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When Leonid Shutov, owner of Bob Bob Ricard, personally invites you for a ‘Caviar and Champagne’ lunch, you don’t say no!…And that is how I ended up there last Sunday with fellow lifestyle expert, Inna.
I have had numerous fabulous dinners at Bob Bob Ricard, but never a Sunday lunch – so I was super excited to hear that the restaurant is now open for Sunday lunch, which is probably one of the best meals in the week. For me, it’s the one meal where I can fully relax, reflect on the past week and not have to rush off anywhere afterwards.
For anyone who doesn’t know about Bob Bob Ricard, it is owned by the effortlessly charming and delightful duo of Leonid Shutov (AKA Bob) & Richard Howarth (AKA Ricard), and is one of London’s most iconic restaurants (I love the ‘Press For Champagne’ button!!!). Situated deep in the heart of Soho, it serves a luxurious traditional English and Russian menu (in recognition of its Anglo-Russian ownership) to an eclectic clientele, which reads like a who’s who of London, in the city’s most glamorous all-booth dining room.
A proud purveyor of classic British foods, Bob Bob Ricard sources all of its ingredients from small, traditionally run farms, dairies, fisheries and family-owned producers and is a member of the Scotch Beef Club. The menu is indulgent in every sense of the word; it is full of Caviar and Vodka, as well as the likes of Smoked Borsch; Baked Oysters; Lobster Pelmeni; Chicken, Mushroom and Champagne pie; and Chateaubriand.
The restaurant interior is designed by David Collins (the man behind design at The Ivy & The Wolseley) and is every bit distinctive as the menu. It has a wonderfully dark & glamourous atmosphere, with an Art Deco inspired combination of glass, mirrors and indigo-blue leather. Collins has created a space unlike any other in London: Cubist chandeliers hang from a high Venetian-mirrored ceiling; while the booths evoke the Golden Age of travel; and the recessed lighting and marble panels are Art Deco in feel.
When we arrived at the restaurant, we were welcomed by Leonid and treated straightaway to a bottle of Ayala Rose Majeur NV Champagne (£75). Next, on Leonid’s personal recommendation, for our starters we ordered two portions of the 12g Petrossian Alverta Caviar (£29 per person), Baked Oysters Brezhnev (6 for £24), Venison Steak Tartare (£9.50) and the Seabass Ceviche with Avocado (£11.75). The caviar was insanely good – fresh and delicious – if you love caviar, this is the place for you, Petrossian caviar is the finest caviar on sale in the UK and is only available at Bob Bob Ricard. The oysters literally melted in my mouth, they were rich and creamy, and very moreish! The venison tartare was succulent and came with a raw quail egg and croutons, and the seabass ceviche was perfectly seasoned. We also ordered a BBR Oyster Martini (£16.75) each to complement our starters, which is a Russian Standard Platinum Vodka martini, ‘dirtied’ with a Jersey Grade ‘A’ Rock Oyster – it was decadent and mouth-wateringly good!
For our main course we selected the Beef Wellington (£44.50 per person), accompanied with Truffled Mash Potato (£6.95) and Sauteed Spinach (£6.95). The Beef Wellington was generously portioned, made with 28-day aged fillet of Aberdeenshire Longhorn Scotch Beef and served with served with a beef jus. There’s no doubt that Beef Wellington is delicious. How could it not be? However, Bob Bob Ricard takes Beef Wellington to the next level, it was perfectly pink inside, juicy and rich, with a savoury layer of wild mushrooms, all encased in a flaky puff pastry. The classic, well-executed dish delivered and highlighted exactly why food-lovers adore Bob Bob Ricard.
Dessert was the BBR Signature Chocolate Glory (10.50) and Eton Mess En Perle (£8.25) – both equally as delicious as each other and meals in their own right! The BBR Signature Chocolate Glory was a golden ball of chocolate full of Jivara mouse, brownie, meringue and passion fruit orange jelly, all drizzled with chocolate. The Eton Mess En Perle was made up of lime meringue, berries, strawberry sorbet, raspberry marshmallows and cream – it was sweet, fruity and perfectly gooey!
Following our dessert, we decided to finish off with the Vodianova Clear Bloody Mary (£13.50), an absolute classic and one of the best Bloody Mary’s in London. We also went to take a look at the restaurants new Club Room, which promises to be the place to see and be seen, and one of the most exciting places to party in London.
On a final note, while Russian table service has stereotypically been perceived as cold, Bob Bob Ricard service is warm, friendly, efficient and an all-round magnificent! It’s easy to see why the restaurant is so dearly loved by foodies, celebrities, Russians and London’s most experienced restaurant goers amongst others; but for those who visit just for the food – you won’t be disappointed! The restaurant is exceptional and is without a doubt my first port of call for special occasions and outstanding food.