Rumour has it that Bob invested two thirds into the business, and Ricard invested one third, and so it should only be fair that the business be called Bob Bob Ricard, right? I think so. And I sure hope that rumour is true because seriously, how much cooler can a name get?
Well, as cool as the restaurant it represents, and believe me, Bob Bob Ricard is the epitome of cool.
To be perfectly honest, I’d been avoiding Bob Bob Ricard since it opened late last year because it quickly became one of those restaurants that bloggers flocked to and wrote about and tweeted about and quite frankly, irritated the shit out of me. But always a little slow to catch on to any trend, ten months on I decided to finally see what all the fuss was about and Oh Hello, how cool is it that they have a button to press for more champagne and they serve mini chateaubriands! From mini cows!
Seriously, if that ain’t cool, I don’t know what is.
From its dimly lit, cozy diner-style interior (where everyone gets a booth. Well, unless you’re at the bar I suppose) to the exquisite floor tiling which spell out Bob (I guess two thirds share gets you a few perks) to Leonid (aka Bob), an interesting and mildly eccentric character ready to regale tales of vodka and mini cows to one and all, the Bob Bob Ricard experience is instantly unique.
Entwining its Russian heritage with a menu full of traditional British cuisine, the food at Bob Bob (as it’s affectionately called… not quite sure how Ricard feels about that!) is arguably some of the best Brit food to have passed these lips. I mean, The Lamb. The Lamb. Hands down Best Lamb Ever. But what else did we have?
Quails eggs, mayonnaise with black truffle ~ four quails eggs, served with a generous dollop of mayonnaise and black truffle, the strong flavours complemented by the lettuce and sprouts. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed eggs quite so much. Oh wait, I lie.
Classic prawn cocktail ~ a classic prawn cocktail to start for classic Brit man, Sung. Fresh, juicy and sweet… and classic! What can I say?
Venison steak tartar with quails egg, curly croutons and green salad ~ Aaron’s venison steak tartar starter was delicious and left me reeling even more from the very average steak tartar I tried last week.
Moving onto mains. One step closer to The Lamb.
Veal holstein with quails egg, anchovies, truffled mash & secret sauce ~ always concerned about anything “secret”, Bob assures us the sauce itself isn’t secret, but where it came from is secret. Wha? Same same. Anyway, this was Sung’s main (which was apparently very good and came with an old school wrapped up lemon) but I didn’t pay all that much attention because I was totally jaw droppingly in awe of my lamb:
Or should I say, our lamb. I was so excited I could barely hold the camera still so excuse the slightly blurred photo.
The roast leg of Elwy Valley lamb with rosemary & garlic, fresh mint & apple jelly is one mammoth leg of lamb shared between two. I managed to coerce Aaron into sharing with me and boy is he glad he did. As am I, obviously.
Carved into five thick and juicy portions plus the leg, I really can’t even put into words how much I enjoyed this roast. All I can say was that it was recommended to me by MiMi and it’s the least I could do to demand that you also have the same when you go. Don’t even think about it. Just do it.
Truffled mash ~ oh and we had a side of truffle mash. What’s not to like?
And although our meal was hefty, we had a gander at the dessert menu. I mean, c’mon.
Strawberry vacherin meringue with strawberry coulis ~ this was basically like a pavlova, hiding within its meringue shell two scoops of strawberry sorbet. So. Good.
Warm chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream ~ Sung’s fetish for hot chocolate sauce satisfied with this strangely flat but decadent fondant.
Sounds effortlessly ordinary but the dessert to steal the night? Three scoops of ice cream: peanut butter & banana, salted caramel, valrhona chocolate. The salted caramel ice cream was so exquisite in its intense flavour that I almost cried. Well I didn’t cry, but I almost did steal all of Aaron’s dessert. A powerful hit of caramel, leaving a strong but delicate salty after taste. How do they do that? I don’t care, but I know I want more.
Everything about our meal at Bob Bob was remarkable and totally recommendable. Especially The Lamb, in case you missed that. I had the O’Shea’s beef onglet lined up as my back up main course but next time? I’m so ordering the chateaubriand for one, although having it come from a mini cow makes me a little sad. But I’ll get over that.
Bob Bob Ricard
1 Upper James Street
Soho, W1F 9DF
0203 145 1000