Welcome to the much-hyped, long-awaited palace of excess that is Bob Bob Ricard City.
A French sibling to Soho’s glamorous Bob Bob Ricard, it contains more shiny, reflective surfaces (including twenty five bespoke chandeliers, miles of mirror-polished steel trim and forty eight thousand hand-polished wall panelling bolts) than anywhere else you’ve ever been. It’s so shiny that we saw someone in the toilets slowly edging forwards with a hand outstretched, as if carefully navigating a hall of mirrors…
And yet in contrast to its glimmering, cityboy-magnet facade, this restaurant’s been built with humour, warmth, care, and a lot of love by owner Leonid Shutov who – wary of in any way compromising the love of his life, Bob Bob Ricard – has spent vast quantities of time and money creating an undeniably over the top, one of kind venue where guests are invited to start with a sub-zero vodka shot before enjoying (what turns out to be) amazing Franco-Russian food. When it opened after a 16 month delay in 2019, it was styled as Bob Bob Cité, sporting dot-matrix stock exchange-style ticker tape running along the walls and wall-to-wall 80s opulence. Now, post-pandemic, it’s reemerged with a closer resemblance to its Soho sibling.
The wowing begins before you even enter the place, as you wander into the giant atrium of the Cheesegrater building, tilt your head up and spot what looks like the gondola of a giant zeppelin suspended 30m above you.
Stepping past security into the elevator feels like an achievement in itself, while stepping out of it leads you into an Orient Express-style wonderland filled entirely with the original Bob Bob’s classic retro leather booth-only seating across two huge dining rooms featuring jewel-box blue & scarlet tones, vintage-style tinted glass chandeliers, and polished wood. There are even three private rooms (modelled after the Royal Yacht Britannia) with their own reception areas overlooking the city. They have 800 bespoke light fittings, made exclusively for the restaurant.
Something that hasn’t changed however are those famed “Press For Champagne” buttons, which are are still here… only now they can also be used to summon Magnums, Jeroboams, and Methuselahs from their own cabin.
The kitchen’s being masterfully overseen by chef Ben Hobson, whose menu ranges from smaller dishes like snails in parsley & garlic butter; steak tartare with caviar and lobster, crab & shrimp dumplings to larger dishes like beef wellington to share; turbot fillet & hand-dived scallop mousse in pastry; and truffle & Champagne humble pie.
Like we said, humour.
Desserts include a flaming crème brûlée (set alight tableside), tarte tatin, and a Stinking Bishop cheese soufflé – but if you really want to end your meal in style, you can take your pick from one of 50 vintage Armagnacs, some dating back to 1888…
NOTE: Bob Bob Ricard City is open Tuesday-Saturday, 12pm-12am. You can find out more, and make a booking at their website HERE.
ALSO NOTE: Elegant dress code, and no children permitted under 15 years old.
Bob Bob Ricard City | 122 Leadenhall Street, EC3V 4QT
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