I am a true believer that a properly designed restaurant can add dramatically to the overall customer experience. It’s understandable that many restaurants don’t have the dosh to spend on a restaurant fit out, and whilst simple or rustic is perfectly fine, it also doesn’t inspire.
So my recent trip to Bob Bob Ricard was like discovering a diamond in the rough. The amount of times I heard myself say ‘I can’t believe I’ve never been to this place’ or ‘did I mention I love this place – no really did I?’ over the course of the night was almost ridiculous. Actually it was ridiculous.
Bob Bob Ricard is one restaurant that seems to be on London blogger’s hitlist lately, and allured by the thought of sitting next to a Press for Champagne button we decided to drop in for a drink and something sweet late on a Friday night.
Without a booking, we visited the restaurant at approximately 930pm in the evening. The receptionist was professsional and kind and was more than happy to accommodate us. After waiting briefly whilst she fixed our table, we were soon led into the dining room, to a booth table that had already been set for three.
Time out‘s description of the decor at Bob Bob Ricard is so close to the truth its mind boggling.
“…Orient Express meets American diner, with the luxury of the former dominating…”
Inside, the restaurant felt so charmingly old world and quirky at the same time. From the folding old style cinema seats at reception, the mirrored ceilings, to the marble topped tables, gold and green fittings and pin-cusioned booths. The wait staff were dressed in kitchy powder pink jackets which they seemed to wear with pride as they delivered exceptional, flawless, friendly professional service. So refreshing to be served by hospitality professionals without having to put up with an attitude.
Having mentioned to the receptionist that we were just after dessert, menu’s were given to us by our waitress at the dessert page (smooth) and tap water with a wedge a lemon delivered without question.
Whilst tempted to press the champagne button, we instead took a good look at the extensive (and good value!) wine list. BBR prides itself on offering the best-prices fine wine list in London and I couldn’t agree more. Interestingly BBR includes the list prices of wines at some of London’s finer establishments just to reinforce the point.
We each ordered something sweet – a glass of Muscat de beaumes de venise, Rhone (£7.25) for each myself and N and a Chateau Rieussec Sauternes, Bordeaux (£11.75) for Sam as well as a cheese plate (£11) to share and a bucket of Bobcorn popcorn.
There’s nothing much I can say about the popcorn except for the fact that the container was really cute and very old-school. Cheeses were good though, and the plate consisted of a goats, brie, stilton and a unknown semi-hard served with a pot of perry jelly. I wasn’t actually given an explanation of each so my explanation above is a guess, though probably a pretty good guess.
After polishing off the cheese plate, we decided to order a bottle of the muscat (£25) we were already drinking as well as a Strawberry Striped Souffle (£8).
Our souffle was served by our waiter who poured some strawberry syrup and double cream into a little hole on top. We were a bit skeptical at first as the souffle came out after no more than 10 minutes after we ordered. But somehow, someway, the souffle was fresh, deliciously hot, light, fluffy and tasted exactly how I imagined it to taste – a strawberry milkshake. Not sure why it was called a ‘striped’ souffle though.
Even at 11pm, there were a remarkable number of people sitting down for supper, but the restaurant is not at all noisy so it’s a really nice place to wind down for the night. Whilst we was only able to fit desserts in this time, a quick flick through the main menu (caviar with bellinis and sour cream!) was enough for me to start thinking about my next visit back.
I cannot rate this place higher.
Bob Bob Ricard
1 Upper James Street
LONDON W1F 9DF