French-Russian restaurant Bob Bob Ricard has two sites in London, with its opening in the city offering as much glitz and glamour (if not more!) as the original restaurant in Soho. The £25 million project lives on the third floor of the Leadenhall building (aka The Cheesegrater) and is dressed in the same ostentatious style as its sister restaurant, taking inspiration from the Royal Yacht Brittania. Blue booth seating allows parties of all sizes to feel a sense of privacy while dining, while shiny marble floors, a million different light fittings and a wall of mirrors are like an optical illusion designed to arrest and beguile from the moment you enter the foyer. Perhaps its most famous feature is the ‘press for champagne’ button at every table – push the all-powerful button and receive champers poured from a magnum for maximum effect.
It says a lot about a restaurant when the menu boasts dedicated sections for caviar, oysters and vodka shots chilled specifically to 18 degrees (and that’s before you’ve even reached the starters). Whet your appetite with one of the above, or opt for the likes of French onion soup, steak tartare, escargots and croque madam to start, all created by head chef Ben Hobson.
The extensive main course list continues with the classic French theme. Seemingly straight-forward dishes get a luxurious upgrade: chicken pie is made with a splash of champagne, charcoal-grilled sea bream comes with a side of tomato fondue and there are two types of macaroni cheese on offer, one made with truffle and the other with lobster.
A host of classic French desserts include tarte tatin with calvados ice cream, flaming crème brulee, tarte au chocolat and crepes suzette (which are, of course, flambeed at the table for dramatic effect). Guests who opt for an Armagnac doughnut can infuse their sweet course with a choice of Armagnac vintages from 1888 to 2005 – what fun! Nothing is done by halves at Bob Bob Ricard City.
Price wise, while you can dine somewhat sensibly from the food menu, the wine list is sure to blow any budget out the water with very few bottles coming in under £50. The cheapest option is a £28 chenin blanc - white wine lovers rejoice!
There is a dress code, although it’s not as demanding as one might imagine for such an extravagant place. It specifies ‘elegant’ attire, ties not necessary, with formal or casual wear both welcome.