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Bar Boulud

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Hmm, well despite pledging never to set foot in the Mandarin Oriental again after their connection with the Candy & Candy roadworks at Scotch Corner and its associated permanent feature of traffic jams, I was offered a freebie at Bar Boulud a week or so ago in the evening.

It's the exact antithesis of what I usually like, ie, buzzy, an full of Quintessentially aspirational and wannabe types. And Jack Black, who walked in, sat down for twenty minutes, and walked out again, having clearly been paid by PR to make an appearance.

So, I would put it on a level with a French Hakkassan.

Not only that, but having been to Boulud's place in New York, it wasn't top of my list to go anyway. But a freebie is a freebie.

It's a no table cloths type of place, and tables are close together.

Every thing pork is their speciality. We had a large charcuterie plate, which included a number of sliced meats and six great terrine/hocks/ballotines. For my main I had lamb chops on cous cous with an obligatory sausage on the side. All good, but not really wow stuff.

We sat next to a prosepctive couple in their early 30s, the bloke clearly stuck in 80's yuppidom with chat up lines to match.

The man Daniel himself came over, Grecian 2000'd up, and as we were pretty much the last there, we chatted for a good twenty minutes. Nice fella. Very French. Said he needed another six on the floor, although I have to say we were never particularly hanging around. In fact despite the right-on buzzy-ness of the crew, I really quite enjoyed it for what it was.

So, if you can lower yourself to dine in the presence of such faux clientelle, it's probably worth a punt. Just don't drive there.

Cheers, Howard

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I had two very different experiences there. Both times great food. Perfeect burgers, great charcuterie and terrines, an exceptional saucisson brioche and desserts that wouldn't look out of place in a starred restaurant. Will write more soon, but I absolutely love it.

I doubt that they pay someone to go in, considering that on a Tuesday night they had 200 bookings, but well, who knows what happens.

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I doubt that they pay someone to go in, considering that on a Tuesday night they had 200 bookings, but well, who knows what happens.

Don't be surprised, it's common practice at new openings with a nice big PR budget to have the PR companies place zelebs and organise for papps. Nice work if you can get it.

Mind you, not surprised Jack Black was only in there 20 minutes if he wants to maintain that new physique of his. Still, a 40 year old man with jeans hanging half off his arse, c'mon.

Cheers, Howard

Edited by howardlong (log)
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Good question. Indirectly, yes. As I was alluding to earlier, I'm afraid that once the heavy initial PR wears off, restaurant goers, fickle as the zeleb followers are, will forget about the place especially when the next heavy PR spending restaurant opens.

I go to a restaurant for the food and service, not for who I might see in there.

Actually, I don't mind Jack Black, I just don't get on with middle aged men with their butts hanging out of their trousers. Grow old gracefully I say! Or maybe, at 45, I'm just jealous that I haven't the bottle to do it myself ;-)

Cheers, Howard

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He's right on about one thing, and thats the service, its totally top notch and a lesson to most other places.

We went today and along with nearly two hundred other folks really enjoyed it. (at least it looked like they did)

Will write it up soon.

"So many places, so little time"



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"Where are we going this weekend"

"Petrus! For a taste of Gordon Ramsay and, Bar Boulud for possibly the best burger we have ever eaten"

"But were having a burger tonight"

"Yea, well the next burger will be extra special. Trust me"

Aint the internet great for foodies,? you can plan what to eat before you even leave home.Most restaurant websites are updated on a pretty regular basis.

And so it is with Bar Boulud. I know the burgers are a must and of course the charcuterie, the sausages, the Plats De Resistance, plus of course the daily specials. Oh, and don't forget the stunning value Menu Prix Fixe.

The last time we were at the Manderin Oriental was to eat at Foliage the now sadly defunct Michelin starred place where the very good chef Chris Staines wowed not only us but many others. Its soon to be Mr Blumenthals first London opening so its looking like Knightsbridge and especially the Mandarin is going to be pretty damb busy.

Thankfully as Howard points out an awful lot of the building work involving road working has been finished so the traffic flow is a million times better. Many,s the time we have sat in the car looking at Harrods and Harvey Nicks that given the time delays we could have almost done a bit of shopping in them both.

On securing a booking I asked for a table with a view and it was considered that the best one would look to the open kitchen to watch the chefs plying there trade whilst we enjoyed the fruits of their efforts. One of the downsides of the seating plan where we were sitting is the need to plan your toilet visits in advance as once you are safely ensconsed behind the table its takes quite an effort involving both parties plus server to extricate oneself from said location. Not the end of the world of course and if like me you're a gregarious sort of chap you can have some interesting conversation with the intimatly seated couple at next table. Indeed we made two sets of new best friends during our lunch, including an American couple who had literally just flown in from New York that same day and had dined at one of the Boulud(I forget)places a day or so before. Small world is'n't it?

Just a small note on the lighting,(or lack of it) on our table. I did take photographs, without flash but the light was very poor I'm not sure if they will come out ok. I'm afraid you will have to wait as this is a new laptop and I,ve not mastered the pictures side yet, but fingers crossed. In all fairness we were offered another table by the extremely attentive staff but declined as we felt at home here.

We chose from the aforementioned Menu Prix Fixe an extremely good value introduction to what is on offer. Indeed I'm not sure as to how many other diners ordered it but judging what food was on the "pass" it seemed to me to be most of the restaurant.

BREAD was as expected very good, butter was excellent. I'm fairly certain that I have read elsewhere that the bread is bought in from Boulangerie de Paris although one of the staff assured me "everything is made on site"

CHOP CHOP SALAD, was a large porion(in a dish) of the following, romaine lettuce (cos to you and me) pickled mushrooms, cashews and radish, red pepper plus some (pickled?) carrot, topped with sesame crisps. The ginger soy dressing worked well and a surprise element of watermelon added furthar sweetness. I chose to add lobster, at a supplement (£7.50) which on reflection it needed. As already noted it was a hearty portion but as the Piggy Burger was up soon I thought it best to enter piggy mode so I polished it off.

LAPIN DE GARRIGUE, the other starter was described as, " Provencal pulled Rabbit, carrot, cougette and herbs. Now I'm not sure if said Rabbit was sourced in Provence or that was the "style" of the dish but it could have been fattened up on my Chop, Chop salad and ended its days with a smile on its face. Thats not to say anything was amiss with said terrine, far from it. It put a smile on our faces.

Special of the day was LANGOUSTINES A LA PLANCHA (£12.50) Two monsters from the deep, split in half, simply grilled, sitting on top of a mango salsa.

We were initially told that they were from Brittany then we were informed they were from Scotland, finally, yes they were indeed from Brittany. Now bearing in mind you wil not be able to get a Ryanair flight for what we paid, oh but hang on you may get one but your luggage will most certainly cost you more, what we paid for the pleasure of eating this dish was peanuts money.

I must have looked as prehistoic as the said beasts as I chewed, slurped, sucked all of the goodness from the head and the shell even the little legs crunched down to extremelly good flavour. Simple,simple, simple every time.

BOUDIN BLANC(£11) A truffled white sausage, sitting on top of some very tasty herb flecked mashed potato was quickly devoured or should I say virtually evaporated in the mouth it was so light. No hint of any chewyness in the sausage made it a very pleasant eat indeed. An unannounced batton of apple teased the taste buds to add a furthar dimension and the welcome sticky sauce washed it all down.

The main event DBGB PIGGY BURGER A Grilled Beef Patty with BBQ Pulled Pork, Bibb lettuce, Green Chilli Mayo, red cabbage slaw, served in a cheddar bun and pommes frites.

Well where do I start?

How about I cut to the chase and just say that this is the best burger that I have eaten. Not of course that I have eaten loads at top notch burger places far from it. I have eaten quite a few in the States, not that many here (where do you find good ones?) Of course Americans (and Frenchies) know a bit about burgers and as Daniel Boulud is considered by many to be one of the best my expectations were running high.

I feel sorry for women, especially those who really enjoy their food, its all about etiquette and the inability to jump in with two feet (hands) for fear of offending anyone. We blokes are blessed being able to pick said burger up in both hands and enjoy it unfettered by cuttlery and little nibbly bites. Oh the joy of the curious dribble of mysterious moisture meandering its way down the chin.

And of course this about sums up the pleasure, every single bite was divine, nothing clashed it all melded well, superb beef, superb pork, excellent bun. The frites were amazing also, skinny little things so cut that they can take on more of the cooking medium. The tomato sauce as good as Heinz, was it really that good? Yes, indeed it was.

COUPE DE FRUITS EXOTIQUES Was a cocktail glass brimming with Ginger Marscapone foam, coconut, passion fruit seorbet, tiny dice of Mango? Light as a feather dessert in keeping with the quality of the meal.

TARTE AU CHOCOLATE,Mocha Ganache, Caramel Ice Cream was the ladys choice and nice it looked too.

We were compted some piping hot FRESHLY BAKED MADELEINES (£5) which are a signiture dish of Monsieur Boulud and jolly nice they were too.

I just have to mention service,led admirably by Stephen Macintosh. After a handfull of years at The Wolseley he certainly knows how to put his guests at ease. Good to see happy smiley staff at work, indeed the attention to detail would shame droves of other venues.

Stephen kindly offered us a small tasting of Award winning handmade Lincolnshire Poacher teamed up with a shot glass of Duchesse de Bourgoigne 6.2% a sour Flanders Red Ale, fantastic pairing it was too.

This place really has something for everyone, specialist beers, cocktails, fantastic bar menu, and of course the Restaurant proper. If only I had the money I think that I would move down to Knightsbridge, you lucky, lucky people :biggrin:

As a footnote, don't be put off by the five star location or indeed any fears as to expense. Even though our additions to the stunning value £20 set menu including a couple of glasses of wine each pushed the bill in the direction of £100, the most expensive burger is only £13.50.

Its my considered opinion that you would spend considerably more on a trip to New York to eat a better one.

"So many places, so little time"



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  • 2 months later...

Dinner in Bar Boloud.

After the relaxing lunch at Gauthier, we decided that a tasty burger was the best plan for dinner. The idea was to go easy – maybe a burger and a beer, perhaps some ice cream. Things like this seldom go to plan.

We ate

Small aioli. Featuring olive oil poached cod, mussels, clams and assorted good vegetables with tasty, spicy aioli. It was a little less thick than I expected but tasted fine.

Small tasting of charcuterie. About half a dozen lumps of very fine pates, terrines and meats. This type of thing suits me perfectly. I could have eaten the large platter alone, then had more. It was good.

Piggy Burger & fries

Yankee burger (with cheese) & fries

The Yankee wins. Both were good though. The fries were too salty, but so hard not to eat.

We also won a free course of boudin blanc with truffle with deliciously smooth buttery mash and some very tasty gravy. This came because we had waited 17 minutes for our burgers. A kind but unnecessary touch. It was very nice, the boudin, much lighter than you may imagine. The spuds were ace. Ate too much.

Drinks were a nice, if expensive, cocktail with white cranberry. I had a couple of brew dogs IPAs. Seriously good beer. Service was good, if swift. I got a beer refill without asking, but the free boudin blanc was compensation enough.

Very much the in place. If it had been three times the size I think it would have been as busy and it was packed.


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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...

Finally made it back to the Uk for a short trip - my first meal had to be here. I like the room - we were there at lunch and it was nice and bright, bustling but not too crowded. The bar would be a great place to refresh and recharge yourself after a heavy day shopping in knightsbridge - a glass of wine and some of the charcuterie would go down a treat i imagine... I digress! So i went for the salad d'hiver to start - pumpkin and navet with blue cheese, pomegranate seeds, parsnip crisps and mixed leaves and then the piggy burger ( i had to really!) The burger was as good as i hoped it would be - the meat patty was juicy, nicely seasoned and cooked perfectly with the pulled pork and the spicy mayo adding an extra kick - good fries too. I'm afraid i don't fall into the dainty lady category David mentions and devoured it by picking it up and attacking! - the bun managed to hold together until the last bite or two which is always a bonus! My mum had fish soup which she said was very tasty and then the pate de grandmere another success. With 3 glasses of wine, coffees, water and macaroons our bill came to £85 inclusive of service (which was great - friendly, speedy and professional)i found it very fair indeed and somewhere i would definitely stop by at again.





"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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