There’s not many restaurants in the world where you can press a button to order champagne. In London, in fact, there’s only two. Bob Bob Ricard was the first restaurant of this type to grace us with the power to ‘presser pour champagne’, before Bob Bob Ricard City opened its doors in May 2019. And we even went for a look back in those post-pandemic times – scroll down to hear about that; as well as their new menu for their grand reopening!
An evening at Bob Bob Ricard City is stupendously classy from start to finish, beginning before you’ve even entered the restaurant. Upon entering the spectacular Leadenhall Building (the Cheesegrater), a glass lift will whisk you up the front of the building to the third floor, where staff will greet you with sophistication that instantly gives your ego VIP status. They will take your bags and coats, before leading you through to the restaurant, where you find the most jaw-dropping decor…
Take a seat in your luxurious booth, fitted out like a bejewelled train carriage. The lighting is dramatic yet intimate, the entire room illuminated by a conveyor belt of numbers circled under the ceiling. ‘Presser pour champagne’ and watch as your table number changes colour above you 🤩. It’s not every day that you’re around such a powerful button, so Bob Bob Ricard City want to make the experience extra special. Champagne are poured from Magnums, Jeroboams and even Methuselahs (that’s eight times the size of a regular bottle), so you’re guaranteed to feel extra fancy.
Guests who are feeling extra special can choose to dine in one of three private dining salons, each of which seat eighteen people. Salon guests will also have access to their own reception room, where they can enjoy the most amazing champagne from one of those Methuselahs – so big that a whole contraption is required to pour out of them.
While you will be permitted to give the pouring a go yourself, there is nothing else that staff will not insist on doing, and your glass will certainly never be empty! With 150 French-leaning wines and champagnes to choose from, there’s a wine to match every palette, and of course, every meal…
A healthy selection of mouthwatering starters make it a difficult choice from the onset – luckily a basket of warm breads provide your tummy with more time to decide. French flair oozes through the menu, from Duck Egg Au Plat to Escargots En Persillade (🐌). Simplicity is at its finest with the Chef Éric Chavot’s famous French Onion Soup, a choice which proved outstanding.
Losing my oyster virginity was not quite as daunting as expected. The beautiful wine certainly helped ease my uncertainty, and after taking the plunge, it really wasn’t hard to enjoy these Grade A bad-boys – a drop of shallot vinegar and a squeeze of lemon making them go down extra nicely.
The Michelin starred chef’s native Arcachon influence (as well as that of his mother’s cooking) continues through to the main course. Again, the choices are endless: carnivores can enjoy a mighty selection of slow-cooked meats, pies, and steaks cooked to your preference. The selection from the sea is even more grand; grilled lobster stands alone as a dish, or can be found in their latest addition – Lobster Macaroni & Cheese 😍. The Charcoal Grilled Sea Bream fillet was delightfully light, complimented by an amazing selection of sides (the Truffled chunky fries are a must!)
A shot of vodka at minus 18 degrees freshens the palette ready for dessert. The Crème Brûlée is of course divine, and you can see why Chavot is famous for his Baba Au Rhum.
Now, as you can see, an evening at Bob Bob Ricard City is a classy affair, but now it’s in for a little shake-up to add some new touches to a winning formula. Having not opened since the first lockdown in the UK, it’s a welcome return for a favourite in the capital, and a first appearance for their brand new chef, Ben Hobson.
While a new menu is on the way, we have been reassured that customers can expect many of the classics that you see above, including oysters Rasputin, pelmeni dumplings and turbot coulibiac. Plus, guests can be excited about a number of appetising new plates such as the escargots en persillade, quail grillé with truffle jus, and coquilles Saint-Jacques. And, of course, the press for Champagne buttons will be making a grand return for Bob Bob Ricard City’s return.
Find Bob Bob Ricard City at Level 3, 122 Leadenhall Street, EC3V 4AB. Nearest stations are Bank and Aldgate. The City Of London site reopened on October 26, 2021. Find more information here.
Also published on Medium.