“Claude Bosi is now at the top of his game in one of London’s most iconic rooms”, notes one reader – and we have to agree that the two-Michelin-starred master of innovative French cuisine is right at home in Bibendum. His tasting menu will make you “smile and swoon”, and the sheer dexterity is mesmerising from start to finish.
An opening salvo of canapés spans everything from tricksy cocoa butter ‘olives’ encasing liquid pissaladière or light-as-air chicken for dipping into chicken-fat mayo to Bosi’s classic pea mousse with coconut foam and curry-filled egg.
Produce is best-of-the-best, yet never served without invention: a whole lobster glazed in Singaporean pepper with crisp wontons of claw meat; intense duck jelly topped with geometrically perfect cubes of sturgeon and oodles of caviar; a king-sized langoustine paired with punchy iced consommé and smoked pike roe.
Other dishes are now classics, from the gutsy tripe and cuttlefish gratin with pig’s ear and ham cake (inspired by Bosi’s mother) and the rolled turbot ‘à la grenobloise’ in foaming cream sauce with capers and croûtons to a vacherin involving new season’s ceps and banana or a seriously rich chocolate soufflé emblazoned with the Michelin logo and filled with whisky ice cream at the table.
“Effortless service” hits a mid-point between fun and formal, while the wine list is both inventive and unexpected without neglecting the big-spending classics. Bills are punishing but worth it, although kindly priced set lunches are a genuine bargain in this gorgeous room with its deep-pile carpets and stained glass caricatures of the Michelin man.