Fancy, fabulous, and flawlessly French – it can only be Bob Bob Cité!
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 Cité opened its doors in May. And it’s high time we went for a poke around, so that’s exactly what we did!
An evening at Bob Bob Cité 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 Cité 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.
Tea and coffee is available for those who can fit it in – but after a meal like that, it’s unlikely you’ll need anything else! Ricard had set many expectations high for its younger sister, but Bob Bob Cité certainly meets and exceeds all of these. For a very special occasion, faultless attentiveness, and a truly wonderful meal, Bob Bob Cité is the perfect place to go all out.
Location: Level 3, 122 Leadenhall Street, EC3V 4AB. Nearest stations are Bank and Aldgate. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: 12pm-3pm, 5.30pm-12am, everyday.
Price: starters from £10, mains from £21.50, and desserts begin at £9.50.
More information: on their website.
Also published on Medium.