“If there is one restaurant you have to visit when you come to London, it’s Bob Bob Ricard and it is worth every penny” I was told three years ago by my close friend, a native Londoner, who knows all about my passion for good food.
The main dining room
Located in a wealthy spot in central London, just on the edges of St, James and Mayfair, you will feel like you stepped into the best of the 1920s. Art deco interiors, beautiful tiles and servers dressed like butlers in pink outfits with perfect hair. The restaurant is modelled after the carriages from the Orient Express train and is so undeniably glamorous and expensive looking.
Bob Bob Ricard serves a fusion of luxury English and Russian cuisine. It doesn’t exactly have any Michelin stars, instead it is famous and successful for its charm, ambiance, unconventionality and delicious food.
The famously branded pie
The clientele is well dressed and somewhat over the top. Little black dresses, colourful jumpsuits, coiffed hair and high heels, at one in the afternoon may seem like a lot, but they fit right in.
I slid right into the royal blue leather booth. It had high backs and curtains above each seat, which provided privacy, as you could not look over the booth to see what your neighbour was up to. As I waited for my dining partner to join, I noticed a golden button by the table with the words push written over it.
This was their famous push for bubbly button. I heard many a stories. I scanned the room and felt like I was at an understated Jay Gatsby's party. In spite of the low lighting, the gold edges on the tables and floors were catching the light, the bar was full of sparkly bottles, the marble table tops, the rococo lamps and the unusual pink accents were glimmering.
Me enjoying my Chicken Kiev
Just a little warning that, for people from London, the prices are not for every day dining, but then again, the food is not every day food either. If you’re travelling from Dubai and used to the obscenely expensive dining scene here, then Bob Bob Ricard is your average DIFC priced spot, but you’re getting so much more in terms of ambiance and oddball quirkiness that you just don’t get here in the UAE.
We are still a little on the subdued side, which is why I love eating in London so much. I went for their famous Chicken Kiev, a fried chicken filled with garlic and parsley butter on a bed of mashed and creamy corn.
This dish didn’t need a side, but I was convinced to order truffle fries AND truffle mashed potatoes. Apparently you are meant to dip the fry into the mashed potato for double truffle and double potato. That just seemed like a triple carbohydrate threat, which honestly just made me feel guilty. I also tasted the lobster mac n cheese, which my friend ordered. It is served theatrically with a claw laid on top.
Their famous Chocolate Glory dessert
The food was delicious and filling. This is not one of those small portions high prices kind of place. You will get your money’s worth.
The Bar Area
Later I took a walk around the restaurant and explored their bar, their private dining room, which is inspired by the Orient Express' private dining carriage of the Royal Train. Complete with a fireplace and a "Press for Bubbly" button.
The Private dining room
My final stop was their famous red dining room, which is located on the lower floor. To me it looked like an ultra-luxurious secret society room, where you need a special password to enter (you don’t).
The Red Room
Bob Bob Ricard may seem like an over the top and short-lived quirk of the London food scene, but it has been going strong for 10 years now. Is it too early to call it a national treasure?
Bob Bob Ricard is located at number 1 Upper James Street, London W1 and will cost around Dh550 for two people including beverages.