Bob Bob Cité — London, UK
When it opened in 2008, London’s Bob Bob Ricard became an instant hit, as much for its elaborate marble and gilded interiors – modelled on the Orient Express – as for its champagne delivery at the push of a button.
Now, more than a decade later, its founder, Leonid Shutov, has unveiled his second much-anticipated venture, this time, as its name suggests, in the Square Mile. More precisely housed inside a new-build structure that sits suspended within the Leadenhall Building – also known as the Cheesegrater – Bob Bob Cité is, if possible, an even more extravagant version of its Soho sister, only strengthening Shutov’s chutzpah to once again pierce the London restaurant scene with a showstopper.
Over half a decade in the making, and with a price tag reported to be around the £25 million mark, the all-booth restaurant is the work of both Shutov and London-based outfit Brady Williams, who harmonised the warren of rooms, which includes a series of private dining spaces, around the concept of luxury travel, in particular, megayachts, early 20th century Zeppelin airships and first-class train carriages.
And so, lashings of mirror-polished steel trim and rosewood marquetry panelling – created offsite by Warwickshire-based specialist joiners Stan Tarver – form a base material palette for embellished Japanese book-binding paper, 800 or so bespoke light fittings, including 24 chandeliers modelled on the original Bob Bob Ricard ones, colourfully bold artwork by Supermundane, and bespoke leather banquettes, from Glasgow-based Andrew Muirhead & Son, that nod to racing car seats.
In the open kitchen, Michelin-star chef Eric Chavot sends out a menu of perfectly executed French classics from escargot to the creamy veal blanquette à L’Ancienne, all served on Wedgwood china designed by Shutov himself. Don’t miss out on the deliciously robust French onion soup or the buttery pan-fried Dover sole, washed down with a glass or two of bubbly, that of course, can be summoned by the touch of a button. §