It was our 8 year wedding anniversary last weekend (yes that does make me feel very old!) and we wanted to celebrate the occasion somewhere special. I had the perfect place in mind – Bob Bob Ricard, a glamorous restaurant in Soho serving up a luxury English and Russian menu. Okay, in all honesty I really wanted to go here for the famous “Press for Champagne” button that every table has, making it the restaurant that pours the most champagne in the whole of the UK. But silly me had left it till the last minute and being a Saturday night meant there were only super early or ridiculously late times still available for dinner. Thankfully, with lots of patience and perseverance, I managed to grab ourselves a cancellation at a reasonable time.
Bob Bob Ricard is a far cry from the little quirky independent restaurants we usually eat at. Mr Ayla’s reaction to the sparkly gold exterior and well dressed doormen as we walked past a couple of months ago was something along the lines of “That’s somewhere we would NEVER go”. Clearly he had underestimated how much I wanted to press that button.
We were shown into the elaborately decorated, 1920s Gatsby-esque, blue and gold dining room where the tables are set out like a luxury train carriage. I loved that every table was a dimly lit booth, giving diners plenty of privacy for an intimate meal while the rest of the room buzzed around.
As soon as we sat down my eyes found the champagne button and of course I pressed it pretty much straight away, giggling like I was doing something naughty.
Within a split second a waitress appeared by our side and we both chose a glass of the Ayala Rosé Majeur. At £16.50 for a glass of rosé champagne, it may be a little on the pricey side, but the type of champagne was so similar to my own name that obviously the universe wanted me to have it.
As we sipped our glasses of champagne, we browsed the menu. I wasn’t a huge fan of the choice of starters as most contained raw meat which I don’t eat. I decided to brave the Salmon Tartare and, while I don’t think it’s going to convince me into becoming a sushi lover any time soon, I actually found it surprisingly tasty. Paired with some fresh bread (that they charge you for by the way, which seems a little mean considering the expense for the rest of the food) it made a lovely light starter. But Alex’s Wafer-Thin Beetroot & Goat’s Cheese Salad was the winner for me.
The thing I loved most about Bob Bob Ricard’s menu is that it isn’t overly snobbish and there was plenty to choose from the main menu even for fussy eaters like Alex. When our main course arrived our plates were full of food that had me trying not to drool before it had even been put down in front of us, and I was glad to see that there were none of those tiny little portions in the centre of the plate like a lot of fancy restaurants serve. In fact my Chicken, Mushroom and Champagne pie was so huge that I was worried it was supposed to be for 2 people!
Cue me feeling like the greediest person in the world but of course I wasn’t going to let that put me off. I eagerly tucked into the pie and found that the flaky pastry, decorated with Bob Bob Ricard’s logo, was only covering the top so thankfully it wasn’t quite as filling as I’d originally thought.
Alex went for the Lemon Sole Goujons with crushed minted peas. Although not a particularly fancy meal, the presentation and the fresh and flaky fish was obviously not your bog standard fish and chips dish.
With sides of American style fries and the creamiest most delicious mash to share it’s safe to say that our bellies were feeling rather satisfied by the time we cleared our plates.
Everything on the dessert menu sounded heavenly so all I could do was sit there in utter disbelief when Alex said he was too full for anything else. I mean, I’m always full after a meal, but never ever – I’ll say it again – EVER am I too full for dessert. But no matter how hard I tried to tempt him, he wasn’t going to be swayed.
What did eventually sway him though was when my Eton Mess En Perle arrived in front of me looking mouth-wateringly fabulous, so I begrudgingly agreed to share it with him because I’m nice like that (but get your own next time Mr!). As the waiter poured raspberry cream over the pink sphere and it pooled around the bottom, it gradually looked more and more delicious if that was even possible.
As we cracked open the pink meringue sphere a whole gooey heap of fresh strawberries, marshmallows, strawberry sorbet and cream oozed out. It really was heaven on a plate.
After stuffing ourselves silly with all this scrumptious food we were way to full to move, so when Mr Ayla suggested taking a rickshaw ride back to the station, I jumped at the chance of playing tourists in London.
Despite Mr Ayla thinking there’d be too much posh nosh for us here (clearly he was just talking about himself), we had a wonderful anniversary dinner. The staff were friendly and smiley, the food was elegant yet filling, not to mention extremely appetising, and best of all we had a never ending flow of champers at the press of a button.
Have you been to Bob Bob Ricard or have any other fabulous restaurants in London that we should try? Let me know in the comments below!