pink jackets). The staff were attentive and friendly and while I had to ask twice for the bill, I wasn't exactly in a rush, and could quit happily have sat there all day. Starting with a sharp yet sweet pink grapefruit mimosa, I eagerly awaited my meat patty fix. . The burger arrived cooked perfectly as requested, enough fat to make it silky smooth with little pieces of onion studded through. A nice char on the outside contrasted with the soft bun and the Kraft slice melted deep into the pores of the unctuous patty. The sweet pickles were excellent, and the only (very slight) bum note came from the slightly flabby and seemingly unseasonal tomato. As I polished off the last morsel, a salmon pink jacket dropped off a warm hand bowl and I sat back in my booth. The glamour of Bob Bob Ricard is a contrast with grimy old Soho, but somehow fits in perfectly.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Nat M. 25 April 2010

A fantastic wine list with many big-name wines 3-4 times less than in other London restaurants. They make a big deal of it by putting comparison prices directly in their wine list. The vintage Pol Roger was £15 a glass! Our Beef Wellington for four was, in the words of our American guests, epic. Classy service and ambiance, a perfect special occasion restaurant.

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