Article
12 comments

Posh Lunch Club: Summer Special at Bob Bob Ricard

Bob Bob Ricard

It’s been a little while since I’ve done Posh Lunch Club, there’s one post from Nuno Mendes Viajante still waiting in the wings, but otherwise travel and busy-ness has prevented my weektime posh lunch trips. I’ve had a few things to celebrate recently, this blog turned three (2 months ago!), I had a birthday, and summer has finally come, so I thought I should mark these with an extra special Posh Lunch Club. Who needs an excuse anyway, right?

Posh Lunch Club at the Owners Salon, Bob Bob Ricard

Normally just two dine for Posh Lunch, but this time we stretched to ten, and booked the Owners Salon at luscious Bob Bob Ricard. Edible in every respect, it’s so gorgeous to look at, I want to lick the wallpaper, Willy Wonka style. Except in the bathroom, even though it is possibly the most gorgeous part of this restaurant, truly it is.

Signature Rhubarb G&T

Home of the Rhubarb Gin & Tonic, some terrific Russian food and well executed traditional and comfort foods (Roasts, Chicken Kiev, Cheeseburger), they are also famed for their very shallow wine markups offering fine wines at very reasonable prices with a maximum of £50 on any bottle on the list. Not only is this great value for money, high end wines are often cheaper at Bob Bob Ricard than at retail. Likened frequently to being on the Orient Express, it always whisks me away from whatever is bothering me and the noisy streets of London, to something altogether calmer and more indulgent.

Press and get a glass of Pol Roger

Another reason to go, and this is what made this a very Posh Lunch indeed, is that for the month of July, Bob Bob Ricard are offering a free glass of Pol Roger (yes, that very nice one) with a two course lunch to celebrate it’s arrival as house champagne. Normally £11.50 a glass (and up to £18 a glass elsewhere), it’s a terrific bargain. Better still is the fact that you can order this champagne by pressing the “Press for Champagne” button at your table.

Russian Salad

We kicked off with the Rhubarb G&T. Creamy, sweet and sour with a hint of bitterness from the quinine in the tonic, I just love this drink. It’s a perfect appetiser too and surely counts towards our 5 a day, right? For lunch we then progressed to a Russian Salad which was wildly indulgent featuring lots of shaved truffle atop a softly boiled quails egg, and hidden between the lettuce leaves. This was served with a snifter of Russian Standard Vodka served at -18 degrees. It was a terrific match for the truffle, drawing out the earthiness and exaggerating the flavours. Itw as great with the creamy mayonnaise too.

Chicken Kiev with Sweetcorn Mash

On then to main course. I opted for Chicken Kiev with Sweetcorn and Potato Mash. It’s been years since I’ve had a chicken Kiev and I couldn’t resist trying the BBR interpretation. Served in a copper pan on top of sliced tomatoes, this was very good and the sweetcorn mash was a lovely idea, if a little too sweet for me. It was washed down with our lovely complementary glass of Pol Roger. The veal dishes were also popular amongst Posh Lunchers dining with me that day and I am going to try both the Roast & Veal Holstein on future visits.

Roast Veal

Veal Holstein

Dessert was a Little Layered Lemon Pot with Sugar Glazed Puff Pastry Soldiers and Fresh Raspberries, a perfect dessert for me, so tart and fresh with lovely balance from the sweet pastry soldiers. Gorgeous presentation too, but this is where these guys excel, delivering a feast for the eyes and the palate. Others ordered the impressive Chocolate Glory, the chocolate fondant and the delicious dessert soufflés.

Little Layered Lemon Pot with Sugar Glazed Puff Pastry Soldiers and Fresh Raspberries

Chocolate Glory

Strawberry & Cream Soufflé

Knickerbocker Glory

We finished with a coffee and agreed that it had been a lovely, lovely lunch. Great service just the right side of attentive (I really don’t like to be fussed over). This July offer is terrific value for money. If we had just done the two courses with Rhubarb G&T, my bill would have been under £40 with service (as the champagne is complimentary). The Russian Salad is £8.50 and the vodka £7. If you haven’t been, I would suggest you check it out. It has become a semi-regular haunt for me, and has a firm place in my affections.

Posh Lunch Club is nothing without the company so thanks to Denise, Jeanne, Ailbhe & Tony, Charlie, Petra, Magnus and Helen for making it so much fun and being great company.

http://www.bobbobricard.com/

Article
3 comments

Parliamentary Waffle House – Mine’s a Labour/Lib Dem Cocktail!

Bompass & Parr have struck gold again. Not content with jellymongering and providing fantastic jellies for restaurants and funerals (true!), creating giant cocktails that you can row across and other magical and surreal food experiences, they have moved into the world of waffles and have established the Parliamentary Waffle House.

The video says it all realy. So much fun. Please ignore and forgive the very shaky start! I was laughing very hard.

Parliamentary Waffle House

Bompass & Parr

It launched last night with a screening of the live televised debate followed by a Waffle Eating Competition (in the video above)  and was tremendous fun. The menu lists three types of waffles, one associated with each party, and three types of beer plus tongue-in-cheek Prescott Punch made with Courvoisier. I had a Labour waffle with raspberries and vanilla ice cream. I just couldn’t bring myself to order Conservative, even if it’s only a waffle. The waffles were perfectly delicious and the porter light with a tingle. I loved it so much, I am going back and have booked a couple of tickets for election night.


So, if you’re in London, go! It runs right up to the election and entry is only £5. Further details are available on their website: http://www.jellymongers.co.uk/. The waffles are about £3.50 and the drinks are reasonably priced. A bit of a bargain I think, it really is enormous fun.

(More photos on flickr.)

Article
4 comments

Wish You Were Here in Soho this Sunday – another stall!

Another weekend, another food market! This weekend I will be at Wish You Were Here in the Newburgh Quarter, off Carnaby St in Soho. There will live music, lots of food and frivolity and there is lots of sunshine forecast. So, come on down from 12.30 to 6pm on Sunday. I’ll be serving up home salted beef bagels, organic Irish smoked salmon w/ cream cheese and cucumber pickle bagels, black bean chilli (v) and spiced pumpkin soup (v). Should be lots of fun!

Article
14 comments

Alan Yau’s latest flavour – Cha Cha Moon

Cha Cha Moon

Another year, another stylish restaurant opening from Alan Yau. The entepreneur and restaurateur, native of Hong Kong, has taken London by storm in recent years with a succession of well received asian restaurants including two michelin starred restaurants (Yautcha & Hakkasan). He started with Wagamama in 1992 which he sold in 1998 when it comprised 2 restaurants. These were followed swiftly by Satsuma (for the Royal China Group), Busaba Eathai, Hakkasan, Yautcha, Sake no Hana and now Cha Cha Moon.

Cha Cha Moon

Famously, he was very unhappy with what happened with Wagamamas. It was a hostile buyout and he is quoted as saying that that was “was like seeing your baby brought up by strangers with different values”. He is seeking to make amends with Cha Cha Moon. It is intended to be the Chinese Wagamamas serving healthy, casual fast food.

On approach, Cha Cha Moon is even more startling and modern than previous offerings with bright panels of lights on the walls, broader than at Yautchas, a pretty neon sign by the door. The kitchen is open and, as you walk in, behind red glass, which lends it a surreal and exciting effect. Stylish, modern and in a great location, it’s a similar formula to some of his previous establishments offering communal eating on long wooden tables and food served swiftly as it’s ready. The menu, on first glance apperars very traditional, serving the likes dan dan noodles & szechuan wontons.

It was quite empty when we arrived at 7.15pm, I can only assume that not many people know that it’s there yet, and we had no trouble getting a table. In fact we had a large table to ourselves. I took a couple of photos until someone ran over quickly advising “no photos allowed”. I obliged and put my camera away, but really, it’s a little silly. Especially as I already had taken some ;)

We ordered a beer and a shibuya casual cocktail. The cocktail, made of lychee, sake and martini bianco, was delicious. It was also very pretty with four raspberries nestling on some white foam on top. To eat we ordered jasmine tea smoked chicke lao mian, seafood ho fun, szechuan wonton and spring onion pancakes.

I really enjoyed the chicken, it was delicately flavoured and light, and the noodles were flavoursome especially when blended with some nice accoutrements inluding a beautiful light bowl of light soup/stock. The seafood ho fun was extremely fresh and contained scallops, prawns and squid but the sauce overwhelmed. I am not a fan of black bean sauces generally, so I am sure this is why it disappointed on that front. Why order it then? It wasn’t my dish but my dining partners, he also was underwhelmed. The szechuan wonton was tasty, but not as firey as one I previously had at Angeles, a traditional szechuan restaurant in Kilburn in London. The spring onion pancakes were very flavoursome and a nice accopaniment.

Overall judgement? It opened only last weekend, and so, while they are perfecting their craft, all food on the menu is £3.50. Bargain! Therefore, I can’t really judge the food just yet, it wouldn’t be fair. First impressions are that it’s cheap, stylish, central and quick. I think it will be good for that stopgap on a busy evening or a quick sociable bite with friends.

Cha Cha Moon
15-21 Ganton St, Soho, W1F 9BN
020 72979800

28/05/08 Visited Cha Cha Moon again and had Sigapore fried noodles which were delicate, light and beautifully seasoned. Choi Sum on the side was well seasoned and flavoursome. Spring rolls were disappointing. More photos added to the post. I managed to take some this time! :-)