Dinner at Bob Bob Cité was like watching the New Year London Fireworks display from a front row seat in the comfort of a luxurious booth, akin to a train carriage on a modern version of the Orient Express.
Even on a January night where most have gone Vegan or dry, I wanted to celebrate this dull month with dinner at this much talked about restaurant on Leadenhall Street.
We start with a glass of Krug grand cuvee in the bar. There are 10 champagnes by the glass and not just any glass – the most delicate receptacles with ultra skinny stems that sing when they clink together.
Champagne is taken seriously here. By the bottle, there are over 120 champagnes with magnums, jeroboams and even a few methuselahs. Large formats of house champagne are offered at a flat price per glass – whether it is a bottle or methuselah so you do get what you pay for. The list also features a rarity on any wine list, five still champagne wines. There are three reds and two whites including Coteaux Champenois from Bollinger, Henri Giraud and Charles Heidsieck.
The menu is created by super chef Eric Chavot who takes inspiration in the flavours of his native Arcachon and of course his mum’s cooking. What we like about the menu is that it is full of simple yet still indulgently tempting dishes that you want to eat every day.
We settled into our booth which was like having a private dining experience as unless you really try, it is hard to make awkward eye contact with fellow diners. To begin, we kept it classic. A warming French onion soup with lashings of Comte cheese. The highlight was a steak tartare not because it was topped with Siberian sturgeon caviar but because the beef was so delicate and mixed with shallots, gherkins and capers that compliment beef so very well.
When they were least expecting it, we activated the ‘presser pour champagne’ button. Our table number lit up discreetly on the stock exchange like ticker all around the restaurant. Eagle eyed front of house staff are trained to look out for this at all times and within a minute, we were asked what champagne we would like. I asked for a champagne to accompany the beef wellington and a Bollinger rose was suggested.
The beef wellington (to share) was everything a wellington should be and came with a truffle sauce. Don’t miss out on a grilled hispi cabbage with green goddess dressing that we wished was an all you can eat option.
We had our noses and eyes on a truffle macaroni aux cinq fromages for next time – macaroni cheese with black truffle, Gruyère, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Parmesan and truffled Pecorino. Wow. We also didn’t try Bob Bob Cité’s three famously beautiful engraved pies but we will pop back for lunch, especially because it is 20% off the whole menu every lunchtime.
As a final treat, there are three vintages of Chateau d’Yquem (1983, 1996 and 2001), the undisputed world’s greatest pudding wine. Another one off, there is an Armagnac list of 70 varieties, all from Baron de Sigognac in Bas Armagnac. The list starts with an award-winning VSOP at £8 a glass and includes sixty-five vintages all the way back to the 1888 for £888 a glass. We didn’t try any of these as the moist rum baba we shared was well doused with vintage rum.
To discover more and book, visit: www.bobbobcite.com
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