With restaurant in nine major cities across the world (not to mention the six restaurants bearing his name in New York alone), Lyon-born Manhattanite Daniel Boulud is one busy man. Despite that, we managed to grab some time with the world-renowned chef while he was in London recently, for Bar Boulud’s pop up at Harrods. With Bar Boulud itself reopening today at the Mandarin Oriental (itself currently undergoing a major refurbishment), Daniel reveals all about the restaurant’s refurbishment and refreshed menu, as well as what he makes of London compared to New York.

Words: Neil Simpson 

Chef Daniel Boulud interview Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental hotel Knightsbridge London Square Meal Squaremeal

Daniel posing in front of the Sir Peter Blake-designed hoarding currently covering the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge

Will Bar Boulud become Boulud Sud?

Not exactly. A Boulud Sud menu may reappear this summer as it did last summer, but I’m not planning to reopen Bar Boulud as a sister to Boulud Sud in New York. 

The plan is to begin exploring more of France’s regions at Bar Boulud London, such as Burgundy or the Rhône Valley, like we do at Café Boulud [in New York] with the Menu Voyage. The regional dishes will be inserted within the regular carte, which means that regulars will always find something new and interesting. If you’re looking for something new, you’ll find it, but there’s plenty of tradition there too.

How much has Bar Boulud changed?

We’ve used the original interior designer and the aim was to make everything feel lighter and brighter. There are more mirrors now, for instance, while all of the furniture and fixtures have been replaced, as has the kitchen.  

Chef Daniel Boulud interview Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental hotel Knightsbridge London Square Meal Squaremeal

What’s the major difference between diners in Manhattan in comparison to Londoners?

Londoners indulge more at lunchtime than Manhattanites, and they tend to spend a bit more on drinking. Both scenes are very similar, but there is certainly a buzz to London and people know how to have fun. 

Gymkhana - restaurant

Where do you rate for dinner in London?

I was really impressed by the buzz when I went to Gymkhana (above), and I really like Outlaw's at The Capital

Chef Daniel Boulud interview Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental hotel Knightsbridge London Square Meal Squaremeal

What does the future hold for you?

This year I’m re-writing my book Letters to a Young Chef [first published in 2003], while I’ll be launching a new NYC project in 2018, but that’s not ready to be announced just yet.


This article was published 6 February 2017