I was here for a belated birthday treat because it has one of the best value three course set dinners on offer in London, however seeing as this was suppose to be a birthday treat for the Panda I went a little “gourmet” and opted for the Piggie Burger instead, yes that’s considered gourmet for me! Bar Boulud is located in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge, opened by the famed Frenchman on the other side of the pond, Daniel Boulud. It is the only non-North American outpost of Daniel Boulud who owns a 2 star Michelin restaurant in New York.
The interior is separated into a few areas making this vast restaurant seem much more intimate. But whilst cleanly decorated there is no distinctive style and therefore leaves you feeling a little like a high-flying jetsetter meeting clients for dinner, though that might not necessarily be a bad thing! We were served by a number of very friendly and polite staff among which was a Ricky Martin lookalike (one of Apprentice fame rather than the one who is still Livin’ La Vida Loca). This, I mean the staff not Ricky Martin, definitely made matters much more pleasant when one of our group was late and when I had read a few blogs mentioning that the staff were quick to “turn” when cameras were involved. This was never the case and we definitely did create more of a scene than necessary in our photo opportunities.
Well onto the food, my friends ordered from the reasonably priced bouchon menu, both seemed extremely pleased with the offerings, I had the chance to taste a little of everything and I have to say it’s definitely worth it, choices might be more standard but there are still touches which make it seem like you’re getting something better. The highlight of those dishes actually being the pea soup as it was creamy and moreish. Everything was also beautifully presented, possibly the prettiest I’ve seen any chicken being presented! I, however, opted for the restaurant’s American dishes and went straight for a Piggie burger, having read multiple good reviews of it and that it’s actually the recommendation of the owner himself over the more expensive and interesting sounding BB Burger. At £19 a pop it’s definitely the most expensive burger I’ve ever had and I’ve had a wagyu burger in Australia! Whilst it wasn’t at “blow my mind” levels it definitely was a great burger that works very well together, with perfectly cooked medium rare patties blushing in the middle and the jalapeno mayo giving it that much needed “zing”. However I’d probably get my burgers from the £10 range next time but if you’re up for it the Piggie burger does nothing wrong, just maybe a little pricey for a struggling architecture student.
For dessert I ordered the souffle retourne a l’ananas. What arrived was much more substantial than I imagined but still extremely light. The zest and crunch featuring once in every other bite, giving it the interest. The souffle itself was also light and airy whilst digging further in you get the pina colada “surprise” like a kid just found his Christmas present.
The main letdown for our group was the drinks, since non of us were up for alcohol we ordered from their non-alcoholic cocktail range, a grand total of three! None of the flavours that arrived were really befitting of its price point. The Batida lacked any punch and the sugar syrup was just cloying.
Overall, Bar Boulud has a great offering of service, food and bouchon menu that should cater for all.
Address: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA
Telephone: 0207 201 3899
Mind The Gap:
Mon – Sat: 12pm – 1am
Sun: 12pm – 12am
There’s only one Bar Boulud in London but if you’re in the US then New York and Boston also have branches.
Panda ate, shot and left.