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1 Upper James Street
“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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Square Meal Silver Awards
1 Upper James Street
Piccadilly Circus Tube Station 333m
Oxford Circus Tube Station 423m
Beak Street 36m
Ganton Street 134m
Mon-Sun 12.30pm-3pm Sun-Wed 6pm-12M (Sun 5.30pm- ) Thurs-Sat 5.30pm-1am
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
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
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.
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.
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