First of all, apologies for my impromptu hiatus over the past few weeks. Life has been absolutely hectic in the run up to the end of term, my birthday, and Christmas – as I’m sure you have all been enthralled by the Winter rush. So in all this excitement, mixed with a wave of laziness, I’ve literally had no time to do anything. But now that I have returned from all my jet setting (of which you will hear about in latter blog posts) I shall try and catch up with my blogging ASAP – starting with my birthday weekend.
A little foreword before I delve into my review of Bob Bob Ricard: I had the most amazing 20th year with wonderful people and plenty of travelling that introduced me to many new places and experiences. With this in mind, turning 21 is an entirely daunting prospect – how on earth am I going to top the last year?! And on top of all that I’m one step closer to thirty, I am officially a twenty-something-year-old, an adult. God knows the state of perplexity I’ll be in come June when I no longer have the comfort blanket of university to keep me nice and warm…
Bob Bob Ricard
So in celebration of my 21st year I decided to take some of my favourite girlies out for a snazzy dinner in London courtesy of Bank of Dad. After trawling the internet and reading review after review on trip advisor – in typical foodie fashion of course – I decided on the ostentatious Bob Bob Ricard for my birthday bash. Booking a 6 man booth in the club room (18 and over) I spoke to a very nice lady who seemed very accommodating on the phone, making a note when I told her it was my 21st.
The Saturday I booked it for came round super quickly, all the girls dressed to the nines, and myself in a “haute couture” (lol kind of) jumpsuit (made by my fabulously talented mother) – everyone was ready for a top class meal to match our top class efforts.
We all trotted into the restaurant (some more gracefully than others) and were ushered downstairs into their beautifully decorated and somewhat exclusive club room. We sat down in our booth and gawked at the flamboyant “Press for Champagne” button, iPhone cameras-a-flashing left right and centre. I felt like I had been transported back to the 1920s with the extravagant interior, perhaps a guest of the great Jay Gatsby invited to one of his popular events. Unfortunately, this is where the magic stopped. The atmosphere and the setting can only carry a restaurant so far in the strive towards greatness – it is of course service, and ultimately the food that must take it the full way.
This is where Bob Bob Ricard truly let itself down. I ordered the Stinking Bishop Cheese Soufflé to start, followed by the Baked Sole stuffed with lobster and a side of carrots and parsnips for my main. Now I am not really one for fancy ornate dishes as it is, I do appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty in a plate IF it tastes as good as it looks – Bob Bob Ricard completely underwhelmed me in both aspects. Firstly, the appearance of each of my courses was unimpressive and pretty much standard in the grand scheme of delicate dishes. Taste wise, both my starter and my main were literally one bite’s worth and neither here nor there in flavour – not horrible but not
particularly wowing, and I know for a fact I could make better myself. To top this all off my main was cold. I am a complainer as it is, if I’m paying for something and it’s not right someone is going to know, but particularly on my birthday(!!!) – don’t cross me! I sent the food back and waited, and waited some more, and watched as my friends and sister half-heartedly enjoyed their food. This is my absolute pet-hate in a restaurant. To have to sit food-less as others try to enjoy their food whilst simultaneously checking every 2 seconds to see if my food would be returning any time soon. Eventually (after at least 7 minutes) they returned with a lukewarm plate of food. Everyone else had nearly finished so I couldn’t be bothered to send it back for a second time, luckily the minuscule portioning meant I was able to catch up quite quickly. This aside, as the birthday princess I was willing to let this slide in return for some superb service and at least a “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate come dessert. My friends, who had all ordered meat dishes, seemed to be enjoying them, and my sister ordered the fish goujons from which I heard no complaints (no hurrahs either mind you). All however commented on the McDonald-esque chips… Those definitely don’t cost £4.95 there…
A few of us ordered desserts: two Warm Chocolate Fondants for me and my sister, and a BBR Signature Chocolate Glory for a couple of my other friends to share. Desserts came and obviously following suit they mucked up my order, bringing out two BBR Signature desserts and just one Warm Chocolate Fondant. I sternly sent it back, and told the waitress how unhappy I was with the service – she blankly stared at me not even uttering an apology. When I finally got my dessert, alas there was no chocolate “Happy Birthday” waiting to save the day, and to be quite frank my Mum’s chocolate fondant is about 50 times more satisfying than their stingy attempt.
When I asked for the bill I assumed they were going to give me some kind of discount having been entirely disappointed with the whole experience. All I was offered was £9.50 off of a total that was pushing £400 all together – which, let’s be honest, is completely ridiculous and insignificant. The cherry on this deceivingly unsatisfying cake came when we were practically asked to leave as the booth needed preparing for the next set of guests.
All in all I will not be returning to this showy restaurant any time soon, nor do I recommend it to anyone either. Don’t judge a book by its cover, it’s not always as it seems.
The next day, however, was my actual birthday and that most definitely did not disappoint! My mum had me choose whatever meal I wanted, starter, main and dessert – and as it was a Sunday of course it was a good old-fashioned English roast. To start we had homemade French onion soup – divine obviously; main was a chicken roast with all the trimmings you could imagine (including homemade Yorkshire puddings); and dessert was an entirely indulgent sticky toffee pudding dripping in butterscotch sauce – again homemade, of course. Safe to say my normal diet went out the window that weekend, but it was most definitely worth it on the Sunday at least.
And after dinner it was all washed down with some weeping following my special birthday surprise… A TRIP TO NEW YORK! Can you believe it?! I definitely couldn’t!
Well I’ve been and come back since then so stay tuned for many more blog posts to come…