Beef Wellington @ Bob Bob Cité
There’s no hiding it: Bob Bob Cité is a bells and whistles kind of place – it’s very shiny, it’s very big and it strives for nothing short of ‘glam’ – but that makes it really rather fun. The sister restaurant to Bob Bob Ricard (and its infamous “press for champagne” buttons), it is located in the Leadenhall Building, otherwise known as the Cheesegrater. It’s not, as you might expect, high up in the clouds, but on a sort of mezzanine level that overlooks the square below, and was delayed by aeons while owner Leonid Shutov put his myriad finishing touches to the estimated £25 million design. (Hence why it’s so shiny.) In a nod to the original, there is a railway carriage vibe, but with a sort of sci-fi diner feel across its red room, blue room and multiple private dining spaces all designed for serious indulgence.
Eric Chavrot’s French brasserie food retains its Russian accents – vodka shots to begin, steak or salmon tartares with optional caviar, French onion soup, garlic butter snails, etc. –and the more delicate heritage tomato starter is a stunner, its freshness heightened by salty silver skin anchovies and a Niçoise dressing. And whilst foams might be somewhat frowned upon these days, the Gruyère and truffle one that sits on top of the salt beef hash is a delight. In the mains, favourites like lobster mac and cheese return and, since the ‘go big or go home’ attitude is practically designed for this place, why not try the beef Wellington as your main? Shared between two people, the 35-day aged fillet is tender and pink as you like with expertly golden pastry; it is presented to you at the table before being carved up and served with truffle jus. Don’t skip pudding either – even if just a bit of chocolate – as they’ve got some extraordinary Armagnacs behind the bar as well as the fizz.
The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, City of London, EC3V 4AB; bobbobcite.com
Beer-Battered Lobster @ The Grand Duchess
If you are nautically inclined, then it will come as welcome news that The London Shell Co has acquired itself a new boat. In addition to The Prince Regent, which has been floating up and down the Regent’s Canal from Paddington Basin since 2016, there is now The Grand Duchess, a larger yet stationary vessel serving more delicious seafood. The menu varies constantly but there will be some regulars, like the beer-battered lobster served with a thick and punchy ‘chip shop’ curry sauce and these guys’ trademark shoelace fries (which will disappear in a flash – we warn you). Others are smoked cod’s roe with radishes, monkfish and wild garlic Kiev, and surf’n’turf options like the Tamworth pork chop adorned with clams and seaweed, or the 500g Dexter beef rib with grilled langoustines.
You’ll find a host of wines on the list, including rosé shipped in by the keg (both economical and sustainable, thank you very much) and a beautiful British sparkler supplied by Hampshire vineyards Hattingley Valley, which uses purely Bacchus grapes. It only opened this week, so if you book in during the next two weeks, you’ll bag a soft launch offer: 50% off food until the 13th June, and 25% off from 14th – 16th.
Sheldon Square, Paddington Central, London, W2 6PY; londonshellco.com
Gold Leaf Salted Caramel Truffles @ The Platinum Arowana Room, Scott’s
In charge of a special occasion? You’ll need a suitably special location. And the ante has just been upped by Mayfair restaurant Scott’s, which this week revealed its ravishing new private dining room, whose interiors alone are worth £6 million. For a party of between six and eight people, you can thus bask in the emerald luminosity The Platinum Arowana Room – deemed the most expensive restaurant interior the world. Yep, you heard us. It’s down to the semi-precious agate stone floor, bespoke mirrored wall panels, Lalique crystal lighting, gilded seating, Baccarat Harcourt Empire glassware, and so on. And that’s not to mention the astonishing collection of Chagalls, Renoirs, Pissarros, Mirós and many more gracing the walls. The art alone (chosen by Caprice Holding’s chairman Richard Caring) is worth booking in for.
If you do so, then you and your guests will feast on menus designed exclusively for this room by head chef David McCarthy. Starters include a twice-baked lobster soufflé with shaved truffle, or golden pearl caviar, with such mains as Newlyn Bay turbot with hand-dived scallop and oscietra caviar. Finish up with Champagne and strawberry sorbet with elderflower sorbet and then some gold leaf salted caramel truffles (to match the furniture, of course). This can all be appropriately washed down by some of the world’s rarest bottles of wine. Need to impress? This place most certainly has you covered.
For enquiries, call 020 3935 2208
Scott’s, 20 Mount Street, London, W1K 2HE; scotts-restaurant.com
BBQ-Style Jackfruit @ Bambusa
The lunchtime grab’n’go can be pretty uninspiring. But instead of the usual sad sandwich, Fitzrovians can upgrade to fresh, zingy and filling build-your-own boxes from Bambusa. Brought to us by the team behind Roti Chai and Chai Ki, the food is broadly Asian, with particular influences from its founder’s time in Japan, Singapore and Laos. This smart cafe is open from dawn until dusk, but it’s their lunch boxes that you will be most grateful for. Top a base of sushi rice or mixed leaves with options including ginger shoyu chicken, Nam Pla smoked chicken salad and some oh-so-trendy jackfruit done BBQ style, baked with live fermented kimchi and red chilli gochujang.
Make sure to nab an afternoon pick-me up while you’re at it (the lemon muffins are excellent) and mark this place out for the coffee run, as the bespoke Monsoon Malabar roast gives a heady kick.
6 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 2LR; bambusalondon.com