1 Upper James Street, Soho, London, W1F 9DF
Visit the Website +44 203 145 1000
Bob Bob Ricard is a little different. The interior is out there in a garish way that I imagine you’ll either love or loathe, for example my guest for the evening loved it.
However, the business side of me questioned whether it was a smart move, such a bold interior attracts or repels and that to me is a big risk to take when restaurants need a high volume of customers. That aside, it certainly has a sense of fun, which is driven home when you see the waiters uniforms.
On arrival we were greeted at the door, our booking was referenced and we were invited to go to the table, now at this point I couldn’t help but feel somewhat put out that no one had asked if we wanted to hand in our coats, only to feel rather foolish when I got there to find each booth offers its own cloakroom in a neat space allowing you to store coats and bags, very Orient Express.
With New York diner-style seating in plush surroundings, in addition to personal cloakrooms, there is a button that allows you ‘press for champagne’, something I’m disappointed to say I didn’t do, there’s something rather fabulous about a ‘press for champagne’ button and I’ve since dreamed of having one installed in my house, instead we opted for a Sauvignon, which arrived beautifully chilled.
The menu is on-the-pricey side comfort food, offering burgers, oysters and bistro staples and we weren’t particularly original in our choices I opted for scallops whilst my friend went for the Shepherd’s pie. The scallops were lightly cooked and the dish was filling without being too heavy.
During the evening Ricard (one of the owners after whom the restaurant is rather strangely named) came over to introduce himself, we ended up getting a tour of the kitchens which are located in the depths of the basement, one thing is certainly for sure they’ve spend a lot of money creating an efficient delivery system as without it the food would without doubt arrive cold, something it certainly didn’t the night we ate there.
The space is huge, in addition to the upstairs restaurant downstairs you’ll find a members bar that already has a celeb following (Graham Norton had his birthday here and Billy Piper is rumoured to be a member). On both occasions we’ve been it has been a little quiet, but perhaps that’s just because BBR is still finding its feet – or has that interior been more loathe than love and are they paying the price?
The restaurant does however struggle with an identity; you are just as likely to find retired American tourists as you are Soho’s hip young things but what I do love about BBR is the convenience of it, open until 3am, it allows you to go for breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea or dinner and, as it was, I had all the company I needed, we enjoyed the privacy of the booth, the food was definitely up to scratch and we had a thoroughly enjoyable time.