To the uninitiated a visit to Bob Bob Ricard in Soho is a bit like walking into one of those Carlsberg adverts, you know the ones about the Flat, the Hotel and the Bank. Well BBR is a Diner and if Carlsberg did Diners this would be it.
It’s all booths. But instead of the Chrome, Plastic and Formica you’d expect its all Brass, Leather and Marble. The menu includes quite a bit of “Diner” type food and drink – Burgers, Ice Cream Sundaes, Milkshakes and Lemonade etc, along with some more extravagant items, like the selection of Caviar and the Beef Wellington with Truffle gravy. The impression we had was that BBR could have been the dream of a child of Soviet Russia imagining the glamour of an American Diner. It’s completely OTT, but in a good way (I have since discovered it’s actual design is based on an Edwardian Train – Time Out described the design as “working within a loose theme of Orient Express meets American diner”, which sounds about right to me).
We had a fairly mixed selection of dishes. We started with the Herring, Egg and Beetroot salad which was delicious and the Eggs Benedict. Then I had the Poached Salmon with Cucumber, Dill and Mustard along with a side order of New Potatoes. My companion went down the “Diner” route by ordering a Cheese Burger & Fries complete with a Kraft Cheese slice topping (not the best Burger he’d had, after all we have been to Bar Boulud, but it was fine). I finished by indulging my sweet tooth and ordered the plate of BBR cakes. A small section of cakes that also forms the top layer of the Afternoon Tea cake stand and my companion ordered some ice cream. Peanut Butter and Banana, Salted Caramel (one he would not recommend unless you like it very salty) and Valrhona Chocolate.
We accompanied all of this with Champagne of course. Bob Bob Ricard does have the famous Champagne button after all (although on our visit the restaurant was not busy and the service was efficient enough not to need it). The nicely chilled glasses of Pol Roger Champagne certainly succeeded in pushing our bill up beyond “Diner” prices though.
Our visit was during a quiet lunch time and I have to admit I would like to have seen the place in full swing in the evening, although I suspect that would seriously damage my bank balance. That Champagne button is a dangerous thing!