London has many landmarks – Buckingham Palace, Tate, Big Ben, and, at least to connoisseurs of fine dining, Bob Bob Ricard. The Franco-Russian restaurant has become a byword for extravagant glamour with its caviar-laden menu and table-side ‘champagne button’. 

Restaurant interior
Interiors of Bob Bob Ricard City. Photography by Paul Winch Furness.

Now the Soho-based restaurant (also home to the lower ground-floor Club Room bar) has just opened its second location, Bob Bob Ricard City. The new outlet in London’s centre of business and banking is just as opulent as its predecessor but with a few distinct changes. ‘It’s a Bob Bob Ricard from a different era,’ explains the restaurant’s founder Leonid Shutov. 

‘If the Soho one is all about the golden age of the Orient Express, the roaring 1920s and art deco mixed in with eclectic touches of Edwardian and Georgian styles, then the City sibling is very much of the early 21st century, unmistakably modern but built around the same passions and values – richness of the palette and finishes, luxurious cosiness of booths, golden, warm lighting and lots of bevels and gratuitous sparkle!’ 

Press for Champagne button
The Steak Tartare

Steak Tartare. Photography by Sonya Metzler.

Shutov and Shayne Brady at Brady Williams (the studio behind multiple Corbin & King London restaurants) looked to the aesthetics of superyachts to inspire the cosy yet lavish interiors. ‘The best superyachts manage to reconcile even the most modern finishes, materials and techniques with old-school glamour and traditional styling without turning the interiors into a pastiche or a theme park,’ says Shutov. ‘We had a similar challenge creating an opulent interior, rich in detail, inside the minimalist, functional, even austere architectural masterpiece from Rogers Stirk Harbour.’ 

The Press for Champagne button
The ‘press for champagne’ button. Photography by Paul Winch Furness.

The City branch’s ‘bistrôt deluxe’ menu, crafted by Bob Bob Ricard’s head chef Ben Hobson, will feature a range of dishes not available at the Soho outlet, such as Escargots en Persillade; Quail Grillé with Truffle Jus; and Mussels en Champagne. Desserts will include Tarte Tatin, and Armagnac Doughnut infused with any of the restaurant’s 70 vintages of Armagnac from 1888 to 2005.

Tarte Tatin. Photography by Sonya Metzler.
Tarte Tatin. Photography by Sonya Metzler.

Bob Bob Ricard favourites will also still be on offer, including the Dégustation of Caviar; Oysters Rasputin; and Beef Wellington for two. And, of course, champagne remains an integral part of the menu, with 70 options to choose from, and ten available by the glass, including Moët & Chandon, Bollinger, Dom Pérignon Vintage, Ayala, and Krug. 

The new restaurant certainly lives up to the reputation established by its predecessor and achieves Shutov’s aim to offer diners ‘fun and memorable meals: outstanding champagne and wine and delicious food in a unique ambiance and in great company’. ‘But,’ he concedes, ‘that last one they have to be responsible for themselves.’ §