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Bar Boulud, Knightsbridge

by Krista

 Bar boulud charcuterieBar Boulud
Mandarin Oriental
66 Knightsbridge
SW1X 7LA


Date of Last Visit: 23 June 2010


The Victims: Many, and sadly, I only remember the names of Cara and Heather and Laissez Fare. I am a terrible person, even though my mother raised me right.


The Background:  I met Heather from Heather on Her Travels a few months back at a Lastminute.com party. I don’t know what I said or what I did, but fast-forward to June and Heather dropped me an e-mail to invite me to dinner at Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental. Paid for by the Mandarin Oriental. (Yes, yes. I know. I know.)


As a native New Yorker, I would love to say I know all about Daniel Boulud and his eponymous restaurants in New York. (And Las Vegas. And Palm Beach! And Beijing!) But I don’t. Much like I don’t know anything about Bruno Loubet. Yes, I know nothing.


I’m also not going to go on and on (and on) about the history and the background of Daniel Boulud or Bruno Loubet, along with their trials and/or tribulations. That’s what Wikipedia is for. (Here. And…um…okay, Bruno Loubet doesn’t have a Wikipedia page. Now what does that mean?)


 Bar boulud thai sausages
But I will tell you that the Thai sausages were pretty delicious. And if you get the charcuterie, don’t faff about…go large. LARGE. It’s pretty awesome.


 Bar boulud burgerThere is the burger. The Yankee. It’s very competent. But the bun, alas, remains untoasted. (Or if it was toasted, it was only the lightest of toastings.) Why now, really? Who doesn’t like their bun toasted?




 Bar boulud chop chopBar Boulud, are you reading this? The blogosphere is abuzz. Apparently, you’ve removed the Chop Chop salad (with lobster for a supplement) from your menu. This is a mistake. A big mistake. (Unless you show me your Thursday lunch sales numbers and can prove you weren’t selling a one.) Bring it back! Bring it back!


 Bar boulud sea bassThe sea bass…now this…I’d like the recipe. This was pretty fantastic. I liked that it was crispy. (I think, in general and after much contemplation, I like crispy things.)


 Bar boulud bathroomThe ladies loos are very white and very clean. The lighting, however, is perhaps a little too clinical. Turn it down a notch so we all feel more beautiful.


 Bar boulud kitchenThe kitchen was fascinating and fun to watch. I like moving parts. I also like how you can sit at the bar right here and stare straight into the kitchen. That would be pretty cool for a solo diner.


The Sommelier: I must give a special shout out to our wonderful sommelier. He was clever and funny and knew what we wanted and what we didn’t know we wanted. We shared our love of Vermentino (the house white when I visited) and I fell just a little bit in love with Bar Boulud.


Celebrity Sighting: The Iron Lady. Seriously. She looked good.


The Verdict: I liked it here. OK, it was a freebie. Of course I should like it. But between the sommelier and the great potential for solo dining, I think they’re on to a winner here. (As if they didn’t know…being, as they are, in the Mandarin Oriental.)

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8 comments

An American in London July 15, 2010 - 9:17 pm

Not only do I want the chop chop salad back bc it was so good I went back last Friday specifically to eat it again, but also the “substitute” salad on the menu now (salade du marchee) is really NOT tasty. Who wants a poached whole baby carrot in a salad when you could have avocados, cashews and crispy sesame strips instead?

Even worse is that the “half lobster” for which I paid a £15 supplement to accompany the salade du marchee looked more like a 1/4 lobster at best.

I left feeling like I wanted my £21 back. Having been to BB three times in the last month, I now feel like it will be much longer before I return. And next time, I’ll stick with just the charcuterie.

Chris July 15, 2010 - 9:40 pm

Fuck, Margaret Thatcher? She was there? Seriously?

Krista July 16, 2010 - 7:49 am

Seriously! Pretty good sighting, huh?

Sent from my iPhone

Krista July 16, 2010 - 7:51 am

My hope is that this will start a campaign that will culminate in the return of the chop chop!

Sent from my iPhone

msmarmitelover July 16, 2010 - 10:30 am

I cannot believe Margaret Thatcher was munching on a burger. I simply can’t picture it.
Your review makes me want to go there. And I don’t eat meat!

Greedy Diva July 16, 2010 - 11:16 am

I’m with you all the way on this one, although sadly no celebrity sightings on my visit (not for a lack of head craning). The Vermentino takes you back to Sardinia doesn’t it? (I remember your travel tips!)

Heather on her travels July 17, 2010 - 6:31 pm

I’m sure that Anthony from http://blog.mrandmrssmith.com/and Eva from http://www.nixdminx.com/ will forgive you – of course rather a lot of wine was tasted that evening. I agree with you on the toasted bun – loved the burger but now I realise a little je ne sais qui was missing. But I only caught a glimpse of the back of Lady T’s hairdo has she departed.

Gourmet Chick July 18, 2010 - 4:10 pm

Loving the hamburger poll. It was a great meal and I agree the sommelier made it!

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