Bob Bob Ricard
Bob Bob Ricard is famous for being where the most champagne is poured in the whole of London. And that’s no surprise, when every table has a “Press for Champagne” button which, when activated, prompts a dashing dedicated champagne master waiter to appear and take your order from a list of sumptuous and eye-wateringly expensive champagnes.
If you can though, just do it – all of the champagnes are exquisite, and you get the thrill of pushing a button. Human beings can’t resist pushing a button… although if you don’t want to walk out having spent this month’s pay cheque, maybe just press it the once! We had the Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut – £75 a pop. Yikes.
The restaurant itself is a mish mash of marble, patterned wallpaper, clinking glass and sober Russian artwork. The menu is puzzling mix of Russian, British and European cuisines. Don’t come here if you’re not in the mood to be adventurous though (or if you have tight purse strings…), because the strangest sounding things on the menu turned out to be the most delicious.
Truffled potato & mushroom vareniki, served with crispy onion and shimeji mushrooms
Lobster, crab & shrimp pelmeni, served with salmon roe
I was lucky to be dining with companions who were willing to share, so we each sampled each other’s starters. Between us, we had: truffled potato & mushroom dumplings; lobster, crab & shrimp pelmeni; Stinking Bishop cheese souffle; and the salmon tartare. The cheese souffle was light and not in the least bit creamy or sickly. Both of the dumpling dishes were so different to anything I had ever tasted before – I was blown away by how good they were. And I’ll never turn down a tartare.
Crispy pork belly on red cabbage & apple puree, served with truffle gravy
Panfried seabass and seared scallop, served on a bed of peas, broad beans and roast pepper puree
For main, I had the panfried seabass and seared scallop, and we also sampled the crispy pork belly and the filet mignon rossini. Had I not still been on lent, I would have found the venison steak tartare hard to turn down. The dishes were generously portioned and perfectly balanced – rave reviews all round.
Trio of lime, lemon and pink grapefruit sorbets, served with platinum vodka
And, when faced with the dessert menu, we just couldn’t resist. Being in a Russian restaurant, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for some vodka, so opted for the trio of vodka-soaked sorbet (I was also pretty full from the mains and starters, so the sorbet was a good cleanser and light finisher).
Dulce de leche creme brulee served with orange drizzle
The stand out choice, though, is undoubtedly the dulce de leche creme brulee – unbelievably delicious. This dish could easily be shared between two because it’s too rich to finish on your own, but definitely should not be missed.