Bob Bob Ricard is a place you’d go to for an ‘experience’. The place serves American/Russian food, mean cocktails, and has decadent décor akin to what I can only imagine Liberace’s dreams were made of. ‘Sumptuous’ is the word Laurence Llewelyn Bowen would use. I was primarily drawn there after a friend waxed lyrical about the simple joys of a designated ‘champagne button’ a small arm stretch away from your plate. I was promised that an effortless press would alert into action one of the many waiters – sashaying over promptly to confirm your champers order and deliver. It is true that simple pleasures please simple minds, and my tiny mind was blown; so much so that an exchange of £12 for the thrill and one glass of the stuff seemed excellent value at the time.
Our arrival was less Hollywood more Holby City as we were ushered past a first aid carry on scene once our coats were taken. In addition to the champagne button, the cubicle we were seated in oddly had a plug socket provided, giving a faint air of an east coast mainline train booth – but nether-the-less catered for one’s power needs.
The menu looked great, but not decidedly Russian in the main course area, maybe that’s where the American comes in. Sadly due to our only early bird booking option of a 5.30pm table we couldn’t stuff our faces, so decided to wait 45mins for the ‘Beef Wellington for two’ to be prepared and skipped starters for cocktails – which I’d happily return for alone in the bar downstairs. The Wellington was presented to us like a fine wine at which we nodded with a non- fained approving ‘ahh’. It was, well, delicious and pink with a buttery pastry case. No soggy bottom in sight. The parsnips and carrots in beef dripping and thyme were equally tasty, as was the mash, although it did arrive unappetisingly in a shallow dish smoothed to a point where we momentarily mistook it for butter.
For pudding we opted for the warm chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream. The fondant was everything expected; a dark chocolate hit, oozey and girdle busting. We willed the pistachio ice cream to be equally luscious but eventually concluded that the overriding flavour was oddly metallic-esq – a taste similar, I’d assume, to licking a copper pipe.
For my budget, Bob Bob Ricard was a treat at approx £70 per head including drinks. I’d like to go back at a conventional adult hour and tackle the more ‘Russian’ part of the menu (the zakuski plate – including jellied ox tongue, Russian herring looked really interesting). Definitely worth a visit.
1 Upper James Street Soho, London W1F 9DF